When Donna Stevenson and her son Don and daughter Lynn decided they wanted to purchase the White Horse Café in their hometown of Rockville, IN, they realized they needed some business advice and reached out to their local Bank, Old National, who referred them to the West Central Indiana SBDC. They had never operated their own business and did not have any restaurant experience.
The proposed transaction was somewhat complicated since it involved the exchange of property owned by the Stevensons. ISBDC Business Advisor Richard Pittelkow worked with them to obtain the required historical financial records for the café and advised them on the due diligence that needed to be performed. The records available were not very detailed which made the task of due diligence all that more difficult. A conference call was held with the seller to work out the business details of a comprehensive purchase agreement.
Seller financing was obtained for 24% of the purchase price and the sale was consummated in early October 2010, just in time for the increased volume of business during the annual Covered Bridge Festival in Parke County.
Some menu items have been changed, facility improvements completed, employees trained in the way the Stevensons wanted to operate the café, and business volume has steadily increased.
“The SBDC was instrumental to our successfully completing the purchase of the café,” said Don Stevenson. “The advice and counsel they provided was invaluable, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to help our business become even more successful in the future.”