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June: A Closer Look

This month, we take a look at three of Columbia’s newest businesses or locations – Lean Kitchen Company, Optimized CFO and Controller Services, and Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market.

Lean Kitchen Company
After exploring different business opportunities, husband and wife duo Jonathan and Natalie Hardin found their perfect opportunity: Lean Kitchen Company. The pair decided to explore this endeavor in October 2019, with a goal of opening their own location of the franchise in May.

Lean Kitchen’s mission is to save customers time and money by providing healthy, prepared meals that still taste great. “We understand that your life is hectic and eating healthy is challenging. That’s where we come in by providing a balance of lean proteins, veggies, and carbs in perfectly portioned meals,” Jonathan explains.

The process is simple: The customer comes in and explains what they want to achieve. From there, Jonathan and Natalie will provide advice, guidance, and education on how they can achieve these goals.

Not only has the duo opened a location in Columbia, but they will also be expanding the franchise to Kirksville and Springfield, Natalie says. She explains: “We want to help people. This is our way to give back to the community.”

212 E. Green Meadows Rd., Ste. 5

Optimized CFO and Controller Services
Rebecca Knipp grew up in a family of small business owners. Because of this, she always dreamed of owning her own business. And in February 2019, she finally got to make this dream come true with the opening of Optimized CFO and Controller Services, a company created to help businesses and organizations optimize their growth and accounting systems.

Apart from being exposed to the small business culture from a young age, Rebecca also has nearly 10 years of experience with accounting services. After graduating from MU, she began her business career with an accounting firm, where she had brushes with a wide range of businesses. “I have experience with hundreds of business owners in all different industries,” she says. This knowledge, along with her ability to break down financial information in an easy-to-understand way, gives her clients at Optimized CFO and Controller Services a unique edge within the field.

Rebecca hopes to continue having steady growth within her business. Her top priorities right now are to get her name out there more and to help the clients she has to the best of her ability.


Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market opened a new store on the south side of town in March. Jessica Schlosser, owner of the pet market, explains that this space is completely different from their store location on Nifong, which housed the business for 10 years.

This new location is the largest of the Lizzi & Rocco’s stores, with 7,000 square feet of space. The larger space has allowed room for more services. “In this space, we have room for more groomers, we’ll be offering dog training, and we have a dedicated event space,” Jessica says. “We’ll also be doing a dog and cat bakery in it, where we will be baking fresh treats daily.”

Once stores are able to operate normally, Jessica is looking forward to seeing the different opportunities this new space will offer the business and the community. “There’s no way we would’ve envisioned what we’re doing now 10 years ago,” Jessica says.

550 E. Green Meadows Dr.

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