The Shasta-Cascade SBDC helped a young couple purchase an old, local bowling alley with the goal to transform it into a pleasant, enjoyable family entertainment center.
Both Anthony and Tona Thompson have a deep seated love for bowling. They both started at the age of 7 and have bowled multiple 300 games. So, when they discovered Country Bowl in Redding – a decades-old declining business with an absentee owner and operated by the head mechanic and a day shift manager – they saw an opportunity to transform the facility into a family entertainment spot with an enjoyable, pleasant atmosphere. Their challenge was they didn’t know how to go about purchasing the place.
The Thompsons turned to the Shasta Cascade SBDC and advisor Joe Rodola for guidance. Joe helped them write a business plan and create financial forecasts, assisted with the transfer of an EIDL loan and put together a purchase agreement that included a personal investment, loan and a lease option.
Just a few months after contacting the SBDC, Anthony and Tona became the owners of Country Bowl. They have made major strides in revamping the aging facility with new equipment (e.g., shoes, balls, pins, etc.) and have secured a date in the fall of 2022 to host a North State Regional Bowling Tournament, bringing bowlers from all over Northern California to compete here in Redding. Through all of this, they were not only able to retain employees, but the process also resulted in a number of new jobs and a cool, re-vamped place in Redding for families to spend evenings and weekends.