GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – (KREX) COVID-19 put many Colorado businesses and residents out of work, but on the Western Slope, several local entrepreneurs used downtime during the pandemic to try their hand at a new business.
Sarah Wood, the founder of Grand Jun Beverages, while living in North Carolina she worked in several fields, but has always had a passion for manufacturing. “Moving from one type of manufacturing to food manufacturing was another challenge, I’ve never worked in food, but it felt like the right move,” Sarah Wood, Grand Jun Beverages said, “When you start going down a path and doors start opening and the flow starts happening, sometimes you just have to hold on and kind of keep going.”
“Whatever manufacturing space that becomes available is quickly, quickly snapped up,” Julie Morey, Small Business Development Center said, “Our Business Incubation program is an application process and that is the one type of space that we seem to always have a waiting list.”
Grand Jun Beverages and Air Freshener Marketing both started in the summer, and business has been good.
Aden Cesmat not only founded Air Freshener Marketing, but also started his business after finishing the entrepreneur program at Colorado Mesa University. “We love local, because we wouldn’t be here if today if it wasn’t for local,” Aden Cesmat, Air Freshener Marketing said. “It’s not about the type of business, it was not about lets build a manufacturing business, lets build a tech company, its what’s a unique way we can serve our customers,” Cesmat explains.
Starting a business during the pandemic can be challenging but these two manufacturing business owners didn’t let that stop them from turning their dreams into reality. “We were at a good time to give it a test, and this has been an incredible year to test, with the hopes that those opportunities continue to grow,” Wood says, “We’ve had some really good luck with the local community supporting a local business.”