(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Local entrepreneurs returned to Restoration Natatorium for Wednesday’s “Cup of Joe” meeting.
This week’s meeting highlighted women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses from the area.
“I’m so excited to celebrate women’s entrepreneurship week and to be part of such a thriving community of entrepreneurs,” said Hannah MaGee who is the owner of Weston Wine Company.
Dawn Cooperider who is the CEO and Co-Owner of Preferred Pest Control in town said, “I’m really honored the “Cup of Joe” team asked me to speak during their women’s entrepreneurship week. That means a lot.”
Cooperider and MaGee presented to attendees at “Cup of Joe” background of their company and how they got started. They also touched on how their business is ran and what challenges they face during the pandemic.
Cooperider, who owns Preferred Pest Control with her husband, said 2020 was surprisingly one of their best years. The family owned business since 1970 worked with senators and local officials to get deemed essential.
“We didn’t know if we would be able to continue to work, if we could keep going into peoples’ homes,” said the pest control owner. “More people were at home and taking care of things at home. It ended up not being a bad year at all for us.”
2020 was such a success for the Cooperider couple, they are expanding their business into four entities: Preferred Pest Control Home Inspections, Preferred Handyman Service, Preferred Wildlife Services and Preferred Community Center.
The business is also moving to a new, bigger location off of 71 Highway. Dawn said the new location will serve as a much better spot for their 17 employees and attract more foot traffic.
For Hannah MaGee, the focus of today’s presentation was how she came to own a company at the age of 27, taking over the Weston Wine Company in 2017.
“I purchased Weston Wine Company at a pretty tumultuous time in my life. Everything sort of blew up,” said the young owner. “I figured that if there was any time to take a big risk, it was while I was young and my life was changing.”
Going on four years strong, MaGee takes pride in taking on a challenge like this at such a young age. She mentioned how many middle-aged couples wish to own a winery in their retirement years, but Hannah gets the benefits of enjoying a lively business a heck of a lot longer.
“My advice to young entrepreneurs, especially young female entrepreneurs, is to not be afraid to take the big risks, and ask a million questions,” said MaGee. “To people considering owning their own business or taking a big risk in terms of entrepreneurship, I would say reach out to others that have done it before, ask the really tough questions. And then don’t be afraid to take huge risks, because especially if you’re young, you’ve got plenty of time to make it up."
To listen to Dawn Cooperider and Hannah MaGee's full presentation, visit "Cup of Joe" Facebook page.
Cup of Joe meets weekly on Wednesday’s at the Restoration Natatorium located at 2nd and Francis St.