As all citizens of a small town know, our local economies are dependent upon supporting one another – believing in one another. Our staff know this not only from the community banker perspective, but also from the small business owner perspective as they each have their own ventures on the side. The opportunities in our rural communities are plentiful, and it’s beautiful to see prosperity bloom as we believe in ourselves and one another!
The year was 2009. As I bounced on a small seat in the corner of a public transportation bus I saw an advertisement for The Salon Professional Academy. You see, I was attending a university in hopes to become something I wasn’t. It was there my life would be forever changed. My name is Aurilla — or Rilla, as most people in my hometown of Corning know me as, and this is my story.
We’re in Corning, Iowa (pop. 1,635) for the podcast this week with Anne Greenwalt of Carver’s Ridge. Anne is a fifth generation entrepreneur and is sharing how she and her husband Tyson started a boulder engraving business that has since grown into an amazing product line of handcrafted, personalized gifts. They recently moved the entire business to Anne’s hometown of Corning and are loving the small town life there - and Anne’s telling us all about it!
Located just four miles north of Corning, the traffic and the people that Lake Icaria brings through the Corning community helps sustain many of our local and main street businesses. For a community with such a small population we are blessed to have so much to offer! Grocery store, hardware stores, restaurants, and retail stores that will rival communities with a much larger population are thriving here due to the local community support and the support of visitors coming to our community.
"Don't fall in love with it too quickly, we don't know how much this costs," I told Jill when we first laid eyes on what would become Primrose Restaurant almost three years ago. I'm Joel Mahr, and my wife, Jill Fulton, and I are the co-owners of Primrose. We met almost 15 years ago. I was the city kid still trying to find a job I truly liked (let’s be honest, I was lost in the job world). Jill was the farm kid who had moved to the "big" city to find her dream job.
In the Summer of 2016, shortly before the birth of our second child, I broke the news to my wife, Allie, that I wanted to build a carwash in Corning. I’m not sure if it was hormonal delirium or sleep deprivation but she was 100 percent on board from day one. We both loved the idea of how this could enhance the community and surrounding area. Corning is such a unique place that has had so many experiences for our family.
If you travel through the rolling hills of Southwest Iowa, past the corn fields and beyond the bustle of the busy interstate, you may be surprised to discover a small community with a thriving entrepreneurial population and local personality to rival even the largest of cities. Located in the middle of the Omaha/Des Moines/Kansas City triangle, Corning, Iowa is a no-stoplight town overflowing with opportunity, relaxation, and fun.