Success Story, Illinois SBDC –
Josh Coclasure and Sammie Williams have been friends since childhood. They have always talked about starting a business together and finally had the chance to put their idea for bar and restaurant draft line cleaning services to the test in the Metro East Start-Up Challenge (MESC).
In 2017, Coclasure and Williams won first place in the MESC for Pint Perfect and received start-up money from local sponsors, in-kind services, mentors and more. With that support and momentum, they have been moving along in starting their venture.
The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) introduced the competition in 2014. The Start-Up Challenge engages multiple sponsors and business professional mentors each year for entrepreneurs to assess how their business plans stack up.
“Things have been going great for us with the help and support of SBDC Director Jo Ann (DiMaggio) May,” Coclasure stated. “The service and resources from winning the MESC have been wonderful. We cannot thank the companies that provided their in-kind services enough. This has truly taken us a long way in the process of starting our business.”
“Jo Ann is always there to push us to keep moving forward with our plans and networking us with an attorney, financial referrals and possible investors,” Williams said. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without the help of Jo Ann, she has been the best help from the start.”
Coclasure and Williams registered for a class through Micro Matic. It is an intensive draft line system class to become certified in the process, equipment and more. While the certification is not required, they want to improve individually and position their company as an industry leader. The certification will provide a competitive advantage over other businesses in the field.
Pint Perfect keeps receiving positive feedback for their cleaning services or drink consultation ideas from bar owners and distributors. They are constantly growing their potential client list.
Bar and restaurant owners, and beer distributors realize there is a need for this service. Routine draft line cleaning is often neglected, so it is convenient and beneficial for businesses to use Pint Perfect’s services. Most consumers do not know this service is needed in bars and restaurants. Pint Perfect also wants to educate the community that they should care about this issue. They can demonstrate dirty draft line pictures as proof.
Lack of cleanliness in the lines affects beer taste and the quality. Owners sometimes forget about cleaning draft lines or do not clean them as efficiently as they should. That is one of the reasons Coclasure and Williams offer their services and expertise. They want to raise standards for everyone – consumers, business owners, distributors and manufacturers.
They hope people eventually will recognize the “Pint Perfect Certified” sticker in a business’ window and think, “I am going here, because I know they are efficient with cleaning and accountable for quality products.”
Coclasure says, “Right now, we are putting hard work into growing what we will have.” Williams mentioned that the synergy between the two friends will benefit the business overall. While Williams has worked in the alcohol/bar industry for many years, Coclasure knows the structural side.
The SBDC is excited to see where Pint Perfect goes. “It has been a wonderful journey to be part of and an honor supporting Josh and Sammie,” DiMaggio May said. “These two friends are passionate, hardworking and eager to share their services. Pint Perfect will be a true success, because of the time and effort these young men have invested. I am just happy to be a little part of their story.”
Pint Perfect is expected to officially begin offering their services and expertise in the near future. Pint Perfect can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information, visit pintperfectbeer.com.
For more information on the Metro East Start-Up Challenge, visit siue.edu/metroeaststartup.
The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East assists start-up ventures like Pint Perfect as well as existing businesses headquartered in the nine-county region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE as a service to Illinois small businesses.
By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the Metro East by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining new jobs and encouraging new investment. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.
To learn more about the IL SBDC for the Metro East at SIUE, visit siue.edu/business/sbdc.