The Tama County Q2 2014 Pitch & Build on April 29, 2014, had presentations on reproduction firearms, a bed & breakfast, an outdoor classroom, an antique business, and a local eatery.
Josh Casto of Casto Armory, Traer, turned his hobby into a thriving business. He manufactures reproductions of antique rifles and bullets as well as doing repairs and maintenance on antique firearms. His primary market is reenactors for old-time shows. Internet sales account for most of his business. At present, he is the only employee, but hopes to hire an apprentice within the year. He is a member of the National Muzzle Rifle Association and the Iowa Black Powder Federation. You can find him at his storefront at 539—2nd Street in Traer, or at http://www.thecastoarmory.com.
Jodi Philipp opened Periwinkle Place Manor Bed & Breakfast in Chelsea in January 2014, in the old Hrabak Funeral Home, the name of the business being inspired by a periwinkle-colored antique casket she found in its shipping crate. She currently has six rooms available for overnight stays, and will eventually have 10 rooms. A coach house on the back of the property is utilized for weddings and parties. Sleigh Runners Village will showcase a bakery, candy store, boutiques, artisan shops and offers ice skating, sledding, and sleigh rides along with Santa & Mrs. Claus during the holidays. The B&B is located at 704 Main Street in Chelsea and on the web at http://www.periwinkleplacemanor.com.
Ann Graham described the plans Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center is making for its new Nature Explore Classroom. There will be groomed pathways between all areas, but folks don’t have to stay on the paths. A day camp program now offers 9 weeks of camp in the summer months, with a capacity of 50 campers each week. The staff to camper ratio is 10 to 1 or 8 to 1, depending on the age of the campers. There are 20 buildings on 120 acres of grounds, ranging from rustic to handicap accessible, and a full commercial kitchen. It has been accredited by the American Camp Association and is no longer a religious organization. Pilgrim Heights is located at 3005 E Avenue, Montour, or at http://www.pilgrimheights.org.
Lisa Bandfield’s business started on her front porch, and when she found a storefront in Dysart, she cleaned out her house and opened Front Porch Antiques and Primitives in November 2013. Having one full time and one part time employee, she is able to go out and do the picking and has recently been asked to purchase four different households of stuff. She networks with other business owners to utilize their knowledge on items she doesn’t know much about. Most of her marketing is on Facebook and eBay, and she also attends numerous flea markets. Find Lisa on Facebook at Front Porch Antiques & Primitives or at 335 Main Street, Dysart.
Deb Wacha of The Magnolia, 103 W. High Street, Toledo, catered the meal. She offers home-style cooking in a cozy restaurant across from the courthouse, along with specialty bakery items. An outdoor patio can be utilized in warm weather. Check out the special of the day on Facebook at Magnolia Menu.
And the winner is . . . a tie for first place between Periwinkle Place Manor Bed & Breakfast and Casto Armory.