LIMA — EZ Concrete Supply, Fat Kid BBQ and Coffe Amor are the finalists for this year’s emerging business of the year award from the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce.
The award recognizes independently owned businesses that have opened within the last 18 months to five years.
The Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce will announce the winner during its annual dinner and awards gala Wednesday, May 1 at the University of Northwestern Ohio Event Center.
EZ Concrete Supply
Corey and Amanda Henson opened this decorative concrete supplier in late 2017. EZ Concrete Supply has since grown, with locations in Long Island, New York, and Knoxville, Tenn. Corey Henson expects even more growth in 2019.
EZ Concrete Supply sells liquid flooring, known as epoxy, and decorative concrete coatings across the U.S. and in Canada, Henson said.
“We’re working harder to grow the brand and expand to every single state and try to get every contractor we can to buy from us,” he said.
Henson previously owned a concrete installation company, Re-Deck of NorthWest Ohio, which he sold before founding his current venture.
“That’s what drove me,” he said. “I wanted to sell products and help people grow their own business and understand these decorative concrete systems.”
David Tilton discovered his love of coffee roasting while serving as a missionary in El Salvador and Bolivia. He took that passion and founded his own roasting business and café in Wapakoneta, which has since expanded into a second café in Lima.
“When I got back to the States, I didn’t have a job and not a lot of money,” Tilton said. “I bought a small coffee roaster and went knocking door to door.”
He invested those profits into his company, Coffe Amor, which he says has seen 150% growth since the first café opened two and a half years ago.
Tilton described Coffe Amor as a “tool to reach people,” saying his success is tied to his commitment to being product- and people-focused.
“We want to help others and love our neighbors,” he said. “That’s why I think we stand out.”
Fat Kid BBQ
Daniel Carnes has been barbecuing for his entire life, so when his son was born, he decided to hit the road with a barbecue business of his own, Fat Kid BBQ.
“I wanted something I could leave (my children),” Carnes said. He launched Fat Kid BBQ, a mobile food truck, in March 2017.
Fat Kid BBQ is known for its Fat Kid Brisket Sandwich, a three-quarter pound brisket sandwich with white cheddar cheese, caramelized smoked onions and horseradish mayonnaise. Carnes has developed several other signature items, such as the Fat Kid Potato, a 2-pound potato stuffed with pulled pork, shredded cheese, butter, sour cream and jalapenos.
Carnes said he doesn’t plan to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant anytime soon, relying instead on outdoor fairs, public outings and college campuses to find customers.
“You can go to the customer instead of the customer coming to you,” he said.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.