Amy and Skip Sturgeon from Monticello, Indiana contacted the Indiana SBDC and met with Hoosier Heartland Region Business Advisor Patrick Moeller February 2019 to begin the process of opening a frozen yogurt shop in Monticello. Amy and Skip immediately displayed their unique “drive’ to make this business idea a reality. After a good initial meeting and using information and tools to assist with writing a business plan, Amy and Skip dug right in to creating this very important document. Their aggressiveness to “make it happen” was evident as they worked their way in a consistent pace through the acquisition of their LLC, and tax enrollment steps, etc. Several Reference USA reports and ESRI demographic marketing reports were developed by the ISBDC and provided to Amy and Skip to enhance their business plan. Regional Director Monty Henderson was brought in to assist with a final review and suggestions.
“The services we received from the Hoosier Heartland Region of the Indiana SBDC were very helpful. We were at the very beginning stages of forming our business when we first met, and the Indiana SBDC offered us important information, data, guidance, and answers to our many questions. They are a tremendous resource, and their experience was and is of great value. Furthermore, we really appreciate the follow up emails over the past year and a half. It was a long and frustrating process to open Skipper’s, but we have learned so much and appreciate the check-ins our advisor Patrick and the Hoosier Heartland Region of the Indiana SBDC have faithfully sent to us” wrote the Sturgeon’s.
In April 2019 Amy and Skip closed on an SBA loan through Huntington Bank and they were on their way to creating a fun place for families to enjoy frozen treats in an area that is flush with tourists. Unfortunately, some legal planning issues with their building turned into a lengthy and costly delay to renovate and open their new shop during the peak summer season, but in October 2019 Skippers Frozen Yogurt held their Grand Opening. Just a few months later, Indiana Beach Amusement Park, this small town’s biggest source of entertainment and a local economic engine was shuttered on February 18. If that was not enough, Covid-19 struck Indiana in Mid-March of 2020.
Amy writes “Skipper’s had seen increased sales each month up until the virus hit. We had only been open five months, and were looking forward to the spring and summer months, but had to close during March, April, and part of May. Receiving the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program loan was instrumental in being able to reopen our business, increase safety measures, and become more take-out friendly.” Fortunately, local leaders and economic development officials were able to locate a buyer for the venerable amusement park and the hub of White County tourism has returned as a significant factor. The Sturgeon’s are again seeing promising growth. The nautical-themed ice cream shop in Monticello is a fun place to bring family and friends. With a large variety of flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, and sorbet; over 65 toppings and syrups; and smoothies, shakes, and malts which can all be customized, everyone is sure to be pleased. The perseverance Amy and Skip Sturgeon has displayed over the last 17 months has paid off, as “Skipper’s” is open and doing well.
For more information about Skipper’s Frozen Yogurt visit their website.