WASECA — Kenny the goat really wanted to join two representatives of the “Small Business Revolution” web series inside the Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm kitchen.
Kenny clamored at the door as Emily Knudsen talked about her unique restaurant inside a renovated horse barn north of Waseca on Monday afternoon.
A new fence to contain her newly rescued goat will be on Knudsen’s list of improvements if her farm is chosen for a makeover courtesy “Small Business Revolution.”
Waseca is among 10 small towns in the running to be featured on the fifth season of the web series hosted by Deluxe.
The winning town will receive revitalization services the company says is valued at $500,000.
Deluxe is a Twin Cities-based company that provides marketing services and products to businesses.
The web series follows Deluxe Chief Brand Manager Amanda Brinkman and renovation reality TV star Ty Pennington as they help small businesses.
Six businesses in a winning town are chosen for a remodel and Deluxe services each year.
Two marketing executives from Deluxe are in Waseca Monday through Tuesday afternoon. They are touring small businesses and meeting with business leaders, including Chamber of Commerce Executive Ann Fitch, whose application brought them to Waseca.
Deluxe Director of Marketing Partnerships Julie Gordon said Waseca has “great energy” and she is impressed with the community’s Vision 2030 strategic planning initiative.
“Waseca is certainly not sitting back,” she said. “They’re definitely taking control of their future.”
Gordon and Deluxe Director of Social Media and Communications Jennifer Amundson are paying surprise visits to area businesses.
“You can feel the town is abuzz with energy,” said Samantha Meyer, who works for her mother at Pearl Button Primitives.
Justine Myer, who has owned the shop selling handmade and reclaimed items for 10 years, said she’d relish some advice from Deluxe’s on how she could improve management of her venture. A more prominent sign outside is one of the items on her wish list if she were chosen for a makeover.
Representatives of “Small Business Revolution” are visiting 10 semifinalist towns and will announce five finalists Jan. 14.
The Deluxe visitors said supporters can help Waseca make it to the top five by posting about what makes their town special on social media using the #mywaseca hashtag.
“Just show that pride and spirit,” Gordon said.
An online public vote will decide the winner, which will be announced Jan. 28.
If Waseca is chosen, Amundson said all of its small businesses will be invited to apply to be on the show. The series can be viewed on Hulu, Amazon Prime and www.smallbusinessrevolution.org.
Even if Waseca isn’t chosen, it won’t be a bust for its small business community.
Being named a semifinalist has attracted some new shoppers. New Waseca resident Shelly Kaltenhauser paid her first visit to Pearl Button Primitives and other businesses she discovered via the #mywaseca campaign.