Small Businesses Honored with Annual Awards
The Small Business Awards event is presented annually by GO Topeka’s Entrepreneurial and Minority Business Development (EMBD) and the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce.
Kansas Department of Commerce’s Secretary Soave served as the keynote speaker of the event.
“Small Businesses and non-profits represented here today are true success stories. They were born from a need and were challenged to fill a gap. They all have passion for what they do, vision to see beyond today, tenacity to keep going and the flexibility to change with the market,” said Glenda Washington, vice president of entpreneurial minority business development. “We are proud they are a part of the fabric of this community.”
The 2017 winners are:
Emerging Entrepreneur of Distinction: Norsemen Brewing Company
Non-profit Award of Distinction: Topeka Rescue Mission
Minority and Women Business of Distinction: Oasis Family Medicine Assoc., LLC
Small Business Advocate: Jenny Torrence, owner of Serendipity, Pinkadilly and NOTO Burrito
Capital City Business of Distinction: HME, Inc.
Sponsors for the Small Business Awards Luncheon include: Platinum Sponsor – Envista Credit Union; Gold Sponsor – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas; Media Sponsor – KTWU and WIBW Channels; Silver Sponsors - PTMW, Inc. and Washburn University Institute of Technology; Centerpiece Sponsor – Parrish Hotel Corporation; Table Sponsors - Berberich Trahan & Co P.A., Capital City Bank, CoreFirst Bank & Trust, Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Kaw Valley Bank, Polo Custom Products, Schwerdt Design Group, Silver Lake Bank, Stormont Vail Health, Topeka Capital-Journal and Washburn University SBDC.
Details about the award winners:
Emerging Entrepreneur of Distinction: Norsemen Brewing Company Jared Rudy, owner; 830 N Kansas Ave., Topeka, KS 66608. 785.783.3999
Norsemen Brewing Company began operations on October 14, 2016. The original four owners maintain their standard 40 hour week jobs while spending 45+ hours a week at the business. They have added a total of seven part-time employees. All sales projections have been met and they continue to grow their Event Space and are expanding into distribution.
Norsemen promotes and supports local as much as possible, including purchasing shirts, glasses as well as wine. Each month they feature a local artist during First Friday, showcasing their art work.
They sponsor fundraising events for local nonprofits such as the Topeka Community Cycle Project where portions of sales are donated to the non-profit.
Norsemen, pays homage to the North Topeka Middle school mascot that closed a few years ago. This Viking theme represents their brand and can be found throughout the brewery.
Craft brewing combines art, science and creativity. Carefully designing recipes around hundreds of ingredients, manipulating water profiles with chemistry for each beer, reaching out and pushing the boundaries of beer styles, plus much more goes into the art of making craft beer.
One of Norsemen’s goals was to join the momentum the NOTO Arts District was experiencing and situate itself as a cornerstone of the area in attempt to make NOTO and North Topeka a destination place other than First Fridays.
Non-profit Award of Distinction: Topeka Rescue Mission Barry Feaker, CEO; 600 N Kansas Ave., Topeka, Kansas 66608. 785.354.1744
Responding to the needs of the homeless and underprivileged within our community has been at the heart of everything Topeka Rescue Mission (TRM) has done since its inception in 1953. TRM is a non-denominational Christian organization that is dedicated to helping the homeless by providing emergency shelter, meals, clothing and other needed items to homeless men, women and families.
Currently the Mission shelters over 2,000 homeless individuals each year. They have focused on providing services that not only respond to the immediate needs of guests, but ultimately help them to break the cycle of homelessness.
In response to the needs of the Topeka Community, TRM has created nine specific, yet diverse ministries. They include Shelter Services, Food Services, Distribution Services, Street Reach, Children’s Palace, NET Reach. Doxazo Ministries, Restore Hope and Educational and Supportive Services.
TRM also provides job training through a 12-week program called CaRE and a six-week program for residents of the Hi-Crest neighborhood called Net Works. They operate two retail establishments in Topeka for employment and job training for program participants. TRM also arranges hundreds of volunteer opportunities for employers, who encourage employees to engage in volunteering within the community.
Minority and Women Business of Distinction: Oasis Family Medicine Association, LLC
Holly Cobb & Jennifer Harader, Members; 2850 SW Mission Woods Dr., Suite #103 Topeka, Kansas 66614. 785.286.6816.
Oasis Family Medicine opened on March 2, 2015. Jennifer Harader, MD and Holly Cobb, APRN-C are founders and current co-owners. They are Topeka’s first and only Direct Primary Care clinic, which means that they provide full-scope primary care to patients for a monthly membership fee. They do not bill insurance. They provide 24/7 access to their patients by phone, text and email. Oasis offers same-day visits for urgent concerns, as well as offering their patients access to discounted lab and pharmacy services.
To address problems within the business, they hold weekly staff meetings as well as a monthly management meeting. They have adjusted their processes and procedures to meet the demand of a business that has grown faster than projected. The biggest problem they face is that their patients are a mixture of insured and uninsured. When they take on the primary care of uninsured patients, they must find the patient access to services they cannot provide within their office, such as screening tests, specialist treatment and x-rays.
Since their inception, Oasis Family Medicine has grown to serve 1,100 patients. They started with one medical provider and one nurse, and now have two providers with a third joining the practice in April. They also now employ two nurses.
Small Business Advocate: Jenny Torrence
Owner of Serendipity, Pinkadilly and NOTO Burrito; 820 – 824 N Kansas Ave., Topeka, Kansas 66608. 785.232.8148
Jenny Torrence owner of Serendipity, Pinkadilly, and NOTO Burrito has a passion for small businesses. She sees the impact that a small business makes not only financially, but also by its ability to make a community unique. Jenny has invested financially in the Topeka community. She supports small businesses when she eats out, shops for gifts or has a need that can be filled by a small business.
Jenny has led an initiative to bring awareness grass roots style to small businesses. She created a campaign to buy, shop and support local. She created a logo, website and face book page and stickers for local businesses to place on their door.
Jenny believes that there is a commitment to invest in our small business community. There is also a commitment to continue the growth of our amazing town and movement. Supporting small business is one of the best ways that this can be done..
Capital City Business of Distinction: HME, Inc.
Jon Haas, President and CEO; 2828 NW Button Rd. SW 37th Street, Topeka, Kansas 66618. 785.235.1524.
Twenty years ago, Jon Haas followed a dream and started his company in his garage. Today, that dream has expanded to a 186,500 square foot manufacturing facility with over 360 employees. Founded on the ideal of providing superior-quality custom metal fabrication and structural steel to the construction industry, HME has become a leader respected throughout the entire country.
HME continues to expand its delivery area and has recently taken on jobs as far away as Wyoming, Florida, North Dakota, North Carolina, and Tennessee. All of the fabrication for these projects takes place in the Topeka, Kansas manufacturing facility which provides work within our community funded by new money from other states. They are projecting sales revenue to surpass $100 million for 2017 with approximately 20% going to employees in the form of payroll and benefits and approximately 65% going to the purchase of raw materials and outside labor.
HME will continually hire and retain high-quality workers, invest in cutting edge manufacturing equipment, and compete nationally with structural steel fabricators in other areas of the country, all of which provide an economic benefit to our business community and state.