Making a difference in the local community

Senior Tanner Klein graduated earlier this month, but he is staying at Simpson through May Term to finish up one last internship to impact the Indianola community.

Tanner found Funaro’s Deli too late as he puts it.  It wasn’t until the summer of his senior year that he was introduced to this local institution, but he wants to change that for future students.  “It’s better food, better quality than the other places around here.  And you know, they have deal for Simpson students-you get a free drink and a cookie with your sandwich there”

This shop on the square in Indianola serves delicious breakfast pastries and cinnamon rolls as well as a great lunch, but as Tanner found out, very few students know about this haven for mom’s style cooking just ½ mile away.  His mission in his internship is to change that.  He is developing a marketing plan for the deli to advertise the student special and share Funaro’s with the community.

This was Tanner’s first internship and Funaro’s first time hosting an intern as well.  “Getting started was difficult figuring out what I could do and what they wanted me to do, but after some conversations with Greg and B-Bop and Professor Mueller, we really got started.  I have developed a number of marketing ideas for them to use in the future so that when they want, they can pull an idea out of the plan and go for it.  I’m also helping them apply for the Warren County Economic Development grant for small businesses.”

When asked about why an existing business needs grant funding, it’s clear Tanner is excited about Funaro’s and wants to see them succeed.  “The machines and ovens are really old-they were purchased with the bakery.  These days, you can get higher quality, more energy efficient machines that would really let them make more bread, spend less money on cooling the store and be better at the great work they already do”

Tanner has studied marketing and management with an emphasis on entrepreneurship the past four years and hasn’t quite figured out exactly what he wants to do in life.  “My goal is someday to own my own business, but I’ve got to spend some time this summer figuring out what next steps to take.  I’ve got a few good job leads right now.”   He is headed back to Tripoli, a small community in northeast Iowa, to work this summer and consider his options.  Maybe construction project management?  Maybe a management development position at a large corporation?  His focus right now is on making sure Funaro’s is set up for a good future with good plans set for the next intern and then he’ll think about his next step.