Brenda Odom, founder
Incubator: Nashville Business Incubation Center, Nashville, Tenn.
Revenues: $419,000 (2008)
U-Kno Catering began its full-service, off-site catering business by offering quality food at affordable prices, primarily for weddings, dinners and receptions. The company then expanded its client base to include universities, corporations and governmental agencies. U-Kno Catering's latest venture is providing cafeteria-style dining at a large metropolitan utility company. The company's goal is to add five additional cafeteria food-service contracts within the next 10 years.
Incubator's role: U-Kno Catering entered the Nashville Business Incubation Center in 2005, occupying 1,000 square feet of space. Within three years, the company needed to double its size. U-Kno's Founder Brenda Odom says the coaching and counseling she received helped her avoid costly business mistakes and grow her business. "The NBIC staff members have been with me every step of the way," she says. For example, Odom says the professionals helped her redesign her Web site and redefine her niche market. Staff also helped Odom secure a loan through NBIC's Revolving Loan Fund, referred her to potential customers, and insisted she conduct a feasibility study before bidding on a large project — an opportunity she declined based on the study's results. "My business is doing well and surviving the recession because I took the advice and followed the leadership that NBIC offered," she says. "And because of NBIC's sterling reputation in the community, just being a part of the program has brought business to us."
Phone: (740) 593-4331
Fax: (740) 593-1996
PO Box 959
Athens, OH 45701-1565