SDHS Parents’ Modeling Entrepreneurship

Go check out Alphabet Soup’s latest fall decor!

Alphabet Soup

Go check out Alphabet Soup’s latest fall decor!

Allison Herbert, Staff Writer

With multiple students becoming young entrepreneurs, college athletes and even entering the religious life, St. Dominic also has many parents who have a drive for leadership. There are over 15 businesses owned by student parents at St. Dominic ranging from restaurants to farms and more.  

Starting with the food industry, a popular restaurant that many students and faculty visit weekly is El Tio Pepe. One incredible aspect of the delicious Mexican restaurant is that it is family owned by one of our own!

“We are a family owned and operated Mexican Restaurant. My parents Jose and Martha Jara started El Tio Pepe in January of 1992 in St. Charles, MO., and then later had our existing building built in O’Fallon MO in December of 1999. I started working at the restaurant from the very first day we opened. When my father passed away in 2007 my husband Scott and I started managing the business along with my siblings. We started catering, did some remodeling, and recently added an expansion along with a patio. It has been an exciting journey to continue and grow what my parents started almost 30 years ago,” Veronica Zimmerman, mother of junior Xavier Zimmerman said.

Another unique family-owned business is Hoette Farms and Nursery owned by the Bland family. As interesting as it sounds, it is a 400 acre tree farm that sells trees all over the Midwest.

“We grow Evergreen, Ornamental and shade trees and sell them all over the Midwest to both homeowners and nurseries. We bought our company in 2016 from my parents, Doug and Marsha Hoette who started the farm in 1985. My husband, Derek, always wanted to be a small business owner. Before we bought the company it only sold to nurseries, however when we first started, we expanded our retail side of the business, and we recently added planting and treatment services. Currently, our next move that is in the works is selling trees online,” Courtney Bland, mother of junior Ella and senior Jason Bland said.

One business that I know many students in our school would love to hear about is an embroidery business called Alphabet Soup. The company specializes in personalized gifts like makeup bags and key chains.

“Alphabet Soup does embroidery, heat transfer vinyl, sublimation on apparel and home decor! We started this business almost seven years ago. My husband and I both had other jobs at the time and started talking about how we would love to do something like this. So we did! We definitely plan to keep our company growing. We just moved out of our homes and started working at a new workspace in O’Fallon. We use social media a lot to promote our business, but we always love it when somebody hears about our company through word of mouth. We just started doing monthly subscription boxes and we try to come up with new and different products all the time,” Donna Obert, mother of senior Abby Obert said.

Along with these three impressive companies, St. Dominic has many talented families who own incredible businesses like Hoff Heating & A/C, inc. (owned by Henry Hoff, father of sophomore Brett Hoff), Stefanina’s Pizzeria (owned by the Jobe family), and White Traditions Bridal House (Owned by the Orf family). Make sure to go check out these St. Dominic family-owned businesses and support our fellow Crusaders outside of school!