Entrepreneurs of tomorrow

After years of working at Coneheads, Sequim Community School senior Tonya Parlee said she knows a few things about running a coffee shop. So, when she and partner Lacey Hagar were searching for an entry for the first Youth Entrepreneur Challenge and Expo 2008, Parlee had just the idea.

“We thought it’d be fun to design our own coffee shop,” she said.

The challenge, put together by The Incubator at Lincoln Center in Port Angeles and sponsored by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, invited seniors from area high schools to come up with a business plan, complete with background research, financial forecasts and a sales pitch.

“This is the first year (we’ve done this) and it is an outgrowth of the entrepreneur challenge that occurred last year that was more for adults and businesses,” said Jim Haguewood, director of The Incubator at Lincoln Center. “We wanted to do one for youth.”

Community School teacher Sandra Smith said Parlee and Hagar were just two of 11 students she has who entered the competition.

Ryan Shimer and his partner Scott Schoeneman decided to create a delivery business that brings any item of a caller’s choice right to the doorstep.

“If someone calls us and wants a dinner from Cedar Creek Cuisine, we order it, pick it up and deliver it,” Shimer explained, adding that if the business plan goes over well, he is looking to actually start the business.

Other ideas from Smith’s students included a day spa, an Internet bed and bath supply store and a day care.

Coffee shop creators Parlee and Hagar, who decided to name the business Java Hut, said there was a lot of planning that went into the project proposal. They had to explain, in great detail, a monthly financial plan for the company, plus a plan to pay back the loan they would need to take out.

“We also made a PowerPoint presentation describing our actual business plan and we have a brochure and business cards,” Parlee said. “At the actual competition, we’ll have a table set up and talk about why we will be successful.”

According to Haguewood, a judging panel comprised of 12 professionals from the peninsula will choose two winning teams that will receive $1,500 each.

“They’ve done some tremendous work,” Haguewood said. “It’s been great to watch.”

The Youth Entrepreneur Challenge and Expo 2008 take place 9 a.m.-3 p.m., today, Feb. 6, at the Lincoln Center, 905 W. Ninth St., Suite 221 in Port Angeles. For more information, visit or call 565-2060.

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