Local business owner Thom Baker seeks to leave Columbia a gift when he retires. Tucked away in his equipment-lain home office, Thom Baker of...
Relationship Manager, Central Bank Boone County; Co-owner, Comacho Coffee
I’ve always commuted into Columbia from Boonville. Sooooo, technically only for two years during part of my college career.
While my main focus is businesses, I act as a single point-of-contact for the customer to Central Bank, whether you’re a business, individual, or family. I’m there to educate on everything the bank has to offer and help pick the best route that will most benefit each person. With my other company, Camacho Coffee, my wife and I have the role to keep the company alive. Our responsibilities include all of the business-related functions, roasting and packaging coffee, marketing and social media, direct sales, and maintaining relationships with the charities.
Jim Gann. He’s the director of business engagement for MU Extension Economic Development. We share a lot of the same interests when it comes to entrepreneurship and helping businesses and our local economy. He has an abundance of experience and wisdom, and I learn so much every time we meet. We’ve had multiple conversations throughout the years that has made me think outside the box and enabled me to have some crucial “a-ha” moments as I’ve learned more about myself professionally and personally. He’s one that really exposed me to economic and business development, and it ultimately helped me discover my passion for it.
I think that a lot of people still have the image that a bank is just where you go to get money. It’s so much more than that! If you’re an individual, family, small business, or large business, Central Bank has a lot to offer.
As for Camacho Coffee — we are not a coffee shop! We supply craft coffee to restaurants, cafés, and businesses, and we do online retail sales. We have coffee subscriptions, sell by the pound, and do sample and promo bags.
Both at the bank and with Camacho Coffee, I get to fulfill my passion every day: helping small businesses. Whether it’s getting them a loan to start up, supplying credit cards for their employees, or just making sure they have great coffee in their office every day, I love being able to say that I helped with the growth of that business.
If it’s something that I can learn and grown from, it instantly motivates me. I’m always eager to learn from experiences and other people.
This past year, my wife and I participated in ForColumbia. It’s amazing to be part of and witness all of the people that come together and help nonprofits and individuals across Columbia. We live in such an amazing community.
I would love to see Camacho Coffee grow into a self-sustaining business. We just opened our doors in September 2017. We started it to allow Megan and me to give back to the community that we both grew up in, not to make a ton of money. 10 percent of our profits goes back to local charities, so to see Camacho Coffee provide a couple of jobs for people and make a noticeable differences in the charities would be perfect for 2018.
I wish I was a better organizer. I catch myself with a to-do list on my phone, a handwritten one on a notepad, and one on my computer, all with different tasks and some overlapping. I strive to have one platform that I work out of, but I haven’t made it there quite yet.