Family Business

FSBDC at IRSC Highlights Client Success

FSBDC at IRSC Highlights Client Success

 

Staff Photo - DragonFly Graphics

Staff with Al Coffey, Owner of DragonFly Graphics. (Michael Spooneybarger/ Florida SBDC Network Headquarters)

What started as a family business twenty years ago has grown to a recognizable and respected brand across the Treasure Coast. DragonFly Graphics, located off Bayshore in Port St. Lucie, Florida, understands the importance of building your professional image through good branding and a memorable image amongst the public. As a trusted provider of branded material like company shirts and logo creation, President/CEO Al Coffey states the foundation of this successful enterprise started as a family business, inspired by brothers with a background in screen printing. To date, DragonFly has expanded its team past the ranks of just family, employing over twenty individuals whose skills range in graphic design, printing, and more. You can spot DragonFly Graphic’s expertise on a number of local Pop Warner Football jerseys.

Al Coffey started as an attendee of an FSBDC at IRSC Financial Literacy session, the now fifteen-year relationship has made DragonFly Graphics a high-value client for this region. While this organization’s journey started long before a connection with the FSBDC at IRSC, Al Coffey contacted the local center in 2009 while searching for access to capital for growth. Coffey worked alongside the late Fort Pierce consultant, Duke Evans, for a number of years working towards putting DragonFly’ success into a business plan to ensure they are ready for future expansion or capital. Through a relationship with the FSBDC at IRSC the organization received research via IBIS World reporting on the surrounding market. This data was used exponentially over the course of fifteen years, strengthening DragonFly’s following among local organizations.

DragonFly continued their relationship with the FSBDC at IRSC, resulting in being one of the first organizations within the region to secure an Emergency Bridge Loan at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through contact with consultant Spike Schultheis, DragonFly was able to plan for use of funding from the EBL and apply for a local Small Business Recovery Grant facilitated through the FSBDC at IRSC. Obtaining both sources of funding allowed the organization to keep a full staff and continue production throughout the economic disaster. Consulting provided by the FSBDC instilled the importance of a growth plan, a goal Al Coffey has since set to achieve with the Florida SBDC at IRSC stating, “trial and error can be costly and unnecessary” in regards to having Spike in his corner, “having someone with more knowledge than me over my shoulder to point out opportunities is very valuable”.

Listing community as a core value of the organization, DragonFly Graphics is a valuable asset to the Treasure Coast. You can learn more about their organization and gain personalized branding material by visiting their website dragonflycentral.com or calling (772) 879-9800

Learn about DragonFly’s path to success by viewing their Client Success Story with the Florida Small Business Development Center, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUjrNUH1uvA

Ready to get started on your path to success? Contact your local FSBDC at Indian River State College!

[email protected] | (772) 336-6285

Jan. 3, 2022|

Local Business Highlight: The Saussie Pig

Local Business Highlight: The Saussie Pig

 

Owner Tashiema Brown and his son Tre'Bon provided by Leah Voss/TC Palm

 

Tashiema “Beemer” Brown is doing the food truck thing in reverse. Instead of growing his business, he decided to downsize from brick-and-mortar restaurants to a food truck: The Saussie Pig.

“Bigger isn’t always better,” Brown said.

Brown, who moved to Vero Beach about 15 years ago, owned a dump truck business until the economy crashed, and he had to figure out something else to do for work. He thought of his first job at age 14 at a rib joint in his native Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“I moved my family here and I didn’t want to move them back there because where I grew up and here is night and day,” Brown said. “This is like vacation. I knew I wanted to keep my family here.

“So I went back to what I knew — cooking and barbecue.”

Starting outside Vero Beach bars

Brown bought a smoker and he hauled it around town with his truck.

“I would set up outside of different bars throughout the community as they closed, and it just kind of took off,” Brown said.

He then bought a small trailer and started working some events. He also had opened a restaurant in Fellsmere and a sports bar in Vero Beach, but he was done dealing with employees. He wanted a family-run business with his wife, brother, daughter and sons.

He had bought the yellow truck about five years ago, but he didn’t renovate it until two months before the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of the nature of the business, the pandemic didn’t hurt his food truck.

“We stayed busy the entire time,” Brown said. “This truck never shut down.”

Naming menu items after customers

The Saussie Pig is named for its pulled pork sandwiches.

“You don’t have to ask for extra sauce,” Brown said. “We put enough on there.”

The sandwiches are named after people. The “Bender” — topped with coleslaw and a slice of pineapple — is named after a “surfer dude” customer, he said. The “Harvey” — topped with bacon, cheese and jalapeno — is named after Brown’s partner when he first started the food truck.

“These creations came from outside of the bars at night,” Brown said. “Every sandwich that I have on there, it was created by someone outside of a bar at 2 a.m. And the names just stuck.”

The sandwiches are named after people. The “Bender” — topped with coleslaw and a slice of pineapple — is named after a “surfer dude” customer, he said. The “Harvey” — topped with bacon, cheese and jalapeno — is named after Brown’s partner when he first started the food truck.

“These creations came from outside of the bars at night,” Brown said. “Every sandwich that I have on there, it was created by someone outside of a bar at 2 a.m. And the names just stuck.”

 

Dec. 13, 2021|

Busch Family Foundation contributes $15,000 to Boys and Girls Club

FORT PIERCE — Philip Busch, president of Southern Eagle Distributing and the Peter W. Busch Family Foundation, presented a check for $15,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County, in support of the Youth of the Year Program.

The Youth of the Year Program recognizes top achieving youths from each of the […]

Feb. 20, 2018|

Local family business featured in New York Time’s article

FORT PIERCE – Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company was featured in a New York Times article, Lifting the Second-Generation Curse, last week. Founder Marygrace Sexton and daughter Natalie (for whom the company was named when she was just an infant in 1990) are profiled among other family businesses striving to survive the statistical odds […]

Jul. 19, 2016|

Nelsons say 70 years of success rooted in American values

Fresh fruits and vegetables are available for shoppers at Nelson Family Farms on Midway Road in White City. ED DRONDOSKI PHOTO
 
BY CHRISTINA TASCON
When Alfred and Hilda Nelson opened their first citrus grove in 1938, selling the fruit out of their front yard, they could not have imagined the success future generations would enjoy on […]

Feb. 16, 2016|