Although entrepreneur Dante Batten had successfully opened and managed a catering business, the idea of running a restaurant kept simmering in his heart. As a long-time client, Mr. Batten had sampled the services of the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center for previous business initiatives. When he felt he had the right recipe of location, menu, and energy to own and operate a Southern Soul-Food restaurant, Mr. Batten outlined his strategy for success by working with the SBDC to create a strong business plan, realistic financial projections, and, perhaps most important of all, a thoughtful and delicious menu.
The location was of primary importance to Mr. Batten. When he discovered a venue on Spruce Street in Scranton that had previously served as a much loved Downtown Eatery, the entrepreneur knew he found the perfect spot to “cook up” his restaurant dream. The location featured a first floor dining area and bar, with a terrific atmosphere. Additionally, the space featured a second floor bar and dining area with oversize windows overlooking the downtown. The Downtown location makes for an easy-to-find location with high visibility.
Mr. Batten fought his way through the many challenges of opening a restaurant by working closely with the Department of Agriculture and with the City of Scranton, Pa. The restaurateur also sought assistance from Frank Migneco of NEPA Alliance to ensure success. As a PREP (Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance) Partner, all involved worked to support the entrepreneurial goals of Mr. Batten. To make this dream a reality, Mr. Batten secured financing via loans, private investors, and personal funding totaling $100,000. This new venture created four full-time and six part-time positions.
With a dash of optimism and a hefty serving of hard work, Mr. Batten’s dream has become a reality. Since the opening, the business owner admits to working long days, both in the kitchen and overseeing the day-to-day operations. He is excited to note that his dinner hour business has been exceptionally busy and the second floor space has been reserved frequently for private parties. He plans to continue his relationship with the SBDC by seeking additional assistance on inventory management and marketing initiatives, to help continue the growth of Rosa’s Southern BBQ.