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San Angelo Business Plan competition announces winners

Cowboy-Up Chocolates won first place in the 2021 San Angelo Business Plan competition.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Winners of the San Angelo Business Plan competition were announced Wednesday morning at San Angelo City Hall. The competition is a three-phase building plan open to those who want to develop a new business or expand an existing one. A total of $70,000 in cash prizes were awarded to three businesses. 

“It’s a great partnership between COSADC, ASU small business development center and ASU Norris-Vincent College of Business for the coordinators and of course the judging panel is totally independent,” ASU Small Business Development Center Director, David Erickson, said. 

Erickson said the SBDC along with the student class team of graduating accounting teams help the contestants build their business plan, focused especially on the financial part. 

First place winner, Cowboy-Up Chocolates, received a total cash prize of  $40,000. The retail chocolate shop was originally founded by James Crowder and sold to Charles and Misty Mullin in 2019 after his retirement.

Charles says this grant will help them move them to the future. Cowboy-Up Chocolates recently moved to their downtown location increasing traffic at their shop. Charles says Cowboy-Up Chocolates will use the grant awarded in new machinery to increase the speed of preparing the chocolate. 

“We have such high demand for our chocolates, we’re going to need better processing equipment to produce a higher volume of chocolates for ourselves,” Cowboy-Up Chocolates owner, Charles Mullin, said. 

Second place winner, Lonestar Cheeseburger Company, received $20,000, no representatives from the business were present at the ceremony. Third place winner of a $10,000 grant prize was Medical Arts Pharmacy.  

“One of the things that we're looking at doing is adding a compounding service to our line of products that we’re already offering so that we can continue to help provide great healthcare for the people of San Angelo,” Bryan Abernathy, Medical Arts Pharmacy owner, said.

The City of San Angelo Development Corporation provides the funding for this annual competition. The competition is an opportunity for small businesses to receive the funding and advice from professionals for their business to succeed.