Raleigh-based small business owner featured in Hartford's national ad campaign goes from ice cream truck to first retail storefront
After 11 years in business, Buck Buchanan, founder and owner of Lumpy's Ice Cream, is opening his first storefront in Wake Forest, N.C. The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony takes place on Saturday, March 24.
Since 2001, Buchanan has been churning out small-batch, all-natural ice cream from his home, distributing to residents by delivery van and food cart at local markets and events. Lumpy's Ice Cream features more than 200 flavors, all made with fresh ingredients from local farmers, without additives, synthetic hormones or food colors. As a result of Lumpy's growing popularity, Buchanan makes the transition from ice cream truck to storefront this month.
"I love what I do and opening my first ice cream store in my community has been a dream of mine," said Buchanan. "The support I have received from The Hartford to keep the business running is invaluable. I have relied on them in times of need, particularly when a faulty freezer could have stopped my business in its tracks."
Buchanan began appearing in The Hartford's small business television ad campaign in November 2011. The ads spotlight Lumpy's Ice Cream and exemplify The Hartford's commitment to protecting small businesses. Buchanan's success story is also featured in a video on YouTube and thehartford.com/business/.
"Buck has been a customer of The Hartford's since 2007 and we are excited to be celebrating his success," said Janice Co, vice president of strategy and chief marketing officer for The Hartford's small commercial insurance unit. "The Hartford understands the importance of protecting small businesses from uncertainty. Having the confidence to plan for the future is key to small business expansions like Lumpy's."
The 70-90 hours a week Buck dedicates to Lumpy's reflects the passion many small business owners have for running their own business. According to The Hartford's Small Business Success Study, 82 percent of small business owners say doing something they enjoy or feel passionate about is extremely important to them. The survey also found that of the small business owners who define themselves as most successful, 91 percent were more likely to have a current working relationship with an insurance agent.
"The Hartford paid my freezer repairs, they paid me for all my ice cream," Buck says. "If that stuff had not been covered, I wouldn't have been able to continue making ice cream."
Nearly 30 years ago, The Hartford became the first insurer to have a business unit focused on small business. Today, The Hartford has over one million policies nationwide, insuring customers in 96 percent of U.S. counties.
The Hartford's Small Business Success Study is one of the industry's most comprehensive studies of how small business owners feel about their own success, today and in the future.
The Lumpy's Ice Cream grand opening event will take place on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 306 East Wait Avenue in Wake Forest, N.C., with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m.
The celebration will be kicked off with an invocation led by Senior Pastor David Sims of Richland Creek Community Church, and will include appearances by the Carolina RailHawks soccer players and their mascot, Swoops.
For more information about Lumpy's Ice Cream and its relationship with The Hartford, visit http://www.lumpysicecream.com and thehartford.com/business.
The Hartford Small Business Success Study Methodology
The Small Business Success Study was developed by The Hartford with Fahlgren Mortine and fielded via telephone and Web by Abt SRBI from July 23 – September 21, 2011. The nationally representative sample consisted of 2,000 small business owners of companies with fewer than 100 employees and annual revenue of $100,000 or more that have been in business for at least one year. At least 200 small business owners were oversampled in New York, Southern California, Chicago and Dallas. The margin of error is +/-3.03 percent for the national sample, +/-7.53 percent for New York, +/-7.72 for S. California, +/-7.12 for Chicago and +/-7.91 for Dallas, with a 95 percent confidence level for all.
About The Hartford
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) is a leading provider of insurance and wealth management services for millions of consumers and businesses worldwide. The Hartford is consistently recognized for its superior service, its sustainability efforts and as one of the world's most ethical companies. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at www.thehartford.com. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheHartford. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheHartford.
Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially. Investors should consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ. These important risks and uncertainties include those discussed in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued.
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.
Deborah Pont, 860-547-4409