Local to Legend is the podcast for local business owners like you, looking for the resources and tools needed to create a scalable, profitable, simply irresistible brand. What makes local businesses different than small businesses? Local businesses have their own little ecosystems they work within. Some local business owners have the hopes of being sold to Unilever (Schmidt’s) or getting a HGTV show (Joanna Gaines) or being sold in Target (Ben & Jerry’s).Others want to be a legend in their own community where people know, love, trust, and refer them all the time.The cool thing about being a legend is it’s fairly subjective, right? We have legends in Des Moines, Iowa (my home base), but they aren’t legends in the country. We have legends in the country, but they aren’t legends in the world. What I’ve come to discover in hundreds of conversations with local business owner is this: they desire MORE for themselves.They want to expand, but how?They want to grow their business, but what do they do?They want to pivot, but what will that mean?Local to Legend is about that conversation. And I'm thrilled to have you here.
31 - Ruby Scoops Founder Rabia Kamara Shares Her Journey from Culinary Chef to the Food Network Channel
This week Emily chats with Rabia Kamara, the owner of Ruby Scoops, an ice cream/dessert shop in Richmond, Virginia. Rabia was bit by the baking bug early on when she got her first cookbook around the age of nine. Headed to law school, she changed her mind and instead wanted to do something she was passionate about: culinary school. Her parents were unsure of her decision at first, but warmed after seeing Rabia in her element at school and in her jobs.
After culinary school and jobs in savory food, she decided to switch to pastries in 2013 and has had a career in desserts ever since. As the only Black woman in the restaurant she worked in, she noticed that she didn’t receive the same amount of respect and treatment as some of her coworkers. This pushed her to go out on her own and start selling her ice cream at farmers markets and other events that slowly began growing her brand. Ruby Scoops opened up a storefront in November 2020 and recently WON a Food Network show you might have recently seen, Clash of the Cones with Ben & Jerry’s!
Rabia and Emily chat through her journey to ice cream and what it was like to build her business on the East coast. They dive into her Food Network experience and what it was like to have Kevin Bacon and Ludacris taste her ice cream flavors.
Tune in for topics like:
How Rabia got into desserts and started her careerNavigating your relationship with your parents when you choose a different career pathRabia’s experience as the only Black woman in her restaurant jobStarting Ruby Scoops and Rabia’s first farmers marketRabia’s take on what you need to be an entrepreneurWhere to start for aspiring dessert shop ownersRabia’s personal journey on the Food Network channelLinks from the episode: include any links that were discussed
Ruby Scoops InstagramRuby Scoops Facebook Ruby Scoops WebsiteLocal Business School - get on the waitlist!So You Wanna Start A... series YouTube ChannelSo You Wanna Start A… series Blog postsFollow me (Emily Steele) (Love Local) on Instagram for a little business + a little life, and a whole lot of positive energy!
30 - How Angela Poldberg Built a Vegan Boutique From Pop-Ups to a Permanent Storefront
In this week’s episode, Emily chats with Angela Poldberg, the owner of Marne, a boutique located in the East Village of Des Moines. As a vegan, sustainable boutique, Marne only carries brands that are ethically made. Angela was motivated to start her own boutique after struggling to find other retail stores who carried vegan and sustainable options.
Owning a store had always been in the back of her mind but Angela first got her start working in an ad agency and several retail stores like Lululemon. It was those experiences that gave her the knowledge and tools she needed to go out on her own. As a newly opened business, the pandemic hit her hard, but her resilience and determination have helped her grow her brand exponentially.
In this episode, Angela & Emily chat about what it’s like to open a retail store just a few months before the pandemic hit and how she serendipitously found the perfect space. If you’ve ever been curious about what it’s like to go to market in New York and search for brands to fill your retail store, Angela shares the details of her experience with that too. Fellow retail brands or fashion lovers, this episode is for you!
Tune in for topics like:
How Angela got the idea to start her own shopThe influence of her ad agency and retail store experienceHow her dream to own a store continued to growWhy Angela only carries vegan and sustainable brandsGoing to market and sourcing brandsWhat to look for when sourcing ethical brandsAngela’s experience hosting pop-up shopsSpecific strategies she used to keep her business afloat during the pandemicLinks from the episode:
Marne WebsiteMarne InstagramLocal Business School WaitlistSo You Wanna Start A... YouTube ChannelFollow me (Emily Steele) (Love Local) on Instagram for a little business + a little life, and a whole lot of positive energy!
29 - From School Teacher to Urban Farmer - Meet Jenny Quiner of Dogpatch Urban Gardens
Jenny is the owner of Dogpatch Urban Gardens (DUG). DUG is an urban farm in Des Moines that specializes in growing organic produce for people of Des Moines.
The mission of Dogpatch is to inspire the health of humans, our community, and the land. Jenny and her team do this through growing organic produce, hosting on farm events, supporting other local growers/producers, and using regenerative farming practices to enhance their soil.
The business has evolved to become more and more diversified since inception in 2015. Their main produce sales avenues are the online store (which emerged during COVID), to local restaurants, through a modified CSA known as a Salad Subscription, and this season they will be vending at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market.
Trust us when we say you won’t want to miss this episode! It’s full of so much fresh knowledge and personal insight on hard work, perseverance, and showing up with something of value.
Tune in for topics like:
What inspired Jenny to start urban farming The importance of value added products How assessing profitability determined which types of produce to grow Special events and community involvement opportunities at the farmLinks from the episode:
Visit Dogpatch Urban Gardens onlineDogpatch Urban Gardens FacebookDogpatch Urban Gardens InstagramMagnetic Manifestation Academy applicationFREE training to help your brand become a beloved business in your community without an expensive or time consuming marketing strategyEmail marketing mini training to learn how to launch your email list (free!) Follow me (Emily Steele) (Love Local) on Instagram for a little business + a little life, and a whole lot of positive energy!
28 - What Starting & Growing a Local Winery Looks like with Jasper Winery's Winemaker, Mason Groben
Today’s guest is Mason Groben, son of Paul and Jean Groben - owners of Jasper Winery. Being avid gardeners and enjoying all aspects of “the good life,” they first planted grape vines in the year 2000. The original winery operated in a renovated warehouse building near downtown Newton.
After graduating the University of California, Davis with a degree in viticulture and enology, Mason returned to Iowa in 2003 to assist with the family business. In 2007, it became apparent that the winery had outgrown the Newton location and needed to expand into a larger building. The Groben family was intrigued by the recent resurgence of downtown Des Moines, and located a property near Grays Lake and began construction of the current winery. The new winery opened in the summer of 2009 and has been booming ever since.
During this week’s episode Emily chats with Mason about all things Jasper Winery; from how the family has continued to evolve and grow over the years, to marketing and product development, to wine production, special events, and more.
Pop your AirPods in and give this episode a listen...you won’t want to miss out!
Tune in for topics like:
A behind the scenes of the Groben family and why they started Jasper WineryHow Jason ended up going to college in California and why he returned to IowaWhy it’s important to evolve marketing plans and product development to remain relevantAn overview of the winemaking process from harvest to bottlingExciting events happening at Jasper WineryLinks from the episode:
Jasper Winery FacebookJasper Winery InstagramMagnetic Manifestation Academy applicationFREE training to help your brand become a beloved business in your community without an expensive or time consuming marketing strategyEmail marketing mini training to learn how to launch your email list (free!) Follow me (Emily Steele) (Love Local) on Instagram for a little business + a little life, and a whole lot of positive energy!
27 - How a Spiritual Awakening Turned This Documentarian Into a Manifestation Coach
Today’s guest is Vanessa McNeal, a certified manifestation coach, national speaker, and documentary filmmaker. She and Emily chat about how much her life has changed in just a year and why making the switch to manifestation coach was the most aligned decision she’s ever made.
Emily first met Vanessa through her documentary, Gridshock, a poignant expose on the sex trafficking industry. But Vanessa has since blossomed into a role as a coach, guiding people across the country on how to be in alignment with their authentic selves to manifest the life of their wildest dreams.
They chat about Vanessa’s journey to finally discovering who she was, aside from the things she did. They dive into manifestation and how powerful it can be to utilize as a business owner. Money limiting thoughts are also on the table as Emily and Vanessa turn commonly held beliefs on their head.
This episode will make you break open wide the doors to possibilities you hadn’t let yourself dream of before. Press play.
Tune in for topics like:
Why Vanessa made the switch from documentarian + speaker to manifestation coachWhy it’s important to separate yourself from what you doHow Vanessa went from investing $12,000 to up level her skills to making that back threefold in 30 daysA breakdown of manifestation and how it can change your lifeCreating visibility for your coaching businessWhy rest is trustLinks from the episode:
Vanessa McNeal websiteVanessa McNeal InstagramMagnetic Manifestation Academy applicationFREE training to help your brand become a beloved business in your community without an expensive or time consuming marketing strategyEmail marketing mini training to learn how to launch your email list (free!) Follow me (Emily Steele) (Love Local) on Instagram for a little business + a little life, and a whole lot of positive energy!
26 - How this Lawyer is Using Personal Branding to Become a Top Attorney in His State
Today’s guest is one of my friends and fellow DSM enthusiast, Tyler Coe! Tyler is a divorce lawyer in the Des Moines area who has poured time and energy into crafting a strong personal brand that has helped him to grow a robust client base and increase the impact he’s been able to make in the community.
When you own a service-based business, YOU are the biggest differentiator in your business, and it’s ultimately what sets you apart from others in your industry and market. Tyler does an excellent job of creating little touchpoints and connections with his audience on a daily basis to build trust and relationships. From sending out Valentine’s Day cards to injecting humor into what can potentially be dry or sensitive legal topics, Tyler is an expert at attracting and retaining new customers and connections.
In this episode, Tyler and Emily dive deeper into the world of personal branding and how vital it can be to grow a loyal customer base by simply showing up as your authentic self! They chat through how personal branding began to grow Tyler’s business in just six months and how he became one of the top viewed profiles on his law firm’s site at age 32!
Tune in for topics like:
How a personal branding class opened up Tyler's worldWhat Tyler started doing to attract new clientsWhy tracking your referrals is so importantIntentional snail mail Tips to grow your audienceLinks from the episode:
Please Pass the Love website (mental health nonprofit in Iowa)Tyler Coe InstagramTyler Coe websiteFREE training to help your brand become a beloved business in your community without an expensive or time consuming marketing strategyEmail marketing mini training to learn how to launch your email list (free!) Follow me (Emily Steele) (Love Local) on Instagram for a little business + a little life, and a whole lot of positive energy!
Great focus on local business
Emily has a great style and content here focusing on oval businesses and their stories. Good guests, content and well produced. Enjoy! #thisisiowa
Local Business Owners Manual
I love listening to Emily’s podcasts in the morning while getting ready. It’s inspirational to hear other local business success stories and it’s informative while still being entertaining. Can’t wait for new episodes!
So much magic 💫
Emily’s Local to Legend podcast brings but size pieces of information that pushes me to think and create in different ways. I love all the magic she is bringing to this space for creators big and small to learn from each other.