Ben LippertJuice Editor
Everyone has a story to tell. Most of these great stories go unheard by the general public because they aren’t considered “news worthy.” Check out The Juice throughout the semester to hear an average student’s story.
Most students that are interested in entrepreneurship will graduate with a degree in business or economics and then start up their dream company. Jamison Lamp broke the mold for each of these standards when he took over as owner of Obsessions (formerly Bagel Works). Lamp isn’t a business or economics major, and he’s not expected to graduate anytime soon.
Ben: What was the reason for renaming Bagel Works?
Jamison: We added the gift shop…just kind of wanted to spruce everything up and give it a new look. We cover everyones obsessions here; from gifts, coffee, soup…that kind of thing.
Ben: What sort of crafts do you have? Can you describe some of them?
Jamison: We’ve got a line of wall decor, that kind of thing. A lot of jewelry, scarves, purses. We’ve got a gourmet food line that has lots of grill marinades and salad dressings- that kind of thing. Most of them are gluten free and very low in sugar with no preservatives. The line was featured in “Oprah’s favorite things” in 2009.
Ben: So as far as the restaurant portion goes, has that changed at all since the re-naming?
Jamison: That has not changed much. We got the gift shop up and running. We are going to be doing a little bit of menu overhaul over there to try and incorporate some of the gourmet items that we offer on the gift side into the regular menu on the old Bagel Works side.
Ben: So you’ve owned the former Bagel Works for over a year now?
Jamison: It was a year and a half in January 2011, so it will be two years in June.
Ben: So where did you get the idea to rename the store then?
Jamison: I wanted to add more to it. We’ve always offered a lot more than bagels so I just felt that “Bagel Works” is a little bit limiting. We do soups and salads; during the summer we always do crafts and a wide variety of things.
Ben: You’re still in school right?
Jamison: I am still taking classes, there is no graduation date set yet, so whenever I get there. I have about 20 credits left before I graduate.
Ben: So how many credits are you taking this semester?
Jamison: I’m taking four. I take a little bit at a time.
Ben: So what’s your major?
Jamison: My major is journalism. It’s fun to explain to your advisor that you’re a journalism major that doesn’t want to be a writer, but owns a business.
Ben: Why did you want to go into business and entrepreneurship?
Jamison: My parents both own their own business, it’s kind of something I always thought about. I thought it would be more of a retirement kind of thing after my career. But we had the opportunity to purchase this as a family and it’s one of those things that we couldn’t pass up at the time, and here I am.
Ben: You are solely in charge of this?
Jamison: I solely run the restaurant. My mom’s a realtor so she’s off doing her own thing on her own time and my dad’s a mechanic so he’s doing his own thing.
Ben: What’s it like to be a student and have your own business? It’s pretty unique because usually people graduate and then they start their own business.
Jamison: It does get to be a little challenging. Spring semester is always the hardest because there’s no consistency in the schedules and every time you turn around there’s another break going on. Otherwise, just the time management is crucial. I have an online class this semester so a lot of that can be done in the wee hours of the morning or whenever I have time to do it.
Ben: What is the biggest pleasure you get out of owning a business and doing all this extra work?
Jamison: I do it for the customers; that’s what I really enjoy. I think that comes from the journalism background because I like to talk with people over the counter and figure out their story.
Ben: The grand opening of Obsessions was just recently, (Thursday, Feb. 24) how did that go?
Jamison: It went very well. We had the grand opening and little orderves and some of the specialty food items.
Ben: What would you say to someone interested or wondering what the new Obsessions is all about?
Jamison: I would say that you have to come check it out because there literally is something here for everyone. We have a lot of stuff coming in for Father’s Day and new stuff arrives everyday.
Obsessions is open daily with grand opening specials going on. See the new specialty gift store and even grab lunch while you shop. If you would like to read more, find Obsessons on Facebook. You can also watch my full interview with Jamison on The Collegian’s website under the “Juice” tab.
If you or someone you know would like to have your story in The Collegian, let us know! Send us an email with your story to [email protected]