Posts Tagged ‘client profile’

Client Profile: Ash & Elm Cider Co.

Ash Elm & Cider Co. is a relatively new family business run by the husband and wife team of Aaron and Andréa Homoya. After roughly two years of planning, they opened the craft cidery in the summer of 2016.

Aaron, the chief fermentation officer, has been brewing beer at home for more than a decade. But as the craft beer industry seemed to be crowding the market in Indy, he and Andréa decided to shift their focus to hard cider. A particularly tasty cider they tried in Ireland inspired them to start making their own. And they wanted to stand out from the local competition.

“No one in Indianapolis was making craft cider the way we wanted to, and as a category, cider was really becoming a lot more popular nationwide,” Andréa said. “The skills transferred pretty well between brewing and cider-making, so we decided to go for it.”

Aaron kept his day job as an electrical engineer, moonlighting as the manager of Ash & Elm’s cider-making process. As CEO, Andréa oversees the daily operations, making sure everything in the tasting room and kitchen runs smoothly and working with local bars and restaurants to get the company’s ciders on taps and retail shelves all around town.

Everything at Ash & Elm is local — from the Indiana-grown apples used to make the ciders to the meats and cheeses on its delicious pressed sandwiches. Aaron and Andréa take pride in the company’s Hoosier roots.

The Homoyas’ relationship with Sponsel CPA Group began when Ash & Elm was still in its infancy.

“Our lawyer, Dave Castor, recommended Sponsel back when we were still a business in planning,” Andréa said. “We were looking to secure some bank financing and needed help with our business projections. We hired Sponsel to help us with that project, and then we decided to continue the relationship after finding them great to work with and very knowledgeable.”

Ash & Elm continues to grow and thrive. Keep an eye out for its upcoming seasonal ciders — pumpkin, raspberry and winter spice. Click here to learn more about the company.

Client Profile: ProSource Wholesale

When Dave Grande took over as the owner of ProSource Wholesale of Indianapolis, he had no experience in the commercial and residential renovation industry. But he hit the ground running and helped the franchise business continue to grow as one of North America’s largest trade-only wholesale suppliers for commercial and home improvement projects.

Established in 1991, ProSource boasts more than 140 showrooms across the U.S. and Canada. Grande owns the franchise rights to the entire metro Indianapolis area, overseeing three showrooms that offer flooring, kitchen and bath products for builders, remodelers, real estate agents and other trade professionals.

After 28 years as a manufacturer’s representative in the machining industry, Dave took a risk and jumped onboard the ProSource team, buying the first north Indianapolis location from his wife’s former neighbor in the spring of 2005.

Tom Sponsel immediately sprung to Grande’s mind when he was in the process of financially positioning himself to purchase the location.

“Tom and I go way back,” Grande said. “We went to Cathedral High School together. He was the first guy I called, and I’m so glad I did. Sponsel CPA Group was extremely instrumental in helping us acquire the business. Their relationship with the local banks persuaded people to take a chance and give us the loans we needed to start.”

After overcoming the economic downturn of the housing industry in the mid-2000s, Grande went on to open two more Indianapolis locations, one of which is currently managed by his son.

Sponsel CPA Group is proud to play a role in helping Grande run this growing family business.

Click here for more information about ProSource Wholesale.

Client Profile: Storage Express

Jefferson Shreve, the founder and president of Storage Express, built his business from the ground up. He started construction on his first storage facility in Martinsville, IN during the spring semester of his senior year at Indiana University, and his business has been growing and thriving ever since.

Now, 28 years later, Storage Express has 106 locations across five states: Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Based out of Bloomington, IN, Storage Express buys, builds and manages self-storage facilities that offer customers 24/7 access and support. Shreve has leveraged technology and a devoted team of long-term managers who offer a high quality, customer friendly experience.

The steadily rising success of Storage Express is a testament to the power of perseverance and continuous innovation into the services and facilities provided.

“Growing a business is no small feat,” Shreve said. “Oftentimes the odds are stacked against start-ups, and you can find yourself tempted to throw in the towel. But I’ve found that if you hang in there and persevere, great success can come your way. Oh, and you can’t run out of cash!”

Three years ago, Shreve and the Storage Express team turned to Sponsel CPA Group for tax consultation as well as audit and assurance services and HR compliance. Shreve considers Sponsel an important partner that plays an integral role in helping the business continue to run smoothly.

“Sponsel has been a great team to work with,” Shreve said. “They’re always accessible and responsive, and they’ve been a valuable asset to our company.”

Click here for more information about Storage Express.

Client Profile: Outreach, Inc.

Outreach Inc.Outreach, Inc. is a key civic safety net for Central Indiana teens who are homeless or at risk. Founder and CEO Eric Howard started the non-profit group nearly two decades ago, literally operating out of the trunk of his car. Now Outreach serves nearly 400 homeless young people between the ages of 14-24, has a permanent staff of 15 people plus 96 volunteers.

“We call our volunteers unpaid staff because they are so vital to our success. They are mentors and tutors to our young adults, and also perform administrative duties and data entry,” Howard said.

After operating out of a home on Indianapolis’ Eastside for many years, Outreach recently broke ground on a new facility four blocks away that is almost four times as large as their present space. That has brought expanded ambitions, but also new challenges.

A Christian-centered group, Outreach offers a broad range of services, from meals and a place to shower to counseling and referral to other community resources. They also run a telephone resource line for teens who find themselves in need of their services..

For a number of years now Outreach has turned to Sponsel CPA Group for help. Not only does the firm assist them in meeting all their important filing deadlines and state and federal disclosure requirements, they serve as proactive advisors who bring new ideas and opportunities to the table. This includes streamlining their new service model, launched in June, which promotes health and capacity amongst youth, staff and partners.

“We couldn’t do what we do without Sponsel CPA Group. They not only celebrate our success but want us to thrive. They are partners, and I’m surprised how excited they get about our successes,” Howard said, adding that members of the Sponsel staff attended their groundbreaking and other events.

“This is hard to believe, but our staff loves it when they come to audit. The audit is more than catching mistakes. It’s about helping us become a better steward with the resources entrusted to us.”

Unlike previous accounting firms that seemed more interested in racking up billable hours than lending assistance, the Sponsel team is always ready to help, Howard said. “We are never embarrassed to ask Sponsel CPA Group a question. They know filing deadlines and state and federal requirements are their focus, which frees us up to focus on our business.”

There’s just something special about family-owned businesses

Meredith ReinkerBy Meredith Reinker
Roberts Camera

Editor’s note: this recent blog post by one of our clients demonstrates just how special family-owned businesses are, not just to the families who run them but the customers they serve. Reprinted with permission.

If you haven’t heard the news by now, we hope this will find its way to you one way or another:


By the time you read this, we should be reopened at our new location, 220 E. St. Clair Street in Indianapolis. Here are a few things you ought to know:

Are you going to make a ridiculously big deal out of the new store?

Ummm…Yes! Save the date for our Grand Opening weekend, Nov. 6-8! It is going to be big! We are going to have amazing speakers, tons of seminars, tons of deals and tons of giveaways. Trust me … you don’t want to miss it. We will release all the details soon!

Why are we moving?

There are MANY answers to this question, but the most concise one is that we need room to grow and adapt and change with this new online retail marketplace. My dad has always been a huge proponent of change. It is the reason that Roberts has stayed relevant for as long as it has.

We want room to bring in more product lines and more variety. We want to offer our retail customers an experience vs. just a showroom — try out the camera, try out that lens, test out some studio equipment. Photography should be an experience and we hope to bring that to our new store.

We need a better warehouse and shipping area to help grow our online offerings and processes. We are making a big splash in the used camera business, and what better way to bring people this great gear (at really great prices) than to have a big used camera showroom and tons of inventory to choose from! The Midwest has a large and vibrant photography community and you deserve a place with an extensive selection of used gear. And we want to be the ones to deliver it to you.

We also know that not everyone can buy the latest and greatest — you might just need to rent something for a few days? Well, we can help you there, too! We are going to be expanding our rental offerings (this will happen over time) with some of the hottest new lenses, video gear, audio gear and more.

And, we will finally have a lovely on-site classroom to help bring more amazing seminars and workshops to Indy! Oh yeah … the parking is better, too! We can’t promise a parking lot like you would see at Target — I mean we are still downtown, but we can promise it’s better than what we had! Here is just a small teaser…

Roberts Camera - new bldg

While change is great and necessary (more emphasis on necessary), let me tell you what is not going to change:

Our commitment to the customer and to providing a great experience. We will continue to do whatever we can to make sure that you get what you need, we will listen to you and your needs and give you our best opinions. We will continue to give you the best pricing, and we will continue to educate you so that you can get the most out of your equipment. AND, we will continue to have a staff that is as passionate and knowledgeable about photography as you are.

In short — we never have and never want to be a transactional business where we see you once every five years when your camera breaks and you come in to get a new one. We like relationships, we like friends. We want to focus on the lifecycle of your camera and you as a photographer.

We hope you get your first camera here; take some great classes to learn how to use it; buy some cheap used gear as you make your way through life; trade in your old camera for cash when you get your first job; buy the hot new camera; take some classes to master lighting, Lightroom and light painting; let us help you with the repair process when you drop it; buy some new lenses when you get ready to go on your honeymoon; get your trip pictures printed here; trade up your camera when that perfect job comes along; get a new camera with a great lens to capture every moment of your child’s first years; probably get some pictures printed on canvas; take some classes on portrait photography and sports photography; buy some BIG lenses to capture every second of every sports game; trade in your camera to help pay for college; and college is over — get the hottest new camera with the best lens because your are finally taking that trip of your dreams!

That was not short at all, was it? You get the point. We want to be there for everything. Let us help you achieve your vision and capture every memory … because it goes fast right!

Why else is this move a BIG deal?

Well, for starters we have been in this building (yep, the one below) at 255 S. Meridian Street since 1970. That is 44 years of history, inventory, paperwork, pictures, cameras, clocks, jewelry, weird figurines and more that we have to sort through. We want to make sure that we are bringing only the best to our new store location.

Roberts Camera - old bldg

This move is a pretty big deal to me personally as well. My grandparents started Roberts in 1957 and truly put everything they had on the line to buy this building and make this business work. I learned a lot from them about character, loyalty and hard work.

But for me, it is more about my relationship with my dad, Bruce Pallman. I am currently 33 years old, and my dad has been the managing partner of Roberts for the past 40 years. That means it is the only job he has ever had and the only thing I have ever known. It means I have been coming here for 33 years.

I started answering phones at the front desk when I was 12 years old. I would get so excited to come to work with my dad on Saturdays. We would go to breakfast at Shapiro’s, open the store and I would help turn on all the lights and clean the cases. My grandmother would not let me use more than two paper towels and two squirts of Windex to clean the show cases — she was a child of the Great Depression and you did not waste ANYTHING. During the day, I would answer phones, wrap Christmas gifts for the holidays and bother the staff. My dad would take me to lunch at Union Station when they had the big food court in the upstairs area. We would always get Enzo’s pizza — those really big New York style slices, and I would get a huge soda (which I was NOT normally allowed to have).

Roberts Camera - Meredith as child

And I would watch my dad stand at the front counter and go through his invoices and talk to every person who came in the door. I would see how much fun he was having (and still is having) all the time with everyone that came in the door. He truly loves seeing people, providing great service and getting people what they really need — and not talking them into something they don’t.

It’s funny how you remember the small things so vividly. There were these containers of mixed nuts that my grandmother insisted we sell at the holidays. They were in red boxes and always sat right by the front door. There is a sign that has hung in my dad’s office for years that reads, “It Is What It Is,” because that was my grandmother’s famous saying. I remember her hanging another sign in the store that read, “Any Unattended Child will be given an Espresso and a Free Puppy,” and she thought that was the funniest thing she had ever seen. She made everyone who came in the store read it.

She also RULED the parking lot. If you were not in the store, you did not come within a 10-foot radius of the parking lot without feeling her wrath. I remember my grandfather sitting in his big leather chair at the front of the store, and he would talk with the longtime customers and watch. He’d watch it change, he’d watch it grow and I know he was proud of my dad. I remember when the wholesale district actually had wholesale businesses.

Many things have changed, and many things have not. But the most interesting thing to me is still watching my dad work. His business mind and intuition is one that can’t be taught, you can only hope to absorb like a sponge as much as you can in the time that you have. The best part is that I still get to come to work each day with my dad and see him having so much fun, day in and day out. That’s an experience not a lot of people have (and maybe not a lot of people want), but for me it makes this move that much more important.

I know how much work has gone into making this store what it is today, and I know how hard it will be to continue to move this into the future. But the fun is in the challenge of it, and in the day-to-day, and that is what makes coming to work an adventure where no day is ever the same.

So, all in all, I think the word of the hour is “bittersweet.” I am excited for the opportunities that this growth will bring to Roberts, to the photography community and to Indy. I am sad to be leaving behind such a key piece of this company’s history. I am sad to walk out of that building for the last time. And I am sad to not be able to look at the front counter and picture my grandmother standing there, or my dad sitting in his office laughing with someone on the phone.

But, as my dad will be the first to tell you — you can’t move forward when you are standing still, right?

Roberts Camera - Bruce

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