Robin Peebles, a graduate of Moraine Park Technical College’s Cosmetology Program, knew it was time for a change. Upon graduation, she looked forward to starting her new career and accepted employment with a small salon in Oshkosh. After gaining experience over the next seven years in different salons, decided renting a booth would be the logical next step but it didn’t take her long to begin thinking about starting her own business.
Becoming an entrepreneur would allow her to create an atmosphere for her clients to “achieve a state of bliss while visiting the salon” and would definitely provide an opportunity to achieve financial success, while becoming more independent.
“I had the skills and ambition to make the dream a reality but soon learned there were things I needed help with. Immediately, I needed help with writing a business plan and spent quite a bit of money hiring someone”. After her initial investment and her business plan in place, Robin opened the doors to Euphoria, Inc. an Aveda concept salon specializing in hair and makeup services.
As she became more invested in her business, Robin soon realized there were additional skills that she would need such as payroll, how to prepare accounting and tax reports, and determining effective marketing strategies. Through a great deal of hard work, Euphoria, Inc. has been a success but Robin cautions those who are thinking of making the leap to entrepreneurship.
“I am happy I made the decision to open my own business; however, it has not been an easy task. Owning a business is more than having the skills associated with the trade. You need to have business skills and constant problem solving to achieve solutions”.
If you are considering your own business, Moraine Park Technical College offers a certificate program and associate degree program to enhance your existing skillset. The programs provide new and existing entrepreneurs hands-on training in the areas of business planning, financing, marketing, customer service, financial management and business communications.
Jeff Stueber, Business Management Instructor at Moraine Park Technical College comments, “An entrepreneur is a doer, not just a dreamer. It takes a lot of hard work and passion. Robin demonstrates that in her pursuit of her salon while voicing some of the obstacles that might get in the way. That is where a class or certificate might come in handy. Entrepreneurs are vital to our economy and they account for 28.8 million businesses in the United States according to the SBA. The interesting part is we still need more. Imagine what our down town districts would look like without small business.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Small Business Entrepreneurship associate degree or Entrepreneurship Certificate, please contact an academic advisor to get started on your new career pathway!
- Julie Bosveld, 920-924-6325 email@example.com (Fond du Lac campus)
- Laurie Kuehn, 920-887-4457 firstname.lastname@example.org (Beaver Dam campus)
- Robin Kranz, 262-335-5877 email@example.com (West Bend Campus)
To learn more about Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.
When it comes to fun, new restaurants Moraine Park alumna, Allison Gossman, has topped the list. Allison is one of the masterminds behind Fond du Lac’s deliciously unique restaurant, The Sweet & Salty Pig.
As a 2004 graduate of Moraine Park’s culinary program, she is no stranger to the inner workings of the food business. Allison spent 13 years working as a cook at local eateries, a large majority of that time at Backyard Grill & Bar.
Just how did The Sweet & Salty Pig come to be? After her father, a believer in Allison’s talents and drive passed away from an aggressive form of kidney cancer, she decided to join forces with her good friend Janis (also a Backyard employee) and tackle the challenge of restaurant ownership. Together they embraced the opportunity and began brainstorming ideas for a new restaurant.
“I have always loved baking, I knew I wanted to incorporate baked goods somehow, that’s where the ‘sweet’ comes in,” said Allison. “As we were developing the rest of the menu, we noticed that there was a lot of bacon and pork incorporated in our ideas, and that is how The Sweet & Salty Pig was born.”
And, who doesn’t love bacon?
The Sweet & Salty Pig officially opened its doors on February 28, 2018, and when I walked in the doors on May 23 at 2:00 p.m. to meet with Allison, there were very few empty tables.
“It’s been going great,” said Allison.
Not only did it look like it was going great- it smelled like it was going great!
Allison speaks fondly of her time at Moraine Park, her instructors, and everything that she has learned along the way. Her advice to those interested in pursuing a culinary career?
“Have an open mind of where your degree can take you,” she said. “I thought I wanted to be a full-time baker, but after trying new things, I learned that I loved all areas. Have an open mind and don’t limit yourself.”
The fully-stocked bakery case is proof that the “sweet” is a huge part of the business model. She does get the opportunity to bake now and then, but with her other responsibilities, she is learning to delegate tasks as needed.
“I recently hired a baker and she is amazing,” Allison said. “Everything from the waffles, biscuits, and croissants, to the desserts, are all hand-made from scratch, and they’re delicious.”
So, what’s next?
An open house, debuting a new, expanded menu! Allison states that they did a soft launch and then an official open, but never did a ‘grand opening’ event. The open house will take place on June 2, and the new menu will debut some customer requests, as well as new unique items.
As for further down the road, she has her eye on big plans for her sweet & salty business.
“My first step is to incorporate some outdoor seating. I’m working on plans for that now,” said Allison. “Further down the road, I’d love to look into expanding altogether.”
And, just what is her favorite part of owning this unique haven?
“I love coming up with neat ideas to incorporate into the menu, and sampling the creations,” she said.
You can plan to see her at the Fond du Lac farmers markets this summer, looking for fresh produce to use on her menu items, which she plans to update frequently.
“People like to try new food, and I like to make new food!” she said.
And, as if she isn’t busy enough, Allison is also working towards earning her Bachelor’s degree, raising her 8-year old son, and planning a wedding for some time in the future, date TBD.
It’s very evident that she is enjoying her time as a new business owner and grateful for her Moraine Park education and the community support. However, she is also proud to have built a living legacy for her Dad.
“He rode his bike everywhere, which is why I have bike décor, it’s a small reminder of him,” said Allison. “He would have loved this place.”
The next time you stop in, look around and you’ll find lots of treasures, mementos, and items honoring their “sweet & salty” roots.
And one more tidbit for current students or recent graduates, Allison is hiring! She is in need of line cooks, and currently has 2 Moraine Park graduates on staff! She is truly an alumna who sees the value in Moraine Park’s culinary education, and we are proud to have been a part of her journey!
To learn more about the Sweet & Salty Pig, visit sweetnsaltypig.com.
Are you a Moraine Park Alumni? Interested in sharing your story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Moraine Park programs, visit morainepark.edu/programs.
Don Charleston is the epitome of a Moraine Park success story. He came to the College in 1973 looking for more career opportunities and a better life. At the time, his family was living on his wife’s $4 per hour nursing wage.
Moraine Park alumnus, Mike Wetzel, is best known as the ‘man behind the scenes’ for many of Fond du Lac’s premier events. As the sous chef for Agnesian HealthCare, his unique and high caliber dishes and appetizers have become recognizable across the city.
Just how did he get where he is today?
For many alumni, it’s easy to lose connection with an alma mater. The more time that passes, the larger the disconnect is. At Moraine Park, our goal is to enrich our students so they, in turn, enhance our communities. We want to know where you are now and fill that gap between graduation day and today.
Albert Einstein is known to say, “The only source of knowledge is experience” and there is much experience to gain while preparing for a future career. Students of the medical assistant program develop the skills to take medical histories, record vital signs, prepare patients for examination, collect and prepare laboratory specimens, perform basic laboratory tests, draw blood and instruct patients about medications or special diets. Medical office specialist students perform administrative tasks such as billing and insurance, greeting patients on the phone and in person, handling correspondence, scheduling appointments and updating patient records. At Moraine Park Technical College, students prepare for their upcoming careers outside of the traditional classroom.
Moraine Park Technical College is now accepting nominations for its 2018 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Nominees must hold a one- or two-year technical diploma, an associate degree or an associate of applied science degree from a Moraine Park program. Additional criteria includes demonstrated service and/or support of Moraine Park, the Wisconsin Technical College System and the community at large, as well as distinguishing oneself through a career or civic activity.
If you know of a deserving alumnus, submit your nomination by Friday, January 26, 2018, to morainepark.edu/distinguishedalum.
For more information about the Distinguished Alumnus Award, contact Joan Brezinsky at 920-924-3281 or email@example.com.
In addition to being a busy mother of four, Ashley is enrolled in Moraine Park’s Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse program and anticipates graduating in May of 2019.
Aspiring to become an educated advocate for addiction services in our community, she chose the AODA program and looks forward to working as a counselor after graduation. “Addiction affects millions of people in the United States. When you consider this and the likelihood that I will counsel someone with this disease, I know the AODA program is a great stepping stone for my education and career goals”
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