Stencel brings business owners together
By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor
John Stencel and his wife, Frances, moved to McGregor from Illinois 10 years ago to help babysit their grandchildren, who live in Elkader. He and Frances immediately fell in love with the area.
“It’s been a nice, beautiful community,” Stencel said of McGregor. “We used to live in Chicago, so we like the small town life. Of course, we miss our Illinois, but we like it here too.”
Recently, Stencel started the “Businessmen’s Coffee Club,” which gives local business owners the opportunity to sit down with one another and share ideas. The club meets Thursday mornings, usually from 9 to 10, at Café McGregor. Stencel said people can come and go as they are able.
“The goal is to help businesses communicate,” Stencel said. “If businesses help each other, work together and cooperate, that’s the way to go instead of griping.”
Through that cooperation, Stencel said the whole community will benefit.
“If we help the local merchants, that helps and stabilizes the whole community,” he said. “Now is the time [of year] when businesses need help because they’re preparing for the coming season.”
Although Stencel admitted that he doesn’t shop locally as much as he would like, he said it is a good way to support the community, even if you’re not a business owner.
“If we don’t help them out, they’ll leave,” he said, “and we want them to grow.”
With all the business experience in town, Stencel also hopes the get-togethers will help newer business owners find mentors.
“That experience is more important than anything,” he explained. “And just sharing ideas. More ideas are always better than one.”