Climax Jerky: My business support system
Small business owner Brooke Comai talks about the resources that helped drive her business growth.
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Having your own business definitely has a lot of challenges. You have moments where you feel like you’re working all the time, and then you have moments where you’re like, oh, I really enjoy making my own schedule. So the family does work together in this business, constantly. But we also try to have time to be able to go and do what we enjoy.
My name is Brooke Comai. I am the owner of Climax Jerky. We have three locations at Denver International Airport, also downtown Breckenridge, and we do all the farmers markets up here in Summit County.
We have a lot of people that help us with the business. My dad has been a great support for me, since I started in 1999. He’s a financial advisor, so he’s been a real key asset to me.
Even though I was selling roadside, he encouraged me to treat it professionally. And so I would record everything. I would pay sales taxes. I was always created as a business.
My husband Jon joined in 2006, and we grew our wholesale end of the business, the internet end of the business, and the retail end of the business.
The kids came along, and now they’re teenagers, and are really able to help. The kids help us build variety packs, put together stock for all the farmers markets, for DIA, and for Breckenridge. So it’s really a family business now.
Wells Fargo has been a huge asset to helping us grow as a small business. When we opened our kiosks at DIA, we definitely needed triple the product that we had ever had, as well as being able to cover our employee costs. And after working with my CPA and Wells Fargo, we realized that we needed a new line of credit to be able to cover that.
It took a little bit for me to be comfortable with that, because I had always pretty much run things on a cash basis. But sometimes that’s part of how you’re able to grow.
My recommendation for other small business owners is to keep your overhead low. That’s one thing we’ve always tried to do. And that’s allowed us to really be able to sustain for 20 years now.