K-Vay’s Restaurant

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K-Vay’s Restaurant is a full-service restaurant and catering business located in Irwin, Westmoreland County. The business has been in operation since 1988 providing their customers delicious food ranging from pizza to big dinners and  fried chicken take-out. The business was purchased in December of 2014 by Mr. Jeff Holt with assistance from the Saint Vincent College Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Jeff has engaged the services of the SBDC for three separate business ventures since he first contacted the center in April of 2000. With the assistance of the SBDC, he was able to start one successful business as well as acquire another, K-Vay’s Restaurant.

He first approached the Saint Vincent College SBDC for assistance in starting a weight lifting gym. Jeff was an avid weight lifter and felt that his hobby would make for a good business venture. During the course of developing a business plan, he decided that the time was not right for this venture.

Five years later, Jeff again approached the SBDC. This time he was seeking assistance in starting a helicopter navigational repair and parts business. He had experience in the industry working for others but had always had the desire to be self-employed. Together with the SBDC staff, Jeff developed a business plan, secured funding, and opened Uniflight West Pen,n a helicopter repair and parts company. Jeff continued to work closely with the SBDC over the next few years as his business expanded, changed location, reached $1,000,000 in annual sales, added 25 employees, and merged with Hawke Aerospace.

Jeff once again approached the SBDC in July of 2013 to discuss the potential purchase of the family-owned K-Vay’s Restaurant. The then owners of the business had operated the business for twenty-five years and were seeking to retire but were particular as to who they would sell to. Jeff had lived his whole life in the neighborhood, and he and his family had been regular customers. During the initial meeting, Jeff presented the SBDC consultant with four years of the seller’s business tax returns and asked questions concerning the industry as well as the value of the business. Jeff had acquired substantial net worth through the ownership of Uniflight West Penn and the merger with Hawke Aerospace. However, he preferred to keep his money in that business and was seeking a lender that would finance his purchase of the restaurant.

The staff of the SBDC referred him to a lender that would have interest in funding his project: The Progress Fund, a certified Community Development Financial Institution whose primary focus is to serve the tourism and food industries of the Northern Appalachia Region. The consultant then used the sales and profit figures obtained from the seller’s tax returns to prepare an informal valuation of the restaurant to serve as a baseline for negotiations to determine the selling price. Over the course of the next few months, Jeff and the SBDC staff worked together to develop a business plan augmented by industry and demographic research provided by the SBDC. The business plan contained detailed financial projections as well as a historical income statement based on the seller’s operation.

The Progress Fund awarded him a $600,000 loan that together with seller financing and an equity contribution by Jeff was sufficient to purchase and begin operation of K-Vay’s Restaurant. Mr. Jeff Holt has on several occasions benefitted from assistance provided by the Saint Vincent College SBDC.