Kyle Pfenninger, owner of Bowls 4 Boots, opened the business in January 2023.
Kyle is a United States Army Veteran and an engineer by profession. He has six years of experiences in the food industry and has been cooking since he could reach the stove.
Kyle's wife, Faye, is the Director of Operations at Bowls 4 Boots, and owns her own photography studio, Pfenninger Photography.
You can find out more information on his business on Facebook - @Bowls4Boots.
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Questions & Answers
What motivated you to start your own business? How did you develop the skills to start your own business?
After having worked for several big corporations, I became tired with my growth and potential being limited to what the companies would allow. I wanted to be able to excel and exceed on my own without limitations set by “corporate numbers”.
I have worked in various roles in the food industry over my life – Subway was my very first job and I continued in the food industry when I was in college. When it became time for me to try and venture out on my own, I had the help of the South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center and my wife, whom is our director of operations, who has 13 years of experience herself in the hospitality industry
What inspires your work and what sets you apart from everyone else?
Being a military veteran and a former police officer, I have seen firsthand the toll that these roles take on individuals both active and after they have served. I want Bowls 4 Boots to be a platform to speak to the community and to our veterans and first responders about the struggles that they face and the resources that are available to them. We do this by showcasing various organizations inside our store front. It is also my goal to donate and support these organizations on a regular basis and involving our patrons in deciding which organizations we choose to donate to.
What makes your business stand out from other businesses in Bloomington?
This goes back to the previous question in that we want our patrons to be engaged with our mission. I don’t want Bowls 4 Boots to just be “another restaurant” in Bloomington. I want it to be a place where people can learn and can be engaged with our veterans and first responders in our community.
What has been your biggest success to date?
Honestly finding a location for the restaurant. Commercial real estate that is suitable and affordable for our needs was really hard to come by. We had been searching for a space since February 2022.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Getting people in to see the new space. The space had sat closed/empty for a considerable amount of time so most people don’t know that we are there yet. We are working on getting more advertising out and getting our name out there more.
What are your plans for the future of your business?
I really want to be able to give back to our community and to help our veterans and first responders in our local community and the nation. My goal is to give to these organizations on a quarterly basis. I want to engage our patrons and have them vote on who they would like to see the donations go to. I would also like to organize events that engage our community with our first responders in the future – something like Coffee with a Cop.
Additionally, we hope that our business is successful enough to see our dream of opening a full serve brunch restaurant in the Bloomington area.
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