BC Cargo gives business owners a place to test ideas

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Imagine opening your first business in a cargo container.

That’s exactly what Battle Creek small business owners are doing near downtown at BC Cargo. It’s a place where entrepreneurs can get their feet wet before diving into a brick-and-mortar store.

“So, I’ve got pulled pork, pulled chicken, I have burnt-end pork belly bites,” said Cliff Rensberger. He rents a spot at BC Cargo for his start-up food business. He doesn’t want to spend the cash on a brick-and-mortar store just yet. So, he’s trying his luck here.

“I would love to have a business downtown, but without running a restaurant before, I’d like to do it on a smaller scale first so I can decide hey is this something that’s going to work out,” he told 24 Hour News 8. “Are people really going to be excited about these things that are maybe great ideas in my head but I haven’t seen it in practicality purposes yet?”

Tristan Bredenhoft and his brother like coffee. So much so, they dream of opening their own coffee shop somewhere near downtown Battle Creek. But for now, they sell hot and cold brew out of one of the cargo containers. 

“It definitely helps smaller businesses kind of take that leap of faith and actually follow through with their plan of a business, so it’s really meant to incubate small businesses,” Bredenhoft said.

“I’m vegetarian,” explained customer Kennedy Hayes, who bought a dish from one of the cargo containers. “And I’ve been looking for options around Battle Creek that have vegetarian, vegan options.  And this store opened up right next to where I work, and it’s been amazing.”

With low overhead and shorter leases, dreamers like Rensberger and Bredenhoft have a chance to turn those dreams into a reality.

“The opportunity just came up, and we decided to run with it and try it out from there,” Rensberger said.

BC Cargo is open Wednesdays through Sundays.  

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