Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Bowled over

A number of people attended the Kennel Grand Opening whom we'd never met before - mostly fellow members of the Berthoud Chamber of Commerce.

A few days later one of those folks contacted us and explained that he was also active in the Mead Chamber of Commerce. Mead is the TINY little town behind our place. (read, 3 streets, one stop sign. Or there abouts) I guess we're actually closer to Mead than Berthoud. But other than Dave having gone over there to the agricultural co-op to get tractor diesel, none of us had really been aware of the town. Which really, is very foolish of us who are trying to make a couple of businesses from our local kid and dog population.

He was calling because the Mead Chamber is organizing the first ever Sugar Beet festival this fall, and he was wondering if we'd be willing to bring some horses and offer pony rides in exchange for a free booth. Well, yeah - we probably would.

And remember our first introduction to Sugar Beets? I guess Weld County is one of, if not THE, largest sugar beet producers in the country.

And so it began. Miguel, it turns out, is not just active in the Mead Chamber but is one of the founding members who got the thing off the ground just over a year ago. He's been not only aggressively recruiting us, but he's also been aggressively promoting our business to the Mead Community.

He invited us to the annual Chamber dinner, where we discovered that a number of folks we'd met through our riding program were also members. At that dinner, he asked if they could get 150 of our dog-bone-tied-magnetic-business-cards to stuff into their new home welcome packets. We'd about wore ourselve out tying all those bones for grand opening, but how could we decline? So we got all the bones together, but on the weekend they needed them we had another engagement so we offered to deliver them on Monday. "No Worries," he said, "leave them on the porch and I'll pick them up." Okay.

Not 4 hours later he called back to say that that day the chamber was running a booth to collect donations for two different charities in town (it was Mead Spring Cleanup Days). And, well, since he had this big box of bones sitting right there and the majority of people stopping by the booth had dogs with them, they decided to just start handing them out! And furthermore, most of those folks hadn't heard of our kennel so this was a really big exposure for us. Once again, we were speachless at his generosity.

"So, we're going to need more bones for our packets." *sigh* I think that box of dog bones and stack of business cards are going to become a permanent fixture on the coffee table.

I went to their membership meeting this month - 7:45 AM on Wednesday? Odd time, but it works for me where as Ginger and Dave already have their hands full of dogs by then. Pretty big turn out, I thought, and they asked me to give an introduction about both SPR and HTDR. It's fantastic to be getting the attention, but it's a little diorienting. Like getting tackled from behind.

In May they are holding a classic car show, their third year to do so, and looks like we'll be out there with a table. Ginger will be at home giving lessons, so if we have any boarding dogs that weekend it will be me and Dave trading off table duty for dog duty. Its becoming increasingly obvious (course, when was it NOT?!) that we absolutly could not have taken on this project without all three of us. I know we're doing more than what most people on the doggie daycare forum do, but I'm totally flabergasted how so many of them manage to start a DDC on their own!



Blogger Phyllis Swenson said...

Wow, sounds fantastic! You guys are going to get more business than you can handle!! Cound be worse eh? Can't wait to come see you next week.

4/20/06, 8:06 AM  

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