John Capers has a product people want.
Over the last several years, the Tennessee-born owner of Pops Family Kitchen has used family recipes in perfecting award-winning barbeque and soul food for catering and special events.
“The cooking side is easy for me,” Capers said. “It’s the business side and logistics side I was struggling with.”
To fine-tune and improve his business plan, Capers joined a group of 10 other business owners as part of a free incubator program through Northern Initiatives, a nonprofit community development financial institution with an office in downtown Battle Creek. The group recently celebrated the completion of a 10-week course that explored how they could improve the viability and future growth of their startup businesses.
“Once I started taking the class, it opened my eyes to the business side of things,” Capers said. “I was breaking even at first because I was doing volume and I was undercharging. Now I understand what I need to be charging to be competitive with the market so I can get above that line.”