Area businesses compete in regional Dream Big, Grow Here competition


Katie Ruff of By the Spoonful would like to renovate her building’s basement into a certified commercial kitchen in order to expand her catering services and offer cooking classes and pre-made, take-and-bake meal options. (NIT file photo)

Mona Parisi of Park 5 would like to update and install the building’s electrical wiring to beer coolers, make roof repairs, better insulate the building and get an energy efficient heat source. (NIT file photo)

 

By the Spoonful and Park 5, both located in McGregor, are two of the 13 businesses competing in the Northeast Iowa region of the Dream Big, Grow Here competition. 

 

Dream Big, Grow Here is a business grant contest that helps Iowans fulfill their dreams of self-employment or expansion of their current firm. Dreamers compete online for votes for a shot to win a $5,000 regional grant, and then become eligible to further compete for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize.

 

By the Spoonful, owned and operated by Katherine Ruff, is a gourmet food market with a full service deli and wine cellar. 

 

Ruff would like to renovate the basement into a certified commercial kitchen in hopes of expanding into the catering market. With the renovation, By The Spoonful would offer pre-made, take-and-bake meal options and also begin cooking classes.

 

Park 5 is owned and operated by Mona Parisi. In one section, the business offers an ice cream parlor, serving 32 flavors of award winning Chocolate Shoppe ice cream. It also consists of the Park 5 Pub, which offers beer and drink specials. 

 

Park 5 would like to update and install electrical wiring to beer coolers, make roof repairs, better insulate the building and get an energy efficient heat source.

 

Other businesses competing include The Exchange Cresco, Cresco; The Game Exchange, Decorah; Leanne’s Handiwork, Manchester; Signs-N-Frames, Elkader, Bridge Street Boutique and Gift, Elkader; Pro Wash, Delhi; Creativity Center, Guttenberg; Fairfield Farm, Clermont; McJ’s Embroidery, West Union; acellpartsrepair.com, Cresco; and Kessel Kids Childcare and Learning Center, Cresco.

 

Voting has already begun and runs through Wednesday, Oct. 30. People can vote once each day. To vote, go to www.DreamBigGrowHere.com/Vote.aspx and select “Northeast Iowa Business Network 2013” to find the local regional entries. In order to vote, the site will prompt you to log in to your Facebook account.

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