Norm Small

Norm Small, who co-founded Yummy’s Cowboy Cuisine, will tell how he and his wife Virginia started their regionally successful catering business at the upcoming Klamath IDEA Talk Oct. 16.

Submitted photo | Klamath Falls Herald and News

The entrepreneurial story of Norm and Virginia Small, founders of Yummy’s Catering Cowboy Cuisine, will be told by Norm at the Oct. 16 IDEA Talk, 5:30 to 8 p.m., at MC’s on Main in downtown Klamath Falls, according to a news release.

The Smalls founded Yummy’s in Merrill in 1994. The couple originally came to the Klamath Basin in 1983 and worked in a self-employed capacity, buying cattle for others and providing custom feed for clients. As the volatility of the cattle industry took a long-term toll on the family, it became clear to Norm that he needed to find something else. The seed of a catering business was planted and grew over time as the Smalls regularly cooked for 4-H fundraising events. They realized that in addition to having fun, they could also make some money. The concept started as a side gig but success was at the door. Yummy’s began providing its famed beef, chicken, potatoes and green beans all over Klamath County, and by 2005, they were consistently catering events in Jackson County. Yummy’s is now a regionally known name.

“Norm is a fixture here in the region and it will be treat to hear his story,” said Klamath IDEA Director Kat Rutledge.

Entrepreneurial starters

The Early Stage Spotlight of the night will be the story of Justin Lair and John DeSpain. Lair tried out his entrepreneurial legs for the first time at age 15 and has been tinkering with ideas ever since. He served in the U.S. Marine Corp as a Presidential Guard before moving to Klamath Falls in 2015. He developed the concept for Fiber Light Fire Starters in 2017 and began commercializing the product. Last year, DeSpain joined forces with Lair to further grow the company.

Fiber Light is the go-to fire starter brand for campers, hikers, preppers, survivalists, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Whenever you need a fire in any company you can count on Fiber Light to light easily every time and burn long enough to help you get a fire started.

Klamath IDEA is committed to creating a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem to increase opportunities for wealth and prosperity in South Central Oregon. Klamath IDEA is a community initiative made up of organizations, events, and individuals cooperating for a common purpose: entrepreneur-based economic development.

The 2018-2019 IDEA Talks season is sponsored by the Klamath Community College Small Business Development Center, Craft3, the City of Klamath Falls, and Klamath County.

Food, provided by MC’s On Main, and one non-alcoholic drink ticket is included in the cost of entry. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the presentations will start at 6 p.m. Those interested in attending this event can purchase discounted tickets in advance online at Eventbrite.com or on Klamath IDEA’s Facebook page for $15. Tickets will also be available at the door for $20 (cash only).