Bear Creek Rubs Success Story
GOSHEN COUNTY SISTERS BRING FARMERS MARKET FAVORITE ONLINE
In 2015, Judith Bartmann and Patricia Day, two sisters with a passion for cooking and a vision for sharing flavor with their community, brought five scratch-made spice rub blends to the La Grange farmer’s market. Bartmann, a retired educator in Human Services, and Day, a retired Consumer Safety Inspector from the USDA, both experienced the world’s diverse flavors through travel. Their past careers inspired the recipes of Bear Creek Rubs as much as their desire to offer an alternative to the bland meals they often found on the road.
After amassing a local following for their rubs, blended to enhance grilled dishes, casseroles, marinades, and more, Bartmann and Day were ready to bring Bear Creek Rubs online. A colleague recommended them to the Wyoming Women’s Business Center’s COVID 19 Support Program, launched in June of 2020, to support Wyoming’s women-owned businesses with training and access to digital design services. The La Grange entrepreneurs were quickly met with resources to bring their expansion goals to life.
“They were ready to jump in and get started,” the COVID-19 Support Program’s Project Facilitator Veronica Donahue said. “Watching their progress and enthusiasm from the beginning was remarkable, whether it was updating their packaging, working on their supply chain, bookkeeping, or setting up their e-commerce site.”
Bartmann and Day worked closely with Program Director and Business Counselor Christine Langley on strategizing their business expansion. “Judith and Pat are great examples of life-long learners, and they continue to impress me with their entrepreneurial spirit,” Langley said.
Throughout 2020 they collaborated with regional creative service providers to launch the rebranded version of their suite of spices in an online Bear Creek Rub shop. “It’s given us more insight into what is out there and how to go about getting ourselves into this market. I had no idea how to do a website or any of that stuff,” Day said.
Bartmann and Day received logo design, product photography, headshots, and website design at no cost, utilizing funds from the COVID-19 Support Program’s B2B Digital Design Services offering.
“We learned so much,” Bartmann said. “It is amazing what it takes to get a business off the ground and off a sheet of paper and onto the web for purchase. And this is what the whole group at WWBC did.”
Additionally, QuickBooks® Pro and Bookkeeping Advisor Derek Campbell provided access to free QuickBooks® software and helped streamline their accounting, while Outreach Counselor Jessica Brauer guided them in strategizing their new shop launch with social media and email marketing.
This Spring, Bear Creek Rubs launched bearcreekrubs.com for customers to shop their signature spice blends and learn more about how these sisters are spreading a love of flavor beyond La Grange.
“We started from scratch and went all the way to a business presence online!” Bartmann said. “The finished product has been invaluable.”