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R. Rooster BBQ Company

by Maeve MacSteves

Maeve MacSteves

An Entrepreneurial Venture Serving the Williston Region

When I joined the RLND Class in October 2010, it was with the goal of seeing what I, as the Entrepreneurship Instructor at Williston State College, could do to help rural North Dakotans find and pursue business opportunities that would not only allow them to remain in their hometowns, but add to the economic vitality of their regions.

When the funding for my program was reallocated and my teaching position eliminated in December of 2010, I had two options – either uproot our family of eight and move to another area or find a way to remain in our hometown while contributing to the economic vitality of the region. Sound familiar? What a difference a year makes! Little did I know that I would be putting my skills and training to use by finding a viable business opportunity in Williston for our own family.

The idea for R. Rooster BBQ Company was developed after we analyzed our personal goals, abilities and interests, as well as the needs of the Williston community. It didn’t take us long to realize the years we spent working in restaurants during our “salad days” – if you’ll excuse the pun – could be put to good use to provide an eatery in Williston to serve the needs of both the permanent community and the growing population of temporary, transient and transplanted oilfield workers.

From finding and remodeling a suitable space; to accessing City-funded rehab grants to obtaining financing; developing a concept, menu and marketing plan; finding and sourcing equipment, supplies and foodstuffs; and filing the necessary paperwork with government agencies from A to Z, the experience has been overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time. I credit my experiences in RLND with giving me the confidence to pursue an option that might not have been apparent had I not spent a year developing my leadership, creativity and critical thinking skills in the program. I am thrilled to present this win-win project to my RLND colleagues, as well as the Williston community and will continue to report on the progress of R. Rooster BBQ as we prepare for our Grand Opening in mid-September 2010.

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