A "Downtown Workshop" was held on Wednesday Oct. 7 here in Cherokee at the Gathering Place. The program offered through the Iowa Department of Economic Development afforded us this free workshop to share information with retailers and civic leaders.
The speaker, Margie Johnson from Virginia Beach, VA, brought with her a wealth of business experience and made it fun to rethink the way we all do business. She shared her views on customer service, business appearance and perceptions that people form of our businesses. Her light-hearted and energetic delivery of the information made us eager to learn more.
Forty-six people registered on our sign-in sheets on the day of the event. This was a record- breaking attendance for such a workshop. The staff at Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation worked diligently to insure a good turn out from throughout Northwest Iowa and we were very pleased at the great response. People attended from Monona Co., O'Brien Co., Marcus, Pocahontas, Onawa, Rock Rapids, Sanborn, Sioux Center, Spencer, Primghar, LeMars and Cherokee. The Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, Director, Julie Herig-Kent provided a bag of goodies for all out of town guests as they checked-in to the Workshop.
The services of Cherokee's downtown were used to showcase what we have available for our many outside guests. For morning coffee we provided beverages from the Copper Cup and homemade rolls from the Spice Rack. For lunch Natural Health Solutions prepared pitas filled with veggies, chicken, beef and egg salads and a variety of chips, they even decorated the serving table for us (now that is customer service), beverages and a pasta salad were prepared by the Copper Cup and a variety of hard ice creams was served by Main Street Pharmacy. Our guests truly enjoyed their dining experience. We would like to give a special "Thank You" to the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce and the CIC for their donation to help provide the lunch for all of our guests.
At the conclusion of the Workshop a presentation was given on the renovation of Cherokee's downtown and the changes that have occurred with many store fronts and building renovations. Twelve people met after the workshop concluded to take a tour of the downtown. This group was allowed to view the home of Bill and Mary Crow, owners of Corvo's. The group toured the restaurant and then went upstairs to view the completed second-story living quarters. The group then continued on to view the partially completed living quarters over Wilson's TV that will be home to Steve and Jane Ebert, owners of Wilson's TV. The group concluded its tour at The Book Vine and Main Street Pharmacy touring the inside of each business and then previewing the studio apartments that are under renovation above each store. As we were loading the car with items from the workshop it was great to note that many of the attendees of the day were walking in or leaving stores that they had just spent time in. This truly was a learning experience and a day of sharing for all.