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Hopland Ale House, Hopland

BACKGROUND 
Hopland Ale House is located in the former Hopland Brewery off Highway 101 in Hopland. Jennifer Sullivan fell in love with the Hopland area and moved to Hopland from San Jose in April of 2012. She renovated the space and opened the Hopland Ale House for business in December of 2012. The Ale House serves beer, wine, sandwiches, chili, and a variety of other high-quality entrees and offers live music, televised sports, and other events to entertain patrons. Jennifer has had great reviews of her food, drink, and service since opening and showed a profit in her first month.

CHALLENGES
Jennifer is an accomplished cook, but had never owned a restaurant business before and needed help writing a viable business plan. She had some savings to invest in the project, but knew that money would be tight and that commercial banks would be unlikely to approve a loan for her business. She sought assistance in negotiating a favorable lease, planning how to start the business with very limited cash, and how to manage the finances of the business once it was up and running.

ACTIONS
Jennifer worked with Nancy Banker on her business plan, and Nancy also helped her negotiate a lease with her landlord. Jennifer applied for a loan which was not approved, and West Company then helped her come up with a revised plan to open the Ale House by “bootstrapping.” With Nancy Banker’s help, Jennifer was able to get a small loan from a local lender to purchase a POS system for her business. West Company also brought an expert restaurant consultant, Deagon Williams, to consult with Jennifer on menu planning, cost reduction, ordering and purchasing, and other essential issues, and Nancy Banker continued to assist Jennifer with financial management throughout the planning and startup period.

RESULTS
When she opened the Hopland Ale House, Jennifer Sullivan created 6 new jobs in Hopland. The Ale House showed a positive change in sales in its first month and Jennifer is looking forward to a busy springtime in Hopland.

Jennifer says that Nancy Banker was “a great resource for business planning, and was an instrumental asset while editing my business plan and financial projections.” Jennifer also appreciated the help of Deagon Williams, and said Deagon “is amazing and savvy, wise in the dynamics of the restaurant business and helped to give me the confidence I needed to go for it!”

Contact Info
Jennifer Sullivan
 Hopland Ale House
13351 South Hwy 101
 Hopland, CA 95449
(707) 744-1255
http://hoplandalehouse.com/