YellowTruck Market, Brenham’s First Retail Incubator, to Hold Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting
Creativity. Craftsmanship. Innovation. Small business entrepreneurs have the opportunity of a lifetime in Brenham, Texas, thanks to a public/private partnership between Tiffany McMordie-Morisak, Brenham | Washington County Economic Development, and Main Street Brenham. Designed to partner with new business entrepreneurs, YellowTruck Market, a retail incubator, opens this week and will provide the training, mentoring, and networking opportunities needed to help launch a successful business. Incubator participants, ranging from jewelry makers and bakers to merchandise designers, leather or wood crafters, and veteran-owned and minority-owned businesses, learn from industry experts and experienced entrepreneurs — the people who have “been there, done that!” And, at the same time, all showcased in a beautiful retail space in Downtown Brenham — right on Main Street.
Owner/Investor of YellowTruck Market, Tiffany McMordie-Morisak said, “It’s exciting to be a part of this opportunity for launching small business in Washington County. Our hope is that YellowTruck Market provides retailer participants the opportunity to learn and grow their business into a unique retail space that will be an asset in the community once they launch from the program in two years.” She continued, “The resources and educational aspect of this program being offered are what set this apart and set these participants up for success.” Working with Morisak is a core team consisting of: Director of Economic Development Susan Cates; Director of Tourism and Marketing Jennifer Eckermann; Main Street Coordinator Kathrine Briscoe; and Economic Development Specialist Erica Warren.
Morisak worked for the City of Brenham Main Street Program from 2007-2010, so when she began her due diligence process before purchasing the building at 101 East Main Street, she asked Eckermann for ideas about how to best utilize the space to positively impact Downtown Brenham. Eckermann and Cates had discussed incubators, so Eckermann pitched the idea to her. Morisak had learned about incubators during her Main Street training, so she understood the concept and was excited to work with Economic Development and Main Street to pull the plan together. “There aren’t many successful retail incubators,” Eckermann stated, “but having a property owner willing to work with us, and who understood the need for developing and mentoring savvy retailers ready to fill vacant spaces, makes this project something in which other communities across the state are stopping to take notice.”
YellowTruck Market has been a team effort since conception. The primary public funding source supporting the program and rent stipends for incubator participants is Brenham Community Development Corporation. An Advisory Board of strategic partners was developed and includes: the core team; Director of Blinn College SBDC Matthew Wehring; Main Street Board Member Jon Hill; President of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Wende Ragonis Anderson; and Brenham Community Development Corporation (BCDC) Board Member Gary Crocker. Sponsors of YellowTruck Market who have assisted in providing equipment, services, and mentorship for the participants include: Lisa Wix, owner of Puppy Dawgs and Cat Tails – Merchandising consultant; Bank of Brenham – Retail Participant Services; Planify Agency – Business Consultant; Brand It Graphix – Signage; and Brenham National Bank – Business Services.
Cates, Director of Economic Development states, “With 99% of America’s 28.7 million firms being small businesses, it is clear that we should focus economic development efforts on helping these businesses thrive. Business incubation is a tried-and-true model for small business growth with over 900 business incubators across the US. I am excited we are launching our first incubator in Brenham with YellowTruck Market Retail Incubator!” Cates said she hopes this will be the first of several incubators in our county across various industries.
The eight incubator participants in the two-year program are: Company Five, Krafty Inc, Local Honey Bee Company, Pelayo’s Art and Folk, posey roe, The Butter Stick Bakery, The COEO, and Unc B’s Seasonings.
A Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting will be held October 21, 2021, at 10 am at 101 E. Main St. The community is invited to come explore the beautifully curated space, meet the retail participants, and find out more about this joint venture to open Downtown Brenham’s first retail incubator.