Small Business Development Center
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Category Archives: Success Stories

This Day Forward Coaching

By Chemeketa SBDC

Carol Leek brings This Day Forward Coaching not only to the Salem-Keizer area, but
also to women nationwide! As a Personal Development Coach, she helps women
entrepreneurs and small business owners discover their values and purpose, and
then align them with their business and personal lives, therefore creating a better-balanced life!

Carol  began coaching in 2010 after receiving personal and business coaching herself.
While transitioning from the sale of a self-built business, into discovering
her own life purpose, Carol was encouraged to use her natural abilities,
business expertise, and life experiences, and look into the phenomenon of Life

After falling in love with the profession of coaching, its process and the positive
outcomes coaching provides, Carol took the necessary steps to receive the
proper and necessary trainings to become a Board Certified Coach in several
areas. In addition, she continues to participate in business advising, and
teaches entrepreneur classes for the MERIT Program at the SBDC.

Working with women on a business level as well as a personal level has always been one
of Carol’s strong and natural gifts. Being gifted as an excellent communicator
with a positive attitude, a natural encourager, motivational, dependable, kind,
enthusiastic, and well organized are just a few words that have been used to
describe her. Her unique style (with a tad bit of humor), and direct approach
have guided and inspired many women in accomplishing personal and professional

Life Coaching is perfect for those craving:

  • Forward movement and positive change in designing an ideal life and business
  • Balance and harmony in business and family life, in order to create inner peace
  • Guidance, action, and accountability, to achieve the results desired!

Carol provides a variety of coaching options in order to fulfill her client’s needs.
Individual coaching, group coaching, and topic related workshops are just a
few. As a way to give back to the community, she also provides a series of Pro
Bono sessions for those who desire and need coaching but are otherwise unable
to afford them at this time.

Carol has participated in Opportunity Knocks, the Small Business Management
, and has served as an instructor for MERIT.

Contact info:

Visit Carol’s website to receive your FREE 30-minute consultation to see how you may benefit from Life Coaching. In addition to being a Board Certified Coach, Carol is also a Certified Life Purpose and Career Coach and Christian Life Coach. She is a
member of the ICF NW Coaches Association, and International Association of Coaches. She is also a member of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce.

SBDC client in the news! A new twist on delivery

By Chemeketa SBDC

Casablanca Meal Delivery Services’ business is based on a simple model: provide fresh, healthy meals delivered to customers homes.

The Salem company takes a burden off clients, such as Joy Tuff and her husband, Richard. Shopping and cooking can be difficult for the Tuffs, who are in their 80s and require special diets for medical reasons.

“It’s really hard to cook the things that both of us can have,” Joy Tuff said.

The meal delivery service, which has been in business for a year, charges its clients monthly fees. For one senior, a subscription for Monday through Saturday dinners is about $240 a month.

For the Tuffs, the expense is worth it. They get appetizing meals, served on a white china plates, that follow doctor’s orders.

Casablanca Meal Delivery began out of necessity. Company founder Crystal Gonzalez, a mother of five, had lost her job, and the outlook was bleak. The family had little money and was living at a relative’s house.

“I knew that if there wasn’t a job out there I could get, I needed to create a job for myself,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez, 32, had never run a business before. She hadn’t done well in school and had overcome a drug addiction. But she was certain of a couple things: her insurance industry background taught her about customer service; and she knew how to cook.

First stop on Gonzalez’s path to becoming an entrepreneur was the MERIT program, part of the Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry in Salem. The program provides training to help turn ideas into new businesses.

After devising a business plan, Gonzalez obtained a small loan to launch Casablanca Meal Delivery.

It quickly became apparent that delivering hot meals wasn’t the way to go. From a practical and food-safety standpoint, it’s easier to deliver chilled, prepared foods that customers can re-heat at their convenience.

Entrees, such as apple-stuffed pork chops and Parmesan tilapia, are delivered to customers up to three times a week. Two meals, with side dishes, are delivered at a time. If customers are away from home, meals can be placed in a cooler outside.

“What I wanted was a service to make people feel as if the meals were prepared in their homes,” Gonzalez said.

Meals are made from fresh ingredients in the kitchen at the Broadway Cafe in Keizer, a space Gonzalez subleases. The company has retained a dietician to design its menu, although Gonzalez and a relative do the day-to-day work of running the company.

For now, the small company has focused on serving the Salem-Keizer area.

After one year in business, Casablanca  has more than 20 monthly subscribers. It’s too early to declare the company a financial success, but it has a built a loyal clientele among seniors.

“It just made it easier by not having to fret and worry about getting to a grocery store,” said Diane Colbath, a Keizer senior who signed up for the delivery services after her husband, Ben, was put on a low-sodium diet.

“This is what I wanted—good food, healthy food,” said Helga Hillig, an octogenerian who lives at the Salemtowne adult community in West Salem. She doesn’t drive and uses a walking cane.

The over-65 crowd, however, isn’t the company’s only customers.

Casablanca Meal Delivery offers postpartum and post-operative meal services. It also markets its services to busy families and singles.

In some respects, operating a food delivery service is even more problematic than running a standard restaurant. Delivery costs, such as labor and $4 a gallon gasoline, have to be taken into account.

“You have to do a lot of volume to make up for the expense of delivery,” said Bill Perry, a vice president with the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Offering prepared meals-to-go certainly isn’t a new idea. Grocery stores long ago picked on the idea that consumers wanted a “home-cooked” meal and expanded their deli sections. Delivering meals to customers who pay monthly subscription fees seems like a natural progression of that trend, Perry said.

Casablanca recently has found money in its shoestring budget to purchase newspaper and radio advertising. Word-of-mouth advertising might be its best marketing tool, as its senior customers tell their friends about the service.

“They want me to stick around,” Gonzalez said. When she visits customers in their homes, they rarely allow her to leave without a hug., (503) 399-6657 or follow on Twitter at mrose_SJ

What Businesses Can Learn from Steve Jobs

By Chemeketa SBDC

 What Businesses Can Learn from Steve Jobs

The business world, and indeed the whole world, was saddened to hear about the death of Apple’s co-founder and creative genius Steve Jobs this week. He had a larger than life persona and made enormous contributions to the world’s technology and the U.S. economy. Here are a few lessons he taught that can benefit your business:

– Innovation is essential, even if it doesn’t pan out every time. Jobs said “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” No one succeeds 100% of the time; the important thing is to continue to innovate and move your business forward.

– Hiring smart, dedicated people is a key to success. Don’t be afraid to surround yourself with people whose skill sets and intellectual capacities compliment your own. Not even Jobs could manage to innovate and execute by himself, and neither can you. Here’s what he said about the creative minds at Apple about 15 years ago: “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” He also said “Great things in business are not done by one person; they are done by a team of people.”

– Excellence should be your main focus. At the end of the day, it’s the best competitive edge small businesses have. “Be a yardstick of quality,” Jobs was quoted as saying. Create a business vision for yourself where your company is the quality leader; make it hard for your competitors to stand next to you.

– Trying to be all things to all people is a losing proposition. Apple is focused on a small group of key products, and it’s a sensible strategy. A well-known quote from Jobs is “That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity.” He also said, “It comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”

– Succession planning is imperative. You don’t need to wait until a terminal illness or other crisis strikes you or a key employee. Start planning now for how you eventually will get out of your business. And along those lines, put together contingency plans for unexpected emergencies and worst-case scenarios. Jobs was very clear on the limited time he had left to him, and instead of burying his head in the sand, he helped his company face the future.

– Keeping a balance between work and family is valuable. Jobs was a famously private person, but by all accounts dedicated to his wife and children. He made time for the people in his life who were important to him, and that means the rest of us can, too.

Marcia Bagnall is Director of the Chemeketa Small Business Development Center and instructor of Small Business Management Program . The Small-Business Adviser column is produced by the center and appears each Sunday. Questions can be submitted to Visit the SBDC at 626 High Street NE. in downtown Salem or call (503) 399-5088.

2011 New Business of the Year Award – Scott Sadler of Sadler Business Coaching

By Chemeketa SBDC

This award provides the Chamber the welcomed opportunity to acknowledge a business for its innovation and added value to the city of Salem.  This year’s recipient is a wonderful example of the accomplishments that can come from hard work and dedication.

Although the owner of this business is receiving an award as a new business, many of Salem’s professionals have worked with him and have known him for five, ten or even twenty years as a result of his continued dedication to helping his friends and colleagues.  Today, these friends and colleagues acknowledge this entrepreneur for his wonderful work and achievements. Here are just a couple of comments his clients had to say about his work ethic:

 “I have known and worked with him in many avenues throughout the past seven years.  One of the things that prompted me to work with him is his integrity.”

“He is a practical, no-nonsense entrepreneur.  He doesn’t just find success; he logs it, tracks it and studies it.”

“He works hard to find “win/win” situations and is—as many others have mentioned—a man of great integrity.”

The winner of this award is a man of many respectable traits.  Integrity is just one of them.  Empathy is another.  He believes in helping our youth gain valuable skills and knowledge and has shown his support by volunteering for the Salem Chamber Leadership Youth Program since 2007 and for the Boys and Girls Club for the last 18 years.   

We have many excellent examples of businesses that make it their mission to promote sustainability and community within Salem.  This business is just one of many great examples, but what’s especially important to acknowledge today is the way in which the owner has built a business, really, around giving back to Salem.  He has supported the sustainable effort so of Salem  by volunteering over the course of five years to promote the Riverfront Park Eco-Earth project as the Marketing Director.  He has also played an instrumental part in several Chamber activities, including Government Affairs and Ready-to-Learn, Ready-to-Work. 

 The winner of the New Business of the Year Award, Scott Sadler of Sadler Business Coaching, is being honored for his care, concern and genuine interest in his clients, his friends and his community.  Congratulations!

The Secrets of My Success

By Chemeketa SBDC

The Secrets of My Success – a Conversation with Kyle Sexton

Our dynamic Salem Chamber staff member is now traveling the country to promote his new book and cutting-edge tools for chambers of commerce. Come learn about Kyle’s successes!

Informal and engaging, this session will help you recharge your business and get inspired.

Date/Time: February 7, 2012, 12 – 1 pm
Presenter: Kyle Sexton of Fast Chamber
Location: Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry, 626 High Street NE, Downtown Salem
Cost: FREE
Registration and Information: 503.399.5088

Hosted by Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry, 626 High St NE Salem OR. Free parking is available at Marion Parkade diagonal to the building.

Past Secrets of My Success presenters

Gladys Blum of Gladys Blum Group
Steve and Becky Mucha of Word of Mouth
David Withnell of Withnell Motor Company
Jennifer Hofmann – Inspired Home Office
Mary Lou Zeek – Mary Lou Zeek Gallery
Don Meyer – RE/MAX Equity Group
Cecilia Ritter – Wild Pear
Bert Ortiz – Tico’s Coffee Roasting Company
John Zielinski – EZ Orchards
Scott Sadler – Sadler Business Coaching
Brent De Hart – DeHart’s Shell
Gerry Frank – Meier and Frank, The Konditorei
Susan Gallagher – Gallagher’s Fitness Resources
Jose Gonzales – Tu Casa Real Estate

Another SBDC Client Celebrates Grand Opening!

By Chemeketa SBDC

The Dog Bark will celebrate is grand opening this Friday, February 25.

When: 7:00 am – 6:30 pm
Where: 1290 Hoyt St SE Salem, OR 97302

Don’t miss out on a live broadcast w/ KYKN 1430 am, hilarious contests, pet portraits, great prizes, a raffle, free wine, and free appetizers for both you and your dog!

Make an evaluation reservation or bring a friend who does so, and receive a free day of daycare ($24 value) OR a free night of boarding ($30 value).

Schedule of Events:

Appetizers (for our furry friends as well) all day longCompliments of Coffee Shots

Buy your tickets for the raffle (Benefits Willamette Humane Society) all day long. Win great prizes from South Salem Pet Supply, Natures Pet Market, and My Dog’s Gym.

-(10:30 am) Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony
-(11:30 am) Canine Beauty Contest – Dress your furry friend up in his or her finest; the winner receives 1 free day of daycare!
 -(1:00 pm)The Roll over Contest – Bring your pooch in to show off his or her coolest trick; the winner receive a free night of boarding!
-(2:30 pm)Down n Dirty Foot-Race Contest - The fastest daycare dog wins this one…we will have 5 outdoor foot races and the dog who wins the most out of 5 races will win a free premium bath!
-(3:00 pm – 6:30 pm) Clipfell photography will be shooting amazing pet portraits!
-(3:00 pm – 5:00 pm) 1430 KYKN live broadcast
-(3:00pm – 6:30pm)We will be pouring Ankeny Vineyard Hershey’s Pinot Noir
-(6:00 pm) Raffle drawing (benefiting the Humane Society) with great prizes from South Salem Pet Supply, My Dog’s Gym and Nature’s Pet Market .

For more information, call  503.883.1452

SBDC Client and Instructor celebrates Grand Opening

By Chemeketa SBDC

Lorie Bickford, MERIT Instructor as well as an SBDC client, is celebrating the grand opening of her business ,JoyRide Cycling Studio, this Friday (2/18).

JoyRide Cycling Studio, Salem’s first fitness studio dedicated exclusively to indoor cycling/spinning classes,  celebrate its Grand Opening on February 18 with an Open House.  The Open House will include: Studio tours; bike set up and test rides; opportunity to meet the owners/instructors; reservation system demos; free ride registrations; refreshments; door prizes and more!

DATE/TIME: Friday, Feb. 18th, 5-8pm

LOCATION: 735 Browning Ave. SE, Ste. 100, Salem, OR 97302 (Near Northern Lights Theater)

JoyRide Cycling Studio is the first and only facility in Oregon dedicated exclusively to offering indoor cycling classes to individuals who desire the best quality equipment and instruction without the obligation of joining a gym.  Classes are offered on a pay-per-ride basis and scheduling is easy with our online reservation system.


Please visit our website at to learn more about what JoyRide Cycling Studio has to offer.

Congratulations Lorie!!

SBDC Client, NW Kids Club, in the News

By Chemeketa SBDC

NW Kids Club members enjoy new space

By:  Elida S. Perez • Statesman Journal • November 17, 2010

The sounds of children running around, playing, laughing and screaming are back at the new NW Kids Club location in South Salem.

“We’re pretty excited to be able to provide the service back to the community,” said Elizabeth McDonough, co-owner of the club.

The new location is an 11,000-square-foot facility with a large, open play area and several theme rooms for children to interact and play. The walls are brightly painted with murals, and there are a variety of toys.

McDonough said there are a few differences between the current location and the former one in northeast Salem; the new building is larger, and she has plans to gradually add more theme rooms to the club. There’s also no giant sandbox.

Janice Weide, who takes her 4-year-old granddaughter Norah Cavanaugh, to the club noticed the sandbox was missing but said it wasn’t a deal breaker.

“It’s nice and roomy, and the theme rooms are fun,” Cavanaugh said.

McDonough said she would have liked to include a sandbox, but the ventilation system in the new location is too old to support it.

There is, however, a room where children can play with small trains, a market room with toy shopping carts and groceries, a princess room with costumes, and a music room with some basic instruments.

The open play area has a variety of playground-type toys where children can practice riding bikes, climb around, jump in the bounce house or slide.

For business owners such as Nichole Tarter, who runs Half-Pint Daycare and was a member of the NW Kids Club before it closed, having the club reopen in time for the cold weather is good timing.

“I’ll try to bring them at least once a week,” Tarter said.

For about four months, the club was operating at a minimal level out of the owners’ home after the lease was not renewed at the northeast Salem location. Now that the business is up and running, McDonough said she will continue to add features.

Eventually, the club will have a dance room and an infant room. She also wants to bring back the snack bar.

“We’re still moving forward,” McDonough said.
esperez at statesmanjournal dot com or (503) 399-6740

Read more:

SBDC Client in the News

By Chemeketa SBDC

We love seeing our clients in the news!  SBDC client, Vivian Zagar, and her yarn store,   Tangled Purls, was recently interviewed by The Oregonian. Click here to read the story.

Clients in the News!

By Chemeketa SBDC

Two of the SBDC’s clients have been in the news recently and we wanted to make sure to share their success.

Oregon programs help put veteran back to work

Source:  Statesman Journal

April 11, 2010

John Gimby just might be the new poster boy for veterans’ employment services. The Salem man was able to launch his own business — Omega Landscape Maintenance & Design — with help from three different organizations.

Gimby took advantage of every second of support from WorkSource Oregon Employment Department, the Hire Oregon Veterans Program and the MicroEnterprise Resources, Initiatives & Training (MERIT) program. And with their collaboration, he turned his dream into a reality.