MUSCATINE, Iowa – What started out in a food trailer selling smoothies and juices at various local businesses and events has found that the road less traveled still leads right to their doorstep. The Butchers Vegetables, a culinary adventure of Teresa Butcher and Alleyea Alberhasky, is moving from their mobile food trailer to a storefront at 839 Park Avenue with the help of a $25,000 small business forgivable loan from the City of Muscatine.
“We are not giving up the trailer,” Alberhasky said. “We still plan to be at several events during the year but this is the next step for us.”
The lack of a vegetarian cuisine in Muscatine prompted Butcher, who owns a hair salon (Park Avenue Style) and one of her stylist, Alberhasky, to move from discussions of healthy food options between appointments to open a business serving smoothies and pressed juices out of a trailer last summer. Sandwiches and soups were added to the menu in the fall.
An enhanced menu and the ability to serve more people are also important parts of their business strategy.
“We want to bring healthier options to our community,” Butcher said. “We work closely with a lot of the Farmers Market people on getting all local produce. We will still do that as much as possible.”
Alberhasky is looking forward to the challenge of a storefront establishment.
“We are planning to open the first full week of June,” Alberhasky said. “We want people to come in and sample what we have on the menu. Taste it, see if you like it, and go from there. We want people to come in and sample everything.”
The business already has a web site (www.thebutchersvegetables.com) that provides a preview of what will be on their menu including waffles, muffins, bagels, smoothies, omelets, and egg sandwiches on the breakfast menu and soups, sandwiches, tacos, and a quesadilla that you just have to experience.
People of all ages interested in whole foods, health, and wellness can look forward to an exceptional experience in vegetarian cuisine at Butchers Vegetables.
“Just come out and give us a try and try our samples,” Alberhasky said. “We know you are going to like it.”
The purpose of the City of Muscatine Small Business Forgivable Loan Program is to promote the establishment of new businesses and the redevelopment of existing businesses in targeted areas throughout Muscatine by offering forgivable loans. Businesses can obtain a five-year loan of up to $25,000 with 20 percent of the original loan forgiven annually on the anniversary date of the businesses receiving the original loan ($15,000 maximum for startup costs and $10,000 maximum for code compliance).
The Small Business Forgivable Loan program offers help to pay for building improvements and startup costs associated with the creation of a new business or to existing businesses significantly expanding into a new market, product, or service.
“We have had a lot of success stories come out of this program,” Adam Thompson, planning and community development coordinator said. “We encourage prospective business owners to look into this program.”
For more information on the program, visit http://www.muscatineiowa.gov/923/Small-Business-Forgivable-Loan-Program.