This post is the third in a four-part series about creating a new entrepreneurship program, the Missouri Women’s Business Center, while simultaneously helping entrepreneurs...
Willy Schlacks has been in the construction business for most of his life; he started his first construction company with his brother as a teenager. Now the two of them operate Equipmentshare.com with three other co-owners. The website offers construction equipment rental as well as an online platform that assists contractors in managing all of their equipment in one portal. The site carries heavy-duty tools that a rental company might not normally carry, Schlacks says. Although headquartered in Columbia, Schlacks says the company hopes to go nationwide and even international. “We’re building a system that meets [contractors’] needs,” Schlacks says. “It saves them money and pain.”
Contact: Willy Schlacks, 817-428-4153
Mama T’s Cupcakes
Natasha Myrick earned the nickname “Mama T” as a ministry leader in college. She was the “mama bear” of her friend group, so incoming freshmen blessed her with the nickname — and it stuck. A few years later, Myrick baked more than 200 cupcakes for her own wedding and realized she could make a business out of her craft. Soon, Mama T’s Cupcakes began. Offering flavors such as chocolate salted caramel, raspberry lemonade and Nutella, Myrick can also cook within dietary restraints such as gluten-free, vegan and organic. She works from a home kitchen and out of the store Plume on Thursday through Saturday.
Contact: Natasha Myrick, 660-441-4204
La Di Da Children’s Boutique
When La Di Da Children’s Boutique opened on Aug. 1, owner Chrissy Maurizi says parents were arriving from all around Missouri, proclaiming they’d “buy anything with a ruffle on it.” A third-generation foster care provider and business owner, Maurizi decided to open the children’s clothing boutique when she realized her friends were always looking for cute children’s clothes around Columbia. The store includes a coffee bar for moms and juice boxes for kids along with more than 40 brands of clothing. “It wouldn’t be such a cool thing if it wasn’t bringing moms together…” Maurizi says. “I don’t care if I break even. I want moms to be happy dressing their kids.”
Contact: Chrissy Maurizi, 573-823-6941
Lexi Price’s food truck, Miami Bites, is all thanks to her mother. Born in Cuba, Price’s mother lived with Price in Miami until 2002, when the pair moved to Columbia. For years, Price’s mother craved authentic Cuban food but could rarely find it in mid-Missouri. Watching the rise of food trucks in the area, Price and her fiancée, Michelle Huff, decided to create their own truck, offering Cuban sandwiches with bread shipped straight from Miami. “It’s really exciting to see another Hispanic food establishment…” Price says. “I love sharing my food and the culture I grew up in with my friends.”
Contact: Lexi Price, 573-228-2257
On July 1, Iowa-based Plumb Supply Co. purchased Riback Supply from previous family owners. Originally started in 1934 by Morris and Harold Riback, Riback Supply Co. will continue operation through Plumb Supply Co., which was started in 1946 and oversees 18 locations in Iowa. Riback Supply itself boasts 17 locations in Missouri and one in Kansas, with the corporate office residing in Columbia. Riback Supply distributes a wide variety of residential and commercial tools, including amenities for plumbing, heating and cooling. The company also owns four showrooms that specialize in kitchen and bath appliances, cabinetry and countertops.
Contact: Corporate Office, 573-875-3131
The Seattle-based favorite for coffee fanatics has finally snuck its way south to Nifong Boulevard. After beginning building in December 2014 and working around initial traffic issues, the sixth Columbia Starbucks location is open and ready for business. Pour, sip and stir some fall favorites as the cold approaches, such as the hashtagable Pumpkin Spice Latte, Cinnamon Dolce Latte, White Chocolate Mocha, the Skinny Peppermint Mocha and more. The new location also offers the usual Starbucks amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, digital rewards and the addition of a drive-thru for customers in a hurry to (or from) work.
Contact: April Welch, 573-268-8271