Rookery owner Travis Smith know the importance of working with the Alaska Small Business Development Center through all stages of the business life cycle. Smith first came to the SBDC in Juneau in 2010. He was looking into purchasing an existing café but had a few questions first. After researching several options and consulting with Juneau SBDC Advisor Ian Grant, Smith decided to go ahead with the purchase of Valentines Coffee House and reopen it as The Rookery. Smith worked with Grant using tools such as ProfitCents to determine the financial health of the business before the purchase and to create a strategy that would position The Rookery for success from the beginning.
After moving from the “think” stage to the “launch” stage, Smith met with Grant to review the financial decisions which resulted in their ability to finance equipment and upgrades for the café with profits from the business and without having to take on any loans.
“The SBDC’s insight at the inception of our business allowed us to move forward quickly and with confidence in the planning phase” Smith says. “Throughout our first year they have also been on hand when we have needed assistance, whether it was words of advice or to handle financial planning matters. As a small business owner I plan to continue using their expertise as our business grows”.
Four years later, The Rookery has graduated into the “grow” stage of business, with 32 employees, an expanded menu and a great reputation in the community. Smith has also opened Panhandle Provisions, a deli and specialty grocery store. Smith and Grant meet from time to time as they revise the business plan to account for the growth the business has seen and to make sure the financial projections are accurate.
The Rookery can be found online at www.therookerycafe.com or you can visit them in person Monday through Saturday at 111 Seward Street in Juneau, Alaska.