Staat's bakery nominated for business start-up award
By Nicole Burton
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 3:05 pm
Twelve entrepreneurs from nine Kentucky counties, from Pikeville to Burkesville, have been selected as finalists in the 2015 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards (EIEA) program and will be recognized at a regional awards luncheon in September at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.
Representing Casey County is Blaine Staat, co-owner of Staat's Bakery, along with his wife Catherine.
Staat's Bakery, which has been in business for just over a year, has been nominated for the EIEA Start Up Business award.
“The Center for Rural Development, every year, gives out five awards,” said Staat. “It's just kind of cool to be nominated for that. They have three finalists in each category out of their entire coverage area, which includes 55 counties.”
Staat said that the nomination feels pretty nice.
“It makes you feel good about your business, obviously, but it's really cool to have the opportunity to represent Casey County out of this huge number of counties,” he said.
While Staat doesn't expect to finish ahead of his fellow nominees, he is optimistic about what this nomination means for his business and the county.
“I don't expect us to win, necessarily, we're just a small 'mom and pop,'” he said. “But we've made some headway in a place where nobody ever expected us to succeed. A lot of people are not expecting success, but we're making it. And there's some great history here for that. Tarter started off as a husband and wife team, and Goose Creek Candle started off as a husband and wife team making candles over their kitchen sink.”
Catherine said they believe people underestimate the entrepreneurial spirit in a community like Casey County.
“I think sometimes there is a fear, too,” Catherine said. “People are told 'maybe you can't do that.' If you have a passion and a heart for something, and you love what you do, it'll work out. We always say do the right thing for the right reasons, and if you do, it'll always work out.”
The Staats attribute the recent boom in business in the community to fresh faces in leadership and development.
“From what I understand, there used to be a lot of business in Liberty, and people from elsewhere would come here to spend their money,” said Staat. “And I think that maybe that is going to have a shift again.”
“People are coming here 'from off,' and they are looking at the amazing potential here,” she said. “They don't want to change anything, they don't want to change the charm, they want to add to it. It's like me ― I look out here and I go 'Oh my gosh, this is so beautiful.' It's an amazing place to live. It's the best kept secret ever. There is so much untapped potential out there.”
There has been a lot of economic growth in the area recently, with businesses like Staat's Bakery, Lights of Liberty, and the recent announcement that Tractor Supply is coming to Liberty.
“A lot of people like to say , 'Oh, nothing's happening around here,'” said Staat. “Well, if you think that, you're not paying attention. Because there are a lot of people who are legitimately trying to make a difference. And besides that, just say people are right, and there is 'nothing happening around here.' Well, you can flip that and look at it another way. Since there isn't a lot of business and industry here, yet, there are unlimited possibilities for entrepreneurs. There is virtually no competition for many businesses at this stage in the game, and it is the perfect set-up for someone to go out and do something.”
The Staat's will be recognized on Sept. 14 at 11:30 a.m. at the EIEA regional awards luncheon at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.