CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - Just weeks ago, the Barrel Drive-In in Clear Lake was struggling to stay afloat. They are faced with an aging building and a declining customer base therefore, they were close to shutting the doors, or worse, tearing it down. However, now business is picking up, and supporters are coming out.
The owner, Seth Thackery has been selected by two local companies to receive up to $75,000. The award is being given by Julie Wright, owner of Executive Financial Architects, and the owner of North Iowa Internet and Creative Services, Michael Fiala.
“We were talking about several different businesses around North Iowa, and Seth came on our radar. We discussed it, and he looked like a great candidate to help, so here we are,” says Fiala.
However, this money is not in the form of paper, rather it’s in their expertise. It’s knowledge that Barrel Owner, Seth Thackery thrives on.
“The last time we spoke, I was kind of hunched over, ready to quit. Now, I feel uplifted. Let’s go again, I have people lifting me up, and pushing me forward, and I don’t think we can fail now,” says Thackery.
While Wright will focus on business coaching and marketing, Fiala’s expertise is shown in business’ internet presence. It’s something he says, the Barrel desperately needs.
“Right now, anyone under 40 shops with their cell phone or their tablet. If you don’t have a web presence, you can’t compete in that space,” says Fiala.
Thackery says, this is the information and consulting he needs. Business is also picking up since the scare of this historic drive-in closing its doors.
“I think it just kind of woke everyone up, like, yeah we haven’t been going there that often,” says Thackery.
Now, with the community behind him, he is ready to give it another go, because no one wants to see it succeed more than Thackery.
“I’ve worked here since I was 14. I love this place, it’s my heart and soul. I want to maintain it, fix it up and have it be part of Clear Lake’s legacy,” says Thackery.
Wright says, this is the main reason he was chosen for this award.
“When a business in your own backyard asks you for help, you can give them coaching skills, you can give them internet programs and things like that, but what you can’t give them is heart, you can’t give them passion and you can’t give them vision. Seth has all of that,” says Wright.
Thackery says because this money is in the form of expertise and coaching, he is still seeking help in restoring the aging building. He is asking for anyone with skills, ranging from painting to building, to help the cause, restoring this historic landmark.