Newsletter for February 5th, 2016

Martin's IGA in Newton

If you have never had the pleasure of meeting the owner’s of Martin’s IGA in Newton we encourage you to take the time. We met with one of the owners today, Todd Martin. Todd is a great guy to visit with and has a vast knowledge and experience with hometown grocery stores. On Tuesday, we sat in the dining area of Martin’s IGA in Newton and enjoyed discussing with Todd the importance of balancing family and work, making hard business decisions based on priorities, and the reality that debt is part of business. Since 2012 the Martin family has been involved with the Newton store. Todd shared with us that he had always wanted the opportunity to own the store in Newton because of his love for the community. Other business concepts discussed included respecting and learning from competition and the challenges of managing people. Todd left us with this morsel, “In business you must persevere, but don’t be so set in your own ways that you don’t progress.”

Arndts in Newton

If you were a kid that grew up in Jasper County or the surrounding area when someone says, “Arndts” your mind immediately flashes to memories of the smells, tastes, and sounds of that store. It is beyond authentic! On Wednesday we met with Tony Arndt, third generation owner of the company. Tony’s grandfather started the business in 1913 as grocery store on east side of square. Today, Arndts is most widely known for their fudge and Amish goods. The fudge business started in the early 1990’s and has dramatically taken off since. Last year Arndts made over 20 tons of fudge! During our visit we discussed Tony’s upcoming retirement and the importance of the years of planning prior to retirement where he emphasized having a balance in your life of work, family, and hobbies during your entire career. We also discussed having plans so if something happens to your business partners, corporate versus private accounts, mark up, freight, labeling and packaging. Tony was also very generous in bringing out some old artifacts from his grandfather’s years as store owner and of course, what would a trip to Arndts be without their delicious fudge? Anybody looking for a good Valentine gift? Jasper CEO would highly recommend stopping in at Arndts!

Joe's Italian Foods in Newton

Jasper CEO had its last business visit of the week at Joes Italian Foods in Newton with owner, Jill Cucinella. Not only did we learn more about their family owned restaurant we also came for a lesson in dining etiquette. During the CEO experience, students are given several opportunities to dine with business professionals in a semi-formal atmosphere. Knowing that also in college and their career life, formal dinners are for certain, this is one skill we are sure to give our students. We discussed everything about formal dining from business etiquette to appropriate dress, the importance of introductions, how to order, what to eat, common eating and drinking courtesies, appropriate tipping, and proper dinner conversation. The students felt like this was another very beneficial day with skills they will use for their lifetime! Anyone looking to take someone special out for the Valentine’s weekend? Jasper CEO would definitely put Joes in Newton at the top of our list for great food and a beautiful ambiance!

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