Student runs his own business between classes

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

At the age of 21, Jamison Lamp, a Brookings local, is now the proud owner of his own business. As of June 1, Lamp bought Bagel Works and took on the business.

“Owning a business was something I had always wanted to do,” Lamp said. “I did not plan on it at my age, but it has worked out well.”

The previous owner of the business, Pouran Borchardt, was an acquaintance of Lamp’s family. When Borchardt decided that there was an interest in selling, she thought Lamp would be a good fit for the job.

“I was very excited about it,” Lamp said. “It was something new and different, and I thought that it seemed like something I could handle.”

Lamp is also a full-time student at SDSU, majoring in journalism with a news-editorial emphasis. He plans on graduating in May 2011.

“People ask me what I’m going to do with my major now that I own the business, and I think that it is still really helpful,” said Lamp. “The best business people are the ones who are good communicators.

“So being a mass communications major is a really good thing I think,” he said. “It has helped me so far.”

Lamp’s employees find him relatable because he is a student.

“I think Jamison is really easy to relate to because he and the staff are all students,” said Rachael Tiedeman, a senior nursing major and employee of Bagel Works. “It makes it a light environment.”

Since Lamp took over the ownership of Bagel Works, the restaurant has seen a few changes.

“Jamison definitely makes it a fun environment,” said Tiedeman. “He has made some really nice changes to the restaurant, and it’s more casual and relaxed.”

Some of the décor, including paintings and chairs, have changed. The business also no longer serves Persian food, because that was the previous owner’s specialty.

“I do want people to know that we serve a lot more than just bagels,” said Lamp. “We also serve coffee, smoothies, sandwiches and other meals. We also have free WiFi for customers to use.”

Thursday night at Bagel Works is pasta night from 5 to 7 p.m.

“We serve five different varieties of pasta, and people really seem to enjoy them,” Lamp said. “We’ve formed good customer relationships and we have some regulars.”

Lamp said the biggest challenge of owning a business is that, although he enjoys forming relationships with customers, “your time is never really your own.

“The business is always in the back of your mind,” said Lamp. “It’s important to continue to think about ways to improve and ways to grow as a business.”

Lamp said he misses having the freedom to do all of the things he did before he owned the business, such as the opportunities for creativity he had working at Sixth Street Florist and being involved in student activities.

“But owning a business gives me that opportunity in a different way,” he said.

Something that Lamp would like to see for the future of Bagel Works is a lounge area with couches.

“Something I’d like to see is us expand our customer base,” Lamp said. “We have quite a few retirees, professors and college students, but the area where we really have room to grow is in college students.”

Employees agree that a wider variety of customers have been coming in.

“I think we have a lot more college students coming in and have a broader audience,” said Jordan Almos, an SDSU graduate and Bagel Works employee. “We have more of a friendly coffee shop kind of environment and that really appeals to college students.”

“I hope to really create a relaxed environment that is casual and fun to come visit,” Lamp said.

Contact Lamp at Bagel Works at 605-692-7474.