America’s SBDC Blog

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SBDC Success Story: Washington

January 8, 2014

State: Washington
Center: Vancouver SBDC
Client Name: Natalie Fairchild

Just five years after creating Pacific Perks, a “personal cafe” start-up, Jim and Natalie Fairchild are in the enviable position of owning a business that isn’t just sustainable, but scalable. Ask her where she wants to be in five years and Natalie says she is of two minds: build an empire or maintain a life-work balance?

A goal of $1 million in revenues is not unrealistic, she said, depending on how hard they want to work. That’s a fair question, especially since Jim was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 and left his high-powered job in sports marketing in 2007 so that he could achieve a healthier lifestyle.

They started with one espresso cart and a business plan that promised clients a personal barista to make coffee drinks for two hours for $300, with no drink limits and no extra charges. They’ve grown to six carts and can now provide mobile service for omelets, smoothies, quesadillas and ice cream sundaes, in addition to the espresso service. (more…)