The Bold Goat Brings Energy to Fairfield
After many months of planning, working and testing, those living in and around Fairfield are now able to get an extra pep in their step with a coffee or smoothie from the newly opened coffee shop, The Bold Goat.
Located on Main Street, The Bold Goat sits next to Iconik Studios and has been designed and decorated to reflect an industrial-meets-comforts of home setting. From the cozy and inviting tables and booths to the many available outlets for charging, the feeling of comfort and convenience is portrayed in every detail.
Nearly a year and a half of planning, purchasing, obsessing and research has resulted in an intricately designed coffee shop made from the heart and soul of owner, Jaimie Ford.
Ford, who is also the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Iconik Studios and a part-time instructor at Frontier College, had the urge to create and develop something new but struggled to find the what and why.
“Digging into the coffee aspect became clear to me,” Ford said. “It gives people a commonality. Everyone can find a coffee, tea or smoothie they can enjoy.”
Ford spent many years located in South Carolina and has been able to utilize her experiences there to create the new space in Fairfield.
“Coming back to the Midwest, you see the same things over and over and we don’t have a place to gather, a place to create… a place to have a conversation,” said Ford. “I wanted to create a place that you could unplug from your office and you have a clean space to work, a space to enjoy. A place to meet and collaborate. I saw a need and this became a passion project.”
There is not a single inch of the business that Ford hasn’t touched. Every decision was made with care, including the tables, which she built by hand with a friend. She took extra care when choosing the products for The Bold Goat.
“When I started digging into the coffee business, it was more complex than I could have imagined. I missed the elephant in the room and that is where the coffee is sourced from,” Ford said. “Everyone said the same thing, which was they could get me the lowest price. I had to ask where it was coming from, if they knew their farmers and growers. I found one that said yes. When people ask where our product comes from, we can talk about it.”
Ford reached out to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southeastern Illinois College early in the process and utilized services in research, marketing, and business plan writing.
“If you are opening a small business, reach out to the Small Business Development Center,” Ford said, “Their services are free. They just want to see you successfully open your business and will help you with everything along the way.”
When it comes to starting a business, Ford has some advice on how to get started off on the right foot and with good support.
“Get a team. Get an accountant, get an attorney who can advise on a succession plan, get an SBDC partner – they are free and essential, and have friends that support you and your crazy idea,” Ford said. “Assemble a great strategy for hiring. When it comes to hiring for the first time, you have to know what you want. Hire character and you can teach the rest. And finally, community partnerships. Be nice to people, support other businesses, and find ways to partner with other businesses and support one another.”
The Workforce & Illinois Small Business Development Center is designed to assist owners and managers of small businesses as well as anyone wanting to start a business in the area. Most of their services are available at no charge. For more information about the WISBDC and their services call 618-252-5400 ext. 2312 or find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Written by Arla Murphy
Sent on behalf of the WISBDC at SIC