When business partners Issac Olson and Shane Stinn started out they had an idea, a dream and a food truck. As with many businesses, COVID put a sudden halt to their business forcing them to rethink their plan. Their entire journey has taught them a lot about business, lessons they share with others.
When Olson and Stinn began their food business they never dreamed it would lead them into manufacturing. However, the duo made crackers as an item on their truck which is now being sold in places like Simply Bulk and Meow Wolf.
The men sought a place big enough to manufacture their crackers, stumbling on their current location of 627 Main St.
The building is too big for their manufacturing needs, so Olson and Stinn decided to open a coffee shop, MECO Coffee Collective, that doubles as a retail storefront for other local businesses and artists. One of which belongs to Sarah Kupec, owner of Moose Meals.
Kupec began her business when the pandemic hit. She said everyone was in a panic and grocery store shelves were empty. Frightened, she looked into ways to make the food she had last longer.
After learning how to freeze dry food, Kupec decided she could not only support her family but help others as well.
Helping other businesses and the community became a focus for the MECO owners.
“The grandiose realization is that without your community you are nothing. There are a lot of small business owners, entrepreneurs and just that drive within Longmont and that kind of local networking community that is very intriguing to me,” Olson said.
That intrigue has led Olson to better understand the leadership role he could have within the Longmont community by sharing his business knowledge.
“I feel like being able to help and guide and see other people’s journey is very rewarding for us. And to be able to provide a space for people to do that is huge,” Olson said. “… if the concept we try to offer can help people move forward a little bit quicker or with less red tape … If we had had that … our lives would have been a little bit easier.”
Olson said he is happy to discuss how to open a food truck, the process for getting a small business license and so much more.
Kupec said Olson helped her set up her business by explaining how to get through the process by obtaining various licenses and attending classes. She said he was so helpful in the beginning that she still consults him when new ideas or problems arise in her business.
The help Olson and Stinn provide Kupec has allowed her to quit her job in customer service and remove her son from daycare.
“It is absolutely awesome. The fact that I get to raise my son and I get to be there for everything that he does is amazing. Just that alone, made it worth it,” Kupec said.
Kupec said, just as importantly, having people who have been through it and can give advice or just be supportive has been priceless.
“It has always been a passion of ours to be able to help where we can. I feel like if we can do that for somebody else then we are creating community and that love and support networking that they will hopefully turn around and help others,” Olson said.