The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2013

February 16, 2013

Building businesses 'that don't go away ...'

James Strate Center is a good place for fledgling firms to get their start

ENID, Okla. — Linda Beguin found the perfect place to grow her small business, Over the Fence Farms, when she discovered James Strate Center for Business Development at Autry Technology Center.

Beguin and her husband, Jerry; son, Adam; and mother, Betty Radcliff, all pitch in with the business.

Products are prepared in a certified kitchen inside the James Strate Center. Beguin has special words about her mother’s assistance.

“She’s a huge help to me,” Beguin said. “I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

They market Farmhouse, Spicy Farmhouse, Tomato Basil, Red Pepper and Vegetable and Stuffed Baked Potato spice mixes; Basic Beer Batter Bread Mix, Cinnamon and Raisin Beer Batter Bread Mix, and Garlic and Herb Beer Batter Bread Mix; Dad’s Miracle Cobbler Mix; Sweet and Spicy Chunks pickles; Cowgirl Kisses, also known as pickled jalapeno; and Jezebel Sauce.

Over the Fence Farms products are sold at six retail stores in the region, at home shows and the like when the Beguin family sets up a table and through mail order from overthefencefarms.com users.

Brian Gaddy, director of James Strate Center for Business Development, said the center is beginning its fifth year. Over the Fence Farms has been housed in the Center for one year — the first six months part-time and the second six months full-time.

In addition to Over the Fence Farms, the center is the home of Adventures with Travis & Presley; Aspire Oklahoma; Fuel Conversion Solutions; Privation Printing; and Tres Sucre Chocolatiere.

Other businesses have called the center home, as well, including Fence CLM/Encompass, Solutions, Grace Care, Aerosock, Klida and Pro presenters.

The center holds classes for would-be business owners, Oklahoma State University Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs and Business Development Academy. After taking classes that help them learn the basics of starting and operating a business, owners can enter the Cherokee Strip Business Model Competition.

Businesses that are ready to start up can apply for a space in the James Strate Center.

“We have a selection committee that helps pick who gets to come in here,” Gaddy said.

Businesses pay discount rent at first, then the rent is increased.

“By the fourth year, they are paying the same rent they would be paying in the community,” Gaddy said.

The selection committee looks at the entrepreneur’s business plan. If it’s not solid and well thought-out, the committee will select someone else, Gaddy said.

“Mostly they learn how to write a plan by taking classes offered here,” Gaddy said.

When the committee gives the nod to a potential business, the business representatives are authorized to make an offer.

Gaddy said ample space is available in the James Strait Center.

In addition, the Grow Enid program provides sponsorships to fledgling businesses. The program is designed to foster small businesses that won’t pack up and leave — or fold up.

Businesses selected in the Cherokee Strip Business Model Competition are awarded cash and in-kind service awards, funded by donors interested in helping build great entrepreneurial leaders and venture.

“From an economic development standpoint, what we’re doing is a long-term solution,” Gaddy said. “It’s a way to build businesses that don’t go away.”

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Progress 2013
  • Progress cover page.jpg 2013 OUR HERITAGE, OUR FUTURE

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual Progress edition. This year's 2013 Our Heritage, Our Future focuses the Enid area's rich heritage and its current and future endeavors.

    Read individual stories on the enidnews.com site HERE

    Links to Full Edition pdf format: Economic Development | Health & Wellness | Education | Northwest Oklahoma | Faith | Family | Agriculture & Energy | Community Service

    Our Progress edition also is available as part of our digital newspaper. Learn more about the ENE e-edition HERE.

    February 16, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Bob Farrell_1_BV.jpg A time to give

    Bob Farrell volunteers for a number of organizations throughout Enid, a labor of love that began during his 25-year active duty Air Force career, at which time he rose to the rank of chief master sergeant.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • experiment.jpg Growth spurt

    The market normally opens the second Saturday of May, the week after Tri-State Music Festival. June 22 is the annual GreEnid promotion. Hours are 8-11 a.m. each Saturday during the season.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link

  • Nonprofits Seminar_2_BV.jpg A way to fund progress

    Cherokee Strip Community Foundation was started in 1999 and began receiving funds in 2000. The initial funds were raised because of a challenge match from Sisters of Mercy, former owners of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, which started the match program as a way to help the community.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Foster_Grandparent_BH.jpg 'I love you Grandma warms my heart'

    “I can tell Grandma one time, and she knows what the children need, grabs her stuff and goes and does it. It’s like having another teacher.” — Hoover Elementary teacher Nicole Moneypenny

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • AmTryke_3_BV.jpg AMBUCS pride

    “Enid is known as the AMBUCS capital of the world because there’s more AMBUCS in Enid per capita than any other city in the country." — Kent Clingenpeel, National AMBUCS president and Enid AM AMBUCS member

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Volunteers_Alisha Jones_4.jpg 'A beautiful thing'

    “When we talk about developing professional airmen, our community involvement is a big part of it.” — Col. Darren James, commander of 71st Flying Training Wing

    April 13, 2013 4 Photos 1 Link

  • Stepping_Stones_1_BH.jpg Helping people overcome

    Stepping Stones and Van’s House are housed at the same facility and are there to provide help for those who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Park Avenue Thrift_1_BV.jpg People making a difference

    From vocational rehabilitation and homeless shelter services to community arts programs, a significant portion of Enid’s non-profit causes benefit directly when people shop at or donate to local thrift stores.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • JWL_1_BV.jpg Care to share

    Junior Welfare League bought adjoining buildings downtown and has been operating Return Engagement from one of the buildings but hopes to expand the store throughout both buildings.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link