Learning about business by the fire

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Samuel Manning
Staff Writer

The Millersville Entrepreneurial Leadership Center brought onto campus their first
entrepreneur of the semester for their “Fireside Chat” this past Wednesday. Alberto Flores,
owner of the local business “Bert’s Bottle Shop” shared his journey as an entrepreneur with
students last Wednesday night.

Flores has been an IT professional for over 25 years. During that time, he developed
roots within the Millersville community with his wife and two kids. Beginning to tire from the long
hours his normal job required, Flores began researching possible investments. Ultimately, he
knew the best investment was himself, and turned to his passion for inspiration; craft beer.
The students took notes as Flores broke down his endeavor- from planning, to getting his family
on board, to finding investment capital and a location.

‘’I am an IT professional. I had to learn nearly everything about starting a business by
myself, either from researching online or asking beer store owners to see their books,’’ Flores
said. “So it’s great the students are able to establish a foundation while still in college.’’

International Education Week

Over the course of 3 years, Flores’ research and passion came to life as he rented
commercial space close to his home and developed his store, which features over 400 types of
craft beers, an ever-changing tap list, and a simple menu for customers wanting to immerse
themselves within the atmosphere.

The Millersville ELC brings entrepreneurs onto campus each semester to help give
students an added insight to life as an entrepreneur out of college. Students at the event were
eager to ask questions about the process of opening up a business, and how he found the time
and inspiration past his 9-5 job.

Flores was glad to break down his daily routine, which saw him waking up at 6am every
day, working his main job until 1pm, then overseeing the creation of his business until 10pm
every night. Constant calls to distributors and Googling ways to save money while building the
store filled up any time in between bigger projects.

‘‘If you want to succeed because of the money, you won’t last long on your own’’ Flores
shared with the students, ‘‘You have to find passion for something, because then it won’t feel
like work.’’

The event was held inside of the Adam’s House with a mixture of business, public
relations, and music majors. The event started with the students introducing themselves to
Flores, who was eager to listen about the student’s plans after graduation. A relatable speaker,
Flores tied in many student’s aspirations while giving his presentation to give personalized
advice. The last 20 minutes of the event allowed for open questions to Flores.