May 7, 2019
The U.S. Small Business Administration recognized and awarded this year’s Small Business Persons of the Year during the 2019 National Small Business Week ceremony in Washington, D.C. As part of the 2019 National Small Business Week events in Washington, D.C., Acting SBA Administrator Chris Pilkerton recognized and awarded all the state and territorial winners, as well as small business owners and industry leaders for excellence in entrepreneurship, exporting, federal contracting, lending and disaster recovery. Brad Barber and Angie Barber of Cabin Coffee in Clear Lake, IA were named First Runner-Up for this prestigious national award.
Brad and Angie Barber longed for a place in Clear Lake where the locals could meet, drink a cup of coffee, and enjoy a bagel. In 2001, the couple decided to create such a space. From a single location in 2002, Cabin Coffee has steadily grown from a start-up with no employees to a successful company with a staff of 140, and sales of $5.5 million in 2017.
In 2003, Brad and Angie contacted the SBA’s Small Business Development Center program for guidance on franchising. An SBA 7(a) loan helped the couple open a second location in Mason City in 2009, and a 504 loan in 2017 covered construction costs for the company’s new distribution and franchise support center in Clear Lake. Now there are 15 Cabin Coffee franchises throughout the United States, with more to come. Brad founded two local community organizations—United to Serve, and North Iowa Networking. They also support the North Iowa Vocational Center.
Brad and Angie were recognized with the 2019 SBA Iowa Small Business Persons of the Year Award, the America’s SBDC Iowa 2018 Neal Smith Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the Pappajohn SBDC Center January 2018 Entrepreneurs of the Month Award.