Jeff and Brenda Coburn opened Coburn’s Family Restaurant in January, 1998 in Emporia, Kansas. Jeff had previously managed two restaurants over a span of eleven years and worked for a beverage distributor. Brenda’s background was in banking where she had been a branch manager and worked in sales and public relations. Both Jeff and Brenda had wanted to start their own restaurant for quite some time and when a well-established local restaurant decided to go out of business, the Coburns, with the consent of the owner, decided to open a similar restaurant across town.
Jeff and Brenda were dedicated enough to their venture to work for the well-established restaurant for eight weeks while it was still operating, in order to better learn how they ran their operation and produced quality food products. They also began planning for their restaurant approximately one year before they opened. They started their business plan as well as the acquisition of equipment and contacted the Emporia State University SBDC in the summer of 1997. The SBDC worked with them on the business plan and financial projections in preparation to request a loan. They were successful in obtaining financing and began renovating their new location. Coburn’s is known for its fresh high-quality hamburgers and other home-style menu items as well as a clean, family-oriented atmosphere. Since the first day of operation, Coburn’s has been one of the busiest most popular restaurants in town and has performed even better than initially expected. Congratulations and appreciation to Jeff and Brenda for their outstanding efforts and astute management in building such a successful business.