The city of Mandan has released the first of its new "Made in Mandan" business podcasts, which feature business owners talking about the challenges and rewards of owning and operating a business in Mandan.
“There’s no better inspiration than business owners themselves to help generate enthusiasm in others about opening businesses in the community,” said show host Ellen Huber, Mandan’s business development and communications director. “And there’s no more authentic way to hear those stories than to be able to hear from the business owners themselves.”
The first episode debuted July 29. Episodes will be released weekly through late October.
The first episode featured Randy Rhone, owner/partner in several Mandan businesses including Little Caesars Pizza and Big O Tires. Huber and Rhone discussed how he got into local business and what made him choose Mandan.
“When I got back from UND (University of North Dakota) I had seen a need in the marketplace for trailers, at which point we started Extreme Trailer Sales in Mandan,” Rhone said on the podcast. “In a few years we set the world record in trailer sales for Hallmark and PJ trailers at the time, which was great for such a small community.”
Stories like these look to be a staple for the podcast, as future guests include Chris Redman of expanding firm Redman Law, Crystal Tretbar of The Studio Wellness Community of Mandan and Brian Masseth of Butcher Block Meats.
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“Capturing stories like that in the podcast is a great way to share with a larger audience,” Huber said. “There’s a lot more stories than the six in the podcasts, but we try to give the spectrum of people and businesses.”
Episodes have already been recorded in the Street Sounds Studio on Main Street in Mandan. They will be available via most podcast player applications including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Anchor FM. Video versions will be posted on Made in Mandan social media including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Huber hopes the podcasts will help inform people about Mandan and, ultimately, bring in more people and businesses.
“We’re hoping (the podcast) is a tool in the process of helping to foster other startups in the community; it’s information-sharing, really,” Huber said. “They’re meant to share info on resources available in the community.”
With Season One of the podcasts underway, Huber is feeling good about their potential and the possibility of a Season Two. The estimated cost for the first season was $4,400 for six episodes, money allocated by the Mandan Tomorrow – Leadership, Pride and Image Committee. The group is funded by a mixture of public and private money.
“As long as funding is in place for 2020 and Season One meets objectives and is well received, we do have in the budget proposal to have a Season Two,” Huber said. “There are so many more great stories to share, we would love to continue to involve people and share more stories.”