Chasing the American Dream!
by Tony Tone
January 25, 2023

I’ve always been an idea guy. I love sitting around a table, brainstorming with a group, and talking things through. This includes people considering chasing the American Dream and opening their own businesses. Muscatine County has so many locally owned businesses that all more than likely started as an idea.

I’m excited to see how many of those ideas will become a reality in 2023. I think of my friends behind Knee-High Distilling Co., And while I don’t know the story 100%, I do know the people involved, Thad and Rachel Burkamper and Jeremy and Kaely Spratt. Local people, friends for a long time, are taking something they probably kicked around a kitchen or dining room table into a full-fledged business. By the time you’re reading this (either the end January or early February), Knee-High Distilling Co. will have officially opened its doors! I love that!

What about Chris Marssiglio, who just opened up Capone’s Chicago Style Eatery? He is another example of someone who had an idea and worked to make it a reality. I talked to my friends Tracy and Greg Lewandowski last week at the Muskie Bowling meet about Capone’s since they, like me, are Chicago area transplants. They were so excited to hear that there is a place in Muscatine selling Chicago-style hotdogs!

I don’t personally know Tammy Tunis, but I really appreciate that she followed her dream and opened Create DIY Craft Studio in downtown Muscatine, a super cool place where you can literally create anything you can dream up. Maybe that’s a space where you go to workshop an idea you have! Even our large leaders of industry started small.

What I’m getting at is this; if you have that spark, idea, or motivation, talk it out. Share it with a family member or friend and see what they think. There is plenty of room (and land) across Muscatine County for the next big idea. We also have local organizations that are primed and ready to help entrepreneurs. They include the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, and of course, all of our local financial institutions that can help finance the idea.

By the way, if you have made the leap and recently opened a new business in Muscatine County, email me ([email protected])! I would love to personally visit and support your establishment and do whatever I can to help spread the word.

I’ll leave you with a line from my favorite poet Langston Hughes, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” Chase those dreams, share your ideas, and good luck.

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