Business Plan Competition: Finalist #1, Patricia Pieper & the Butternut
All this week we will be featuring the three finalists for our 2014 Business Plan Competition for Veterans. The goal of the competition is to say “thanks” to our local veterans and to inspire and encourage them to greater success. Ultimately, we hope that this competition will create even more opportunities for veterans and make our community a better place to live.
Our first finalist, Patricia Pieper served in the United States Navy as an Avionics Technician. She was on active duty for eight years and in the Reserves for two more before retiring. She has worked as an electronics engineer for the last ten years. Eight years ago Patricia, her husband and their three children decided to make Knoxville their home.
Despite a successful career in electronics, Patricia has always found her passion in the kitchen and for many years dreamed of starting her own business. When she got laid off last year, she decided it was finally time to give it her all.
Patricia’s plan is for a new business called The Butternut. “The Butternut’s goal is to emphasize fresh, locally produced, great tasting foods on the go,” says Patricia.
The Butternut will feature “artisan breads, pastries, chocolates, desserts, sandwiches made with meats roasted on site, soups, and seasonal specialties all made in house with fresh foods sourced locally when available.”
Patricia believes that Knoxville is the perfect place to launch The Butternut. “Knoxville is on the leading edge of a food revolution,” she explains. “Our goal is to tap into the region’s vast food diversity and culture to enhance quality of life and support economic and community development.”
Patricia has already put a lot of work into her plan. She has travelled to Pennsylvania for instruction in chocolates and spent four weeks training at the Provence Bakery in Nashville. Last year she completed the chef/catering course at UT’s Culinary Institute and was even hired by the school to help create a baking and pastry component for their course curriculum.
Last summer she used her retirement savings to purchase a commercial kitchen and some equipment. If she wins the competition, she plans to use the $5,000 to purchase a commercial oven and a mixer.
At the start she plans to prepare and sell her food for catering and pick up orders and market her products at area farmers markets. Eventually, she would like to purchase a food truck, open a small space in the mall and ultimately, have a place in downtown Knoxville.
All three finalists will pitch their plan at the 2014 TVBA Business and Education Expo, January 28 at the Knoxville Convention Center.
The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto are grateful to Patricia for her service to our nation. We wish her the best of luck, both in the competition and with the business launch. We look forward to stopping by The Butternut for lunch someday soon!