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Thursday, March 27, 2014, TLC’s Family Kitchen was recognized as a 2014 Success Award Winner by the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network in the annual Success Award program for small business success. The Arizona Small Business Development Center Network is Arizona’s largest and most accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses in every stage of development. Each year the Network highlights and honors some of Arizona’s brightest small business successes for the vital role that they play in our state’s economy. TLC’s Family Kitchen worked with the Northland Pioneer College Small Business Development Center to achieve a higher level of success. Read their story below:

Tim and Laurie Sykes have worked for many years in the restaurant industry. Tim had always wanted to open his own restaurant but it was only a dream because he could never come up with the money needed. After Tim married Laurie and their combined family grew to consist of yours, mine and ours, the share vision seemed even more out of reach. That was until Tim came up with the idea of “selling tables” to investors! The investors would receive 20% of the income from the table for the first year – a very creative and original version of “crowd funding”. This would allow family and friends to join them on their journey to success.

The Sykes identified ten investors who agreed to sponsor tables in TLC’s Family Kitchen. Not only did the Sykes create their own crowdfunding, but they also establishing a very loyal customer base. This concept was so successful; the investor’s didn’t have to wait a full year to receive their dividends. Within 2.5 months all ten investors had a return of their investment.

“The Northland Pioneer College SBDC was a critical partner in our venture. We found information at the library about the SBDC and called Northland Pioneer College. Rich Chanick was so responsive; he even traveled the hour to meet us at the St. Johns Northland Pioneer College location. We believed in “us” but were intimated by all of the business aspects including structure, taxes and record keeping involved in starting a business. Chanick was reassuring and walked us through all of the areas we were unsure. The Northland Pioneer College SBDC became a valuable resource for our venture. We were able to create a business plan that would guide us and help us succeed. The SBDC assisted us with everything from learning tasks such as bookkeeping through a Quick Books class to developing our overall business strategy. They offered so much information and support. This is a great government program that truly impacts people. We made with the support from the SBDC, and they continues to guide and support us today as we continue to grow,” Sykes exclaims.

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