Umpqua Oats

Grab-and-Go Oatmeal Becomes National and Global Brand with Help from SBDC

When Mandy Holborow and Sheri Price went to a coffee shop and ordered oatmeal for their kids, they found the mush made from a brown paper packet less than appetizing. They wanted something more, something healthier, an honest meal. Later, around the breakfast table as their kids got ready for a soccer match, Umpqua Oats was born. One of their first stops: the Umpqua SBDC.

The Umpqua SBDC started working with Mandy and Sheri in 2008, early in the company’s development.

“The UCC SBDC gave us an understanding of how to implement our idea into a business,” said Mandy. “Our adviser met with us weekly and gave us clear objectives and goals which really guided us to our initial business platform.”

The company developed healthy, delectable, grab-and-go oatmeal first in Sheri’s kitchen in test batches before moving to a production facility. The company’s first customers were coffee shops, before they graduated to grocery stores and internet sales nationwide. Within three years, the company’s products were sold in all 50 states and internationally. Today, Umpqua Oats is one of the largest instant oatmeal brands, competing with the biggest companies in the industry.

“The consultation and guidance we received was invaluable. If you have an idea or dream about starting a business, start with the SBDC,” said Mandy. “There are many professional resources that can make your dream attainable and successful.”

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The Water Depot

SBDC Helped the Water Depot Thrive

Before buying The Water Depot in Roseburg, Jodi and Kregg Parenti went to the SBDC for helping evaluating the business purchase.

“We were really interested in owning our own business instead of working for someone else,” Jodi said.

After deciding it was a viable option, the Parentis bought the water delivery business from the previous owner in 2016. Realizing they still needed help learning how to run a business, they signed up for the SBDC’s Small Business Management class. They learned how to use QuickBooks, among other business operations.

The SBDC has alleviated some of the stress of small business ownership, Kregg said.

“I don’t know if there’s a way to put value on it,” Jodi said. “To us, they’re invaluable.”

The Parentis use a 2,000-gallon truck to deliver water for rural residential and commercial use, as well as for irrigation, agriculture, livestock, ponds and pools.

When their truck broke down, the SBDC emailed them to see how they were doing.

“It’s like family,” Kregg said.

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Wrappin and Rollin

Food Truck Gets Start with Research and Planning from SBDC

Darci Hawkins’ battle with cancer for eight years encouraged her to eat healthier and eventually become vegan.

After experiencing the positive effects of a plant-based diet, Darci wanted to share those benefits with the Roseburg community. In 2016, she opened the Wrappin and Rollin food truck, which sells veggie wraps, spring rolls, rice bowls and soups with gluten free selections, that are all vegan and sourced from local farmers.

“The people who know the benefits of living a plant-based lifestyle just get so excited,” Darci said.

Darci did the Dream$avers Individual Development Account program in Roseburg. A grant matching program that helps individuals reach their business or educational goals, Dream$avers provided Darci with the funds to buy the food truck. Her husband then renovated the truck, which is located Tuesday through Friday at the Garden Valley Shopping Center. They sell at the farmers market on Saturdays.

Darci worked with SBDC to write a business plan. SBDC also provided her with market research from the Market Research Institute.

“They provided some information for us that we wouldn’t have known,” Darci said. “They were really cool about helping us get through whatever next step we needed to take.”

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Tropiceel Products Inc

SBDC advice saves local business thousands of dollars

Merrilyn Jovin started making natural pain and wellness creams to help her husband’s ailing health.

When the creams, made from coconut oil and herbs, worked for her husband, Pat, it made sense to market them to other people. The Jovins launched Roseburg-based Tropiceel Products Inc. in 2009. They now sell Naturulz ultimate healing cream, total foot repair and total body wellness in thousands of stores throughout the country.

Pat and Merrilyn have taken the SBDC small business management class and have met with business advisers. SBDC helped them decide on brokers, distributors and a bank.

“That advice saves you thousands and thousands of dollars as a small business,” Merrilyn said.

SBDC also connected Tropiceel with American-based manufacturers so they could sell their products with American-made bottles and labels.

Merrilyn appreciates that SBDC stays up to date on industry changes, like how Amazon is changing online shopping. Having access to that expertise saves her time and money, she said.

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Sharon Sawicki Jewelry

SBDC helps local artist find new online markets

Sharon Sawicki started taking silversmithing lessons after she retired from teaching elementary school in 2006.

Pretty soon, a jewelry-making hobby turned into a business.

In 2016, she realized she needed help managing her growing enterprise. Sharon knew she was missing out on a big market by not selling her jewelry online and using social media. She went to the SBDC and took the small business management class. She also started meeting with an adviser.

“He could help tailor the information I was getting from the classes into my specific situation,” Sharon said. “One of the things I’m particularly impressed about in his advising is he is listening to what I’m doing and my goals and helps me get there.”

She got help marketing her business on social media. SBDC also helped her with business skills like accounting.

Sharon, who uses copper, silver and semi-precious stones in her jewelry, sells her creations in Fisher’s Flowers & Fine Art, among other locations in Roseburg. The SBDC is helping her set up an Etsy account to sell online, she said. Sharon is also looking into selling her jewelry at wineries in the region.

“SBDC has been very helpful and supportive,” she said.

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You’ve got the idea and the business, let us help you take it to the next level.