A serial restaurant entrepreneur in Cody has earned the 2017 Small Business “Spirit of Wyoming” Award from the Wyoming Small Business Administration.
Jesse Renfors, president of Cody Coffee Roaster, has more than 20 years of experience in the food industry, from managing a family-owned grocery to a fine dining restaurant and owning a successful coffee shop.
Cody Coffee Roaster began in 2014 inside a 1970s-era camper trailer. Using a three-pound peanut roaster, Renfors started supplying beans to retailers through his website. Sales increased dramatically in 2015, so Rensfors initiated a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to turn a teardrop trailer into a mobile espresso bar.
Cody Coffee’s growth continued to accelerate in 2016, prompting Renfors to move into a brick-and-mortar location.
Today, Cody Coffee serves wholesale account, provides catering and operates a restaurant and coffeehouse. The company employs 10 people.
Along the way, the Wyoming Small Business Development Network helped Renfors analyze and redesign his website to accommodate demand.
“The detailed report provided suggestions for better organization, search engine optimization and all things in between,” Renfors said. “We have seen the website improve and become a major presence in the online, small-batch coffee world.”
The Small Business Development Network is a partner organization of the Wyoming Business Council, the state’s economic development agency.
Renfors is also a member of Made in Wyoming, a Business Council program designed to create brand awareness for local products.
About 90 percent of Wyoming’s 34,000 businesses employ fewer than 20 people. Helping small firms like Hostetler’s gain a handful of jobs through programs like the SBIR/STTR Initiative has a magnified effect on the state’s economy.
State resources like the Business Development Center, Manufacturing-Works and the Business Council can help others like Wait create business plans, secure loans for expansion, learn to export, operate leaner and nimbler and add jobs.
This National Small Business Week, we celebrate the partnerships like these that help Wyoming’s economy grow. For more information, visit wyomingbusiness.org.