Today, I launched the Mason Myers Blog here with the post below.
“Teach what you want to learn” is a phrase that I like. For me, it captures the idea that teaching or sharing something with others helps the ideas sink into your own mind. It is with that thought that I am beginning the Mason Myers Blog.
I hope that you gain some nuggets that help you in your business, but I am also hoping that it helps me clarify my thinking and deepen my understanding of things as I write about them. Please share your insights, give me feedback, and help me improve as we embark on this journey together. For that, thank you in advance!
Last night, Steven Marks, co-CEO of Main Street Gourmet, received the H. Peter Burg Business Leadership Award from the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce. The award was created by the to recognize a local business leader who promotes economic development in the Greater Akron region. Main Street Gourmet was selected to the 1992 and 1993 “Inc. 500,” a listing of the fastest growing companies in the United States. In 1993, Steve and his co-CEO Harvey Nelson were chosen by Inc. Magazine and Ernst & Young as the “1993 Entrepreneurs of the Year Award for Northeastern Ohio.” In 1994 and 2011 the U.S. Small Business Administration selected Steve and Harvey as the “Small Business Person(s) of the Year” in Northern Ohio.
I am pleased to announce Greybull Stewardship’s minority investment in ABC Sports Camps, a company that provides online sports camp registration services. ABC helps camp managers attract more campers, register them efficiently, and manage the back-office of sports camps. The all-star founder of the company, Ben Boulware, will continue to manage the business. Our goal is to support Ben as he continues to grow the business.
Greybull Stewardship became a minority investor and the largest equity owner of Main Street Gourmet through a recent recapitalization. As Greybull Stewardship likes to do, the existing co-founders and co-CEO’s, Steve Marks and Harvey Nelson, will continue to manage the business. We also collaborated with two independent sponsors, Dave Choe and Alex Schneider of Clover Capital. Dave and Alex will provide very active support to Steve and Harvey with some good plans on how to create value. We are very enthusiastic to partner with all four of them on this deal as they are very talented and energetic partners.
Main Street Gourmet bakes and supplies frozen muffins, brownies, cookies, granola, specialty desserts and other items for retailers, cafes, restaurants and delis. It was founded in 1987.
Here is a link to the story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Greybull Stewardship is pleased to announce its minority investment in Appointment Plus online scheduling software. I am excited to become a co-owner in an amazing business with two very talented entrepreneurs, Bob LaLoggia and Ryan Kelly, who will continue to manage the business.
We have used Appointment Plus software for over two years at my massage therapy school, the National Holistic Institute and the nation’s best massage therapy school, to enable our clinic clients to book student massages in our student clinic. It has worked wonderfully. Appointment Plus has increased our overall number of appointments, reduced staff time in calling clients, reduced no shows, and more. Every business that schedules appointments needs to enable online appointment booking soon.
Greybull Stewardship is pleased to announce its first closing of committed capital. I am particularly proud that Greybull was able to gather committed capital through its evergreen fund structure. This structure provides several advantages to Greybull Stewardship, to the companies in which it invests, and to our co-owners in those companies:
- Does not force growth rates upon companies. Because our capital source is evergreen and it does not have a fund termination date, Greybull can be patient and allow a company to execute a growth strategy that is optimal for its business.
- Does not force a sale of our portfolio companies or “exit”. Greybull’s ideal holding period for an investment is forever. We do not want to sell our investments (we also won’t stand in the way if our co-owners determine it is time to sell). Because our capital source is evergreen and it does not have a termination date, Greybull will not force a company to sell its business.
- Allows tax efficient strategies for our portfolio companies and our co-owners in those businesses. Greybull can invest in flow-through tax entities which enables our co-owners to enjoy an efficient tax structure of paying only one level of income tax. Most venture capital and private equity funds cannot do this — they must invest in tax-inefficient C Corporations. Not only do C Corporations create a double tax, it creates a bias toward gambling all financial returns on a perfect sale of the company with perfect market timing. Greybull portfolio companies can earn returns along the way and are not forced to exit until they choose or the market timing is best.
Now, we are off to look for companies that fit our criteria:
- Have consistently earned $500,000 to $5,000,000 in pre-tax profit,
- Have a management team in place with a proven track record with the business,
- Have reasonable prospects for growth — we love growth but do not require high growth rates, and
- Have a desire for a majority or minority (with participation in the large decisions of the company) co-owner in Greybull Stewardship.