Chuckaboo Station – Unique Business Builds a Following in Rural Nebraska
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chuckaboo Station
Written by Nick Schinker
A family-owned small business that has found success by selling coffees, beverages and bakery items as well as handcrafted candles in rural Nebraska is working to expand its offerings and its customer base.
Chuckaboo Station, named for a Victorian term of endearment given to a close friend, is situated in a renovated 1920s filling station in Potter, Neb.
Owner Teran Enevoldsen is a mother of four children aged 1-1/2 to 10 who had a dream of running a business that would allow her to earn income yet continue home-schooling. Enevoldsen is originally from Ogallala, while Potter is the hometown of her husband, Drew.
“It has always been a dream to open a bookstore or coffeehouse,” Enevoldsen says. “There’s nothing I love more than to check out interesting, off-the-beaten-path shops when I travel, and I love that I can become one of those beloved stops. Not only does Chuckaboo Station allow me to fulfill that lifelong dream, but it also enables me to continue being with my children.”
The couple bought the old building and worked together on its renovations, creating a warm and welcoming place to gather. Prior to opening the coffeehouse in May 2021, Enevoldsen began crafting and selling hand-poured candles that feature a natural base of soy wax, a lead and zinc-free wick and phthalate-free fragrance oils.
Being an entrepreneur in a rural community presents a number of unique challenges. Enevoldsen says it has been a constant learning process for her, and that the help she has received from her husband, who has previous experience in marketing local events, as well as the support of the local community has been integral to her success.
Empowering entrepreneurs like Enevoldsen is the mission of SourceLink Nebraska, a statewide platform that connects entrepreneurs to key service providers and resources supporting economic and community development.
Similar to NetWork Kansas (a rural platform and KC SourceLink® an urban platform), SourceLink Nebraska increases efficiency and allows for broader statewide strategies to expand entrepreneurial and economic impact. The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) serves as the host for the program.
Scott Asmus, SourceLink Nebraska Network Builder, says SourceLink Nebraska is the ideal resource for all Nebraska entrepreneurs, as well as those outside the state interested in starting a business here. “SourceLink Nebraska provides easy access to the right resource at the right time,” he says.
“I first met Teran when she visited my coffee shop in Bushnell,” says Jamie Bright, SourceLink Nebraska Network Navigator. “Now, in my current role working with entrepreneurs and business owners, it is truly heartwarming to see her succeed with her own store. I stop in as often as I can to enjoy the charming shop.”
Chuckaboo Station has attracted customers beyond the community by bringing in travelers. “Potter is in a perfect location between Sidney and Kimball,” Enevoldsen says. “We pull a lot of traffic off the Interstate because of the public bathrooms, and because Potter has one of few remaining Duckpin Bowling alleys in the United States, and the only one west of the Mississippi. Locals have only been able to locate one other true ‘handset’ lane in the United States, and that one is in Rhode Island. Once people drive into town, they come over to check us out.”
She says her business got a big boost by being listed as one of the “stops” on the 2021 Nebraska Passport, a program of the Nebraska Tourism Commission designed to spotlight businesses across the state and create traffic to these “hidden gems.”
“We’ve had between 900 and 1,000 people come in to get a Passport stamp,” she says. “It’s really helped build our clientele.”
A growing clientele is the goal of expansion plans for Chuckaboo Station, Enevoldsen says. “We are working with Flyover Brewing Company in Scottsbluff to put in a tap house in the former garage bay here,” she says. “We think it’s important to create a market for people with different interests. The key is finding a way to make it work in a town of 350 people.”
Contact Chuckaboo Station
Phone: (308) 207-5907
Email: [email protected]
Location: 947 Sherman Street, Potter, NE 69156