Wheelhouse Café owners met with Shippensburg’s entrepreneurship club E-BOSS to discuss a potential marketing and promotion partnership last week.
E-BOSS offered ideas including a late-night option geared toward college students, a discount for students with Ship identifications, and various advertising outlets.
Wheelhouse owners Josiah Becker and Stephanie Forrester were open to the propositions and said that discounts for students who provide SU identification are coming soon.
An evening for Shippensburg students is in the works, but as the restaurant now closes at 2 p.m. and opens at 5:30 a.m most mornings, there are issues with staff coverage. Also, Forrester said she thought diners would rather eat dinner at a restaurant with a liquor license.
Positive aspects of a late night presented by E-BOSS were the lack of restaurants open past midnight although Shippensburg Select Diner and Before and After Café were mentioned, proximity of the Wheelhouse to campus can not be beat.BOSS
E-BOSS, founded by Rudley in 2011, is composed of members whose goal is to start a business with a mission to reach out to the community and develop partnerships with existing businesses.
“I wanted to make a group free and open to anyone who wanted to follow their dreams,” Rudley said.
Rudley also mentioned that last week’s meeting was “the first chance where students could directly give their input and affect a local business.”
Wheelhouse owners, Becker and Forrester, also had the opportunity to share struggles about the process of opening and owning a restaurant.
The Wheelhouse’s opening was not the partners’ first try at beginning a business; the process started about 2-3 years ago, and opportunity presented a location when the Biscotti’s owners decided to sell.
Owners shared marking strategies with E-BOSS, like the nautical theme and advertising in the local newspapers that helped business succeed in its first two months.
Issues like product cost, building size, mechanical difficulties and time have all arose for Becker and Forrester, either of whom is working on the property at all times.
Becker even said he works about 80-100 hours per week, while Forrester has a family farm where she is needed regularly.
Forrester’s husband, the third business partner and owner of the Wheelhouse Café, has a full time job and is less available for work, though she said he is up late at night and would be the best candidate to run a college evening at the restaurant.
E-BOSS Vice President Zach Dolan, a freshman promoted to the position this semester, talked about his work with the club and how it has helped him so far to obtain his dreams.
“[It’s] been a great leadership opportunity for me and opened up some roots for some opportunities that I’ve wanted to pursue such as developing partnerships with the Wheel House Cafe. It’s just been good to have an organization to support you and you support them, it’s just nice to have that unity,” Dolan said.
He has a goal to open an artificial ski resort after graduation. There is only one in the U.S. and Dolan has worked as a snowboard instructor for three years. Snowboarding is his passion.
Dolan also talked about a tentative craft/ trade show with any type of vendors looking to sell their products, set to possibly take place in April if 10 more vendors reserve spots. The show would help the group to achieve its mission of opening a business.