While unemployment remains high, Nevada is emerging as a top state in the nation for the formation of small businesses. Experts say rather than be unemployed, or under-employed, some Nevadans are willing to gamble everything on self-employment. That's exactly what motivated the owners of Bijous Yogurt & Gelato Kafe, a new business in Sparks. “I know it sounds crazy," says Bijous owner, Krista Toll “but if you don't do it you'll never know if you will succeed.”
Toll says following the dream of opening her own business wasn't easy. In fact, strict lending rules prevented her from getting a small business loan to start her shop. Instead, she and her partner sold everything they could to scrape together the cash they needed to get started.
They opened the store on Prater & Sparks Boulevard in February, in what might be considered a grave yard of failed ventures. Bijous is flanked on both sides by empty storefronts. But Toll says her location, once occupied by a failed Ben & Jerry’s, was exactly what she was looking for because she saved money on set up costs. From refrigerated cases to the gelato makers and tables everything is recycled from other businesses that went belly-up.
So what will make Bijous successful, where others were not? Toll is hoping a focus on quality local products will be the strategy that makes the difference. They’ve teamed up with other area business including Sup, Haven on Earth Bakery, and Wood Fire Roasted Coffee. Toll hopes offering the hand made low fat and gluten free products will help her business continue to grow until... and after... the storefronts around her begin to fill up again.
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