Changes Coming to Local Retail Incubator | Texas

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Brenham | Washington County Economic Development announced big changes for YellowTruck Market, the public-private partnership between Brenham | Washington County Economic Development, Main Street Brenham and YellowTruck, LLC.

This unique retail incubator launched in October 2021 with seven participating retailers: Company 5, Krafty Inc, Local Honey Bee Co., Pelayo’s Art & Folk, posey roe, The Butter Stick Bakery and The COEO.

The retail incubator was designed as a two-year development opportunity for each of the businesses, providing training and mentorship. The retail lab space was operated by the participants in the retail store located in the YellowTruck, LLC building at the corner of Park and Main streets in downtown Brenham.

The YellowTruck Retail Incubator team is excited to celebrate the successes and professional growth of participating businesses. The goal of the project was to help small businesses succeed and thrive and that is exactly what happened and why big changes are taking place.

In March 2022, Local Honey Bee Co. left the incubator to focus on online sales from its participation in the incubator. In April 2022, Posey Roe seized the opportunity to lease space in downtown Brenham by launching his store at 218 E. Main.

With the goal of owning a bakery in the future, The Butter Stick Bakery owner realized she needed additional knowledge of bakery operations to achieve her dream and left the incubator in April to accept a position as a pastry chef in a full-service bakery.

So Bake Everyone Happy joined the incubator in May to keep the flow of cookies and treats going to buyers. In June 2022, Krafty Inc will exit the retail incubator to focus on growing its wholesale business by delivering art-inspired designs to boutiques across the country.

Rapid business success resulting in frequent participant turnover, in what was planned as a two-year program, was not expected.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of challenges and excitement watching each of these companies find their best path to success,” Brenham said | Susan Cates, Director of Washington County EDO.

In an unexpected turn of events, beginning in September 2022, one of the incubator participants, The COEO, will expand its business into the space that was once the YellowTruck marketplace.

Owners of The COEO, sisters Jamie Pinner and Jennifer Thompson, say they are excited to expand as a retail destination in downtown Brenham. COEO is a veteran-owned social enterprise dedicated to social and environmental change.

Its health and wellness-focused products are sustainably sourced through humanitarian efforts and workforce alliances that support artisans both locally and internationally.

The favorite products of other incubator participants can still be found at the COEO, as Pinner and Thompson work with alumni and other participants on cooperative or wholesale opportunities.

“I am thrilled to see the COEO expand its business from incubator participant to full ownership of the business,” said YellowTruck, LLC owner Tiffany McMordie Morisak.

The YellowTruck Market retail incubator will close on July 2, to allow time for this transition.

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