Financing at the Opportune Time: Klun Law and Taste of Ely

In 2010, Kelly Klun, owner of Klun Law in Ely, had the opportunity to purchase a building that was once her grandfather’s grocery store. She had always wanted to run another business, so she partnered with a friend with the goal of opening a café – though she knew, as she puts it, “The restaurant business is not easy.”

How can an experienced entrepreneur finance and successfully build a business in a challenging new industry?

Banks typically do not provide startups with equipment loans and operating capital, but the Entrepreneur Fund does. “It’s a huge service to our area,” says Klun. She obtained financing and business coaching from the Entrepreneur Fund and opened the Taste of Ely. The growth for both the café and her law firm includes three foundational pillars:

  • Develop a stable team, strong management and reliable systems
  • Partner with people and organizations with complementary skill sets and resources
  • Grow steadily, not outpacing your capacity to deliver

Klun Law is thriving, having grown from two attorneys to four and the Taste of Ely is also on a growth path. Klun is enthusiastic about the prospects of both ventures. “The Entrepreneur Fund is great because not only do they offer financing that traditional banks won’t, they ‘grow with you’ as you grow your business.”

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In 2003, Mary Ann Olson purchased Cabinet Corner & Home Center. The Entrepreneur Fund partnered with her bank to provide acquisition funding. Later, during the recession, Olson kept the business solvent – her mantra is “I did not buy this business to fail”...