Mar 14, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterShe started out this week with help from the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Lucy Tschacher of Riverton has big plans for her new local business, but she decided to start small this month.
Tschacher has installed several snack-dispensing machines in buildings throughout town in the hopes that people will take advantage of the handy snacks while they run their local errands.
"It is exciting," Tschacher said. "I'm planning to check them once a week and actually maintain them once a month, go and clean them out."
Her first machine went to the Atlantic City Federal Credit Union lobby, where Tschacher learned that employees are partial to sour gum drops. She selected the candies for one of her machine's containers and put chocolates and gummies in the other two bays.
"I did comparison pricing and asked the customers what they would like," Tschacher said.
At Strathmore Minerals, she said the majority-male employees asked for nuts and other more substantial treats that could sustain them while they work.
Tschacher has been working with Billie Jo Santee, an independent job and life coach with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, to develop her business strategies. Santee said it has been fun to watch Tschacher grow through the process of learning to keep records and research locations and products.
"I've been very pleased," Santee said. "She understands what it entails, basically, to run a business. ... We've done all that homework, and now we're going to put it into play."
She has been particularly impressed with Tschacher's willingness to try something new. Tschacher, who has lived in Riverton for 24 years, said the experience can be difficult at times, but she has appreciated Santee's assistance.
"Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, but I get through it," Tschacher said. "Billie Jo's been a big help."
Tschacher said it's "totally cool" that her dream of owning a business has become a reality. In the future, she hopes to expand to sales of other types of products.
"I've always wanted to sell novelties -- lamps, just fun stuff that people enjoy having," Tschacher said. "And I'd like to get an education on how to work with wood (so I can) increase my business to wood furniture."
For now, though, she is focused on snacks, and she has plenty of ideas in that arena too. Tschacher said she would like to encourage people to eat healthy food by stocking her vending machines with more nutritious items.
"I'm starting out with candies, (but) there are a lot of people out there that have health issues like diabetes," Tschacher said.
Santee encouraged Tschacher's thought process.
"Her wish list goes beyond the vending machines, but it's great to have a goal," Santee said. "Eventually I'll be backing out of the picture (and) she can have her own business and be able to help her family."
Tschacher encouraged anyone interested in a vending machine to call her at 275-0390.
"I'll take good care of the merchandise," she said. "I will listen to their input and entertain any suggestions they might have."
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