YellowTruck Market, Brenham’s First Retail Incubator Approaches One Year Anniversary
As the one-year mark approaches since the collaboration of a local retail incubator in Downtown Brenham, celebration of our entrepreneurs may be warranted. In July 2021, Brenham | Washington County Economic Development and Main Street Brenham began partnering with YellowTruck LLC owner Tiffany McMordie-Morisak to design and develop a retail incubator for local small businesses. From this collaboration, YellowTruck Market Incubator was launched to provide training, networking, mentoring, and hands-on experience to retail entrepreneurs, assisting each with successful business launch.
YellowTruck Market (YTM) opened in October with seven creative and unique participant businesses. The inaugural cohort for the retail incubator program included: Company Five, Krafty Inc, Local HoneyBee Company, Pelayo's Art & Folk, posey roe, The Butter Stick Bakery, and The COEO.
The two-year incubator program is designed to give entrepreneurs a firm foundation in operating a business but recognizes there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for entrepreneurship. Therefore, early exit options were built into the program from its inception. A participant’s launch may be opening their own brick and mortar location, creating an online store, moving towards wholesale/ distribution, etc. The YTM team is proud to announce that three participants have decided to launch their businesses after only six months in the incubator.
The Local Honey Bee Company determined a physical store location was not the best fit for their business. Owners, Jeff and Sandi Kreider, connected with Brenham company, Planify Agency, a digital marketing agency for small businesses, when Planify CEO Casey Cease led one of the incubator’s training sessions. The Kreiders worked with Planify to design and launch an optimized shopping website for their products. “Jeff and I truly appreciate all the support and inspiration we have received while we have been involved with this program. We have learned so much in such a very short time and feel these lessons will greatly be to our advantage moving forward,” owner Sandi Kreider said, “I can honestly say that I have learned something from every one of my fellow participants. Thank you!”
“Working with Jeff and Sandi on the new Local Honey Bee Company website was a pleasure,” commented Dave Forman with Planify Agency. “I was immediately intrigued by their creative uses for all things bee! After the new site was live, the Kreider's were able to immediately expand their product offerings to existing in-person customers.” Customers who found their products in YTM will be pleased they can now shop online at https://LocalHoneyBeeCompany.com
Kelli Williams, owner of posey roe, offers a variety of products she makes or curates from artists around the world. She is excited to launch a brick-and-mortar retail location in Downtown Brenham as having a storefront has always been Kelli’s business goal. Although she originally looked to Round Top for a storefront to rent, Kelli commented “Participating in the incubator allowed me to make connections and fall more in love with this town than I ever thought possible! I loved being surrounded by like-minded business owners and the continuing education the incubator offered. You can’t put a price on this opportunity!”
The incubator program will continue to support Kelli as she transitions from YTM and into her physical location at 218 East Main Street. Customers who fell in love with posey roe’s unique style will be excited to shop Kelli’s expanded merchandise line when her store opens in April. You can also follow @poseyroe on Instagram.
The Butter Stick Bakery’s owner and Brenham High School grad, Stephanie Dobos provided Brenham with custom cookies and cakes for years before accepting the opportunity to participate in the incubator. Stephanie decided a wholesale approach to her delicious baked goods and more experience in a professional bakery was best for her business. Stephanie has accepted an offer to be the Head Chef at a Katy-area bakery to hone the key skills it takes to own and operate a bakery.
Stephanie offered her appreciation of the program saying, “It has been a great experience and I have really enjoyed the opportunity to get to participate and have learned a lot from [the incubator] and the other participants.” While customers will not find Butter Stick products in YTM after the first of April, Stephanie continues to take special orders with local delivery options from her Facebook page https://facebook.com/thebutterstickbakerytx and has some partnerships in the works for local retail outlets of her products.
YTM continues to flourish with four talented retailers: The COEO, Pelayo’s Art & Folk, Company Five, and Krafty Inc. Just in time for Spring events in Brenham, YTM is getting a fresh update in the store and everyone is invited and encouraged to come check it out. Incubator participants continue working through the program to develop the skills needed to launch their business when they know they can be successful. Brenham |Washington County Economic Development and Main Street Brenham celebrate all our community’s entrepreneurs!
Store hours are Monday – Saturday 10 am – 6 pm and Sunday 11 am – 3 pm. You can follow YellowTruck Market at https://facebook.com/yellowtruckmarket.