Growth is almost always top of mind for small business owners. Ambitious and immersed in taking their businesses to the ‘next level’, their focus is locked on increased market share, greater revenues, expanded staffing and, most importantly, higher profits. Sarah Carney, Jack Carney and Nate Carney, the entrepreneurial, Millennial sibling team and founders and owners of Shadrach’s Fiery Furnace Pizza Company, were eager to take Shadrach’s to that “next level.” To make that happen, they turned for assistance to the Florida Small Business Development Center at Seminole State College (FSBDC at SSC), a sub-center of the FSBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF).
Shadrach’s Fiery Furnace began ten years ago as a traveling operation serving wood-fired pizza at music festivals, art festivals, and catering events across the state of Florida. Today, it is much more, having expanded into a brick & mortar restaurant with a fun vibe and a fantastic patio space in Mt. Dora, FL. “We’re a family-run business,” Sarah Carney explained proudly, “we are three siblings devoted to making a great product and serving it to cool people.” “What makes us special is our dedication to quality food and the good people we surround ourselves with,” continued Jack Carney. “The people make the patio and that’s paramount to us,” Nate Carney says, finishing his brother’s sentence. “We are cool people doing hot *&#@!” summarized Sarah, with a smile.
“The FSBDC was recommended to us and what they can do for a business is exactly what I was looking for,” Sarah shared. “I needed tools, I needed resources, and I needed an adult in the room and that is what the SBDC has provided to us.”
“When we started our journey with the FSBDC and its no-cost consulting, we were struggling to build the infrastructure to take the next step in our business,” recalled Jack Carney. “What the counseling from our FSBDC consultant Monica Williams did was help us organize our thoughts, organize our plans and gain the tools we needed to grow into what we are now,” he continued. “The FSBDC was especially instrumental to us through COVID by helping us to access and correctly apply for funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and then for forgiveness of the PPP Loan,” Sarah highlighted.
“We’re finally in the position where we have the opportunity for growth and now have the infrastructure to handle it,” remarked Nate Carney. Jack Carney went on to say that “since we started working with the FSBDC, we have opened our restaurant; we have expanded our mobile operation; we have extended our catering; we have more employees than we’ve ever had; and we’ve got a litany of other opportunities on the horizon.” Best of all, that growth has translated into terrific business results. “We’ve set back-to-back monthly sales records,” Jack reported. “And we’re finally in the black after years of work, for the first time ever.”
“If I had to describe the FSBDC in one word it would be ‘vital’,” concluded Nate. “Vital as a resource to small businesses that don’t have the tools to grow.” “Vital as an organization with cool people who want to help make their community better,” added Sarah. “And vital to us in our business by positioning us for the next step.”
For information about Shadrach’s Fiery Furnace Pizza Company, please visit www.shadrachsfieryfurnace.com.