215 Route 22 East
Green Brook, NJ 08812
As a child Carrie Neigel loved pretending she owned a café or bake shop and often served her family make-believe baked goods, but because she admittedly “never had good baking skills,” it seemed unlikely her favorite childhood game would end up being her real-life vocation. Then one fateful Outer Banks vacation morning, she visited a Duck Donuts shop for the first time and everything changed.
Neigel so enjoyed the Duck Donuts experience, she became “obsessed” with learning more about the company. She researched extensively and purchased a franchise, worked at several established stores as part of her hands-on training, and finally opened the doors of her own Duck Donuts shop in Green Brook, Somerset County, in 2016.
The start-up period of Neigel’s venture was full of challenges such as learning to manage employees and dealing with the often complicated accounting responsibilities of running a small business. Unhappy with the performance of a CPA she hired initially, Neigel realized she needed to learn more about the record-keeping process. She attended an SBDC Accounting Fundamentals class at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in April 2017 and soon after met with SBDC Counselor, Carla Fallone, for what was to be the first of many counseling sessions.
Fallone’s expert guidance has increased Neigel’s confidence in her record-keeping, financial decision-making and business strategy skills. She also has been an understanding sounding board for Neigel as her business evolves, guiding her on how to deal with challenges such as managing her staff of up to 30 employees, gauging where to spend advertising dollars for the greatest return and strategizing for continued growth of her successful business, currently producing $650K in annual sales. Neigel, who calls SBDC counselor Fallone her “amazing resource,” says, “The SBDC at RVCC has been and continues to be instrumental not only in the day-to-day operations and growth of my business, but to me as a business owner and operator. I feel I have grown from an intimidated and raw novice into a strong leader, tactical decision maker, and self-assured business owner.”
When Carrie purchased her Green Brook franchise, she committed to establishing a Duck Donuts shop in two additional New Jersey locations. She is planning for new shops in the areas of Morristown in 2019 and Princeton in 2020. Neigel believes “you get what you give” and understands that “so much of the business is in the details.” With the success she has achieved so far with her first Duck Donuts venture, the sky is the limit for Carrie Neigel, and the SBDC at RVCC looks forward with pleasure to assisting her with whatever she needs to help ensure her continued business success.