Taste of the Valley’s Entrepreneur Jason Christensen

We spent our Pioneer day feasting at Utah County’s “Taste of the Valley”. If you’ve never been to one of these, you pay a flat fee (it was only $8!) and then sample cuisine by local businesses. The event was held at Thanksgiving Point Reception Gardens and was sponsored by the Provo-Orem Chamber of Commerce. It was a delightful and delicious in every-way (except the miserable heat)! It was amazing to meet and see so many established and new restaurants share their gifts for splendid gourmet!

My favs: new comer Shoots’ special drink with non-alcoholic Irish Rum, coconut milk, and green gelatin fruit bobas, The Harvest Restaurant’s Tilapia seviche (sev-ee-che) salsa (1/3 shredded grilled fish–salmon, tuna, or halibut would work too… with 2/3 mixed chopped salsa veggies and lime), and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory’s frozen bananas!

As you can imagine, one of the most popular spots was the delicious Frozen Custard from Coney’s. I enjoyed meeting Jason Christensen, founder of Coney’s in Orem www.coneyscustard.com and also owner of six year old company North Star Alarm Systems www.northstaralarm.com. I was surprised that such a young entrepreneur could have not just one business, but 2! And he’s an Executive MBA student at BYU. WOW. Even if you don’t live in Utah County, you can learn a lot from Jason. Visit his sites, both companies have strong branding and look very professional, plus the sites are easy to navigate and find necessary information about the companies.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit with him on the phone about being an successful entrepreneur. He said that he was inspired to open a frozen custard business in Utah County because he loved frozen custard shops in the East and wanted Utah County to experience it. He is planning on opening another location and get the systems down better and then offer franchise opportunities.

He offered some excellent “magic wands” for Start Up Princesses.

Partners:

Always be careful who you go into business with, not just because you need to absolutely trust them, but you need to know whether they are a good match for you strategically. Do they have what it takes for the long haul? Do are you a balanced team? Do they have different skills and expertise to bring to the business?

Funding:

Jason says that investors want to see that you have “skin in the game”, that you care so much about the business that you are willing to do what it takes to put in money into your business such as personal savings, equity from your house, etc. If you are willing to take the risk and demonstrate it, they will be more likely to also put in the risk.

Enjoy some Frozen Custard at Jason Christensen’s Coney’s this summer! 🙂

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