Kent Bloms and Adam Hoffman were just two college students at Minot State University who had their own DJ companies.
While in college as disc jockeys, they each put together and hosted dances for college students. As they each continued to host these dances individually instead of competing against each other, they finally decided to come together and host one big event. Little did they know that this party would be the start of a 2-decade long business venture.
Prior to their collaboration, Kent and Adam were very successful hosting these dances with a nightclub-type vibe. However, this particular event they partnered on sparked an interest in the bar industry. When a local bar became available for lease shortly after, the 21- and 22-year-old friends decided to embark on a new journey together. Thus, the Original Bar and Nightclub was born.
After Adam and I Dj’ed together, our perspective on business changed. When the local bar was up for lease, we knew we had a great opportunity. Adam developed the business plan in a business class at MSU and I created a logo. At just 21 and 22 years old, we walked up to the owners and handed them Adam’s business plan, and they loved it. It’s a crazy story.”
The Original saw success from the very beginning and, just one year after opening, they were able to purchase the building through a partnership with Dakota Business Lending and Bremer Bank. They secured an SBA 504 loan to purchase the building, which allowed them to cut down their lease expenses and obtain a fixed, below-market interest rate at affordable terms. Then, more than 15 years later, their success allowed them to secure a second SBA 504 loan, this time with Town and Country Credit Union, to construct and build their own bar and concert venue – something that has been their dream since day one.
“We had two goals from the very beginning: to own our building, and then eventually to build a new bar and concert venue to call our own. By using the SBA 504 program, we were able to bring these dreams to life, take our business to the next level, and really separate ourselves from all other places. We wouldn’t be where we are today without it.”
“In obtaining our 2nd SBA 504 loan , everyone at Dakota Business Lending were great to work with and made the process simple. In addition, Tyler Neether at Town and County Credit Union was very instrumental in obtaining our 2nd SBA 504 loan and, without him, I’m not sure we would be where we’re at today. He went above and beyond and really made it happen.”
Today, The Original continues to be a community favorite and the newly constructed building has allowed them to expand into a concert venue, bringing in many national acts to entertain all types of music lovers. With Adam’s music and concert venue knowledge, they have been very successful and have tapped into a new market that has led them to a higher level of success, bringing in the likes of Firehouse, Bret Michaels, Pop Evil, Sevendust, Colt Ford, and Machine Head to name a few.
After 20+ years of friendship/partnership and many ups and downs, Kent and Adam have always made things work. That’s why the duo recommends all small business owners to form strong and trusting relationships.
“You are going to have times when everything is great and times when things are tough and aren’t going as planned. In business, there are always ups and downs, and you have to focus on finding solutions to problems rather than let them distract you from your ultimate goal.”
And now, as the duo thinks back on their business journey to the days when they were just DJs in college, they can’t help but smile with pride.
“It’s incredible to think back to day one to see what we’ve done and what The Original has become. So many people questioned what we were doing 20 years ago and if we were going to make it, but now here we are. It’s truly something to be proud of.”
For more information on The Original Bar and Nightclub and their events, visit their Facebook page.
This article was written by Dakota Business Lending with permission from The Original Bar and Nightclub and is not to be edited or redistributed without permission.