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BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES

The French Press

When business partners Pat and Kris first started working together, they both had an idea to run a bakery/café/catering company and finally decided to go for it in February 2014. The French Press Café in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, specializes in unique, made-from-scratch menu choices using only the freshest ingredients. They are a restaurant, bakery, deli and catering service.

Patricia French graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor's of Science degree in medical technology. She also obtained her two-year post graduate certificate in clinical perfusion from the University of Nebraska. Pat worked 13 years as a medical technologist and 20 years in the operating room, but was finally ready to try something else.

Her business partner, Kris, has a high school diploma and one year of college. She has been in the catering business for ten years part time, and 15 years in lumber sales. With a background in sales and catering business, Kris was ready to start something new as well.

The two ladies excepted help from a variety of outlets, including reading lots of books on writing business plans and taking a business plan writing course through Western Dairyland. They also attended the Women's Business Conference in 2014 and made valuable contacts through the event. With a business plan written up and intact, Pat and Kris decided it was time to use counseling at Western Dairyland to polish the plan and ask about funding and proper permits. With help from the Business and Job Center at Western Dairyland, Pat and Kris were able to open the French Press in February of 2014.

The French Press has gained success by word of mouth and the products that they produce. The two women felt there was a niche in Eau Claire for quality bakery and café breakfast, and there was. With little advertising, the business has been able to strive and become a success simply through word-of-mouth and satisfied customers. Working with some of the "best staff around town," the employees they hired have also taken ownership in what the French Press produces.

Pat concluded with: "Kris and I have become great friends and we demonstrate every day to each other that we always have each other's back.  We can put no value of having a strong business partnership.

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