Veteran-owned businesses joining forces to create resource

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Nikki Kendall, stylist at Backroom Hair Salon and National Guard veteran, is taking part in the BPT’s veteran’s directory. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

After fighting on the battle front, many brave veterans turn to the small business community to find personal and financial fulfillment as small business owners. 

Using the leadership and problem-solving skills they learned while serving our country, these veterans can fight for their own professional freedom through entrepreneurship. 

Not to mention, starting a small business is just one more way these veterans can serve their communities.

In small business, they create local jobs, give back to local causes and build a more vibrant, resilient local economy.

Any time during the year is a perfect time to shop with them. Not just because they’re veterans, but also because they are making quality products.

The success of veteran entrepreneurs has not gone unnoticed by the Bossier Press-Tribune. That is why the BPT is creating its own Veterans Business Directory, which will be shared with its sister publications BIZ. Magazine and the Minden Press-Herald.

Here are a few veteran-owned businesses in Bossier Parish that readers will be able to utilize in the BPT’s upcoming directory:

Heirloom Farms Country Store & Seeds

Veteran Caroline King, created Heirloom Farms in 2013. She wanted the community that she loves to eat clean, locally-grown organic heirloom vegetables with no GMOs.  

King said that you can see the love and support the local and surrounding community has for active military and veterans. 

Heirloom Farms Country Store & Seeds at 895 Allen Town Rd., Haughton.

“Our community has allowed us veterans to own all types of businesses. We are supported by the community, in general. You can see the love our community has for their active duty military and veterans of all ages. Shreveport-Bossier City and all the surrounding communities take care of their veterans. This is a great place to live and to do business,” King said. 

Also, King is the LA state representative for the farmer veterans coalition. If you are veteran and are interested in becoming a farmer, please contact King at her store for further information.

To purchase some of King’s organic heirloom vegetables, vist her store at Heirloom Farms Country Store & Seeds at 895 Allen Town Rd, Haughton, LA 71037.

Benton Swarm Juice 

As a Benton Bee Farmer, owner Andy Griggs says that the knowledge and structure the military taught him is something he uses in his business every day.

“The military teaches us about integrity, service, and excellence in all we do. I try to give the public the best product I can. I treat each and every bottle with the same mindset I provide when competing at honey competitions. I want the experience to simply be the best product that I can possibly provide,” Griggs said. 

Griggs also noted the tremendous support the local community has for veterans in the area.

“If given a choice, the community will go out of its way to support a veteran. Not just with businesses purchases, but with anything. The spirit found in our community is one of the reasons we choose to stay here upon retirement,” Griggs said.

Griggs retired in 2016, after serving for 25 years in the US Air Force.

Benton Swarm Juice is currently being sold exclusively at ReDeux Consignment & Antiques, 5608 Hwy 3 Suite J, Benton, Louisiana 71006 and also at Heirloom Farms Country Store & Seeds, 895 Allen Town Rd, Haughton, LA 71037.

Backroom Salon

Hair Stylist and veteran at Backroom Hair Salon, Nikki Kendall, says that with the lessons learned from her military service, it taught her how to succeed in business and bring forth future hopeful plans on purchasing the salon she currently works at.

“The lessons I learned and lived in military service— like leadership, teamwork, competitive spirit, mission orientation and ambition — are the same attributes needed to succeed in business. No matter if you are a current business owner or not,” Kendall said.

Kendall served for more than 15 years in the Army National Guard.

You can meet Nikki Kendall at the Backroom Hair Salon located at 2038 Hwy US 80, Haughton, LA 71037.

If you are a veteran business owner in northwest Louisiana and would like to be a part of the BPT’s Veterans Business Directory, please contact us with the name of your business, contact information, description of your business and proof of service at newsroom@bossierpress.com.