Abbe Turner’s hopeful voice echoed off the bare white walls of her future. Standing in an empty building, Turner confidently laid out her designs to convert the old Portage County Labor Temple in Kent into a cheese and candy factory. Turner and her husband, Anderson, who is the director of galleries for Kent State University’s School of Art, began careful planning at their Garrettsville farm two years ago to open the Lucky Penny Creamery and begin producing small batches of handmade candy and cheeses.
Last week, two years later, the couple stood in an empty, graffiti-tagged building in Kent on the dead-end Temple Avenue off Lake Street, where they imagined sun-lit office space, climate-controlled processing rooms and a small corner dedicated to on-site retail sales. “We’re hoping that fortune rewards the bold,” Abbe Turner said. But the couple are not so bold as to forego traditional business planning.
They are getting help from the Akron SCORE office, which is a counseling partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Turners also are working locally with the Kent Regional Business Allliance, and Kent-based architect Rick Hawksley is designing the renovations planned for the 6,000-square-foot building on 1.5 acres at 632 Temple Ave. Todd Packer, a small-business advisor for KRBA, has been working with the Turners since December on a range of topics from marketing to logistics management. “In our experience, the business success is very much tied to the commitment to doing business planning,” Packer said. And for the Turners, planning begins with a single hay seed.
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by Matt Fredmonsky, The Record Courier