The 𐒻𐓥𐓣𐓥𐓘𐓷𐓣͘ (Ihkihkawi) Microenterprise Development program, a Dreamstarter Incubator project, has provided micro-loans to four Native American business-owners and entrepreneurs in Oklahoma. One was recently awarded to Eric Wick, of The Dirty Laundry Saloon in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
The Dirty Laundry Saloon in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is aiming to transform small boutique café into a full-fledged restaurant, and through the Running Strong’s Microenterprise Development program it hopes to receive a $5,000 loan to purchase a hood vent which is the final piece of equipment necessary to be able to cook and execute the restaurant successfully.
“Once we install our own kitchen the margins will be much better and we will be able to profit off the high demand for fresh food in the town,” stated general manager Erik Wick in his request for a $5,000 Dreamstarter Incubator loan.
“We are adamant that Pawhuska is in desperate need of a restaurant for the locals and tourists alike,” he said, adding that once operational the restaurant would provide “as close to Farm-to-Table cuisine as possible and offer fresh, healthy food accessible to all.” Many of their vegetables will be sourced locally from the Osage Nation’s farm, Harvest Land.
Erik noted that his business model is aimed at locals and does not rely on tourist traffic, although that will be an added bonus.
“We also intend to create something that people will travel to Pawhuska to experience.”
He also pointed out that currently there is nowhere providing good quality, fresh and clean food for the community.
“We want to educate people that they can eat well without it costing a fortune and it tastes even better.”