Self-described “serial entrepreneurs” Scott and Stacie Feller risked it all when they ventured into a new industry and launched Hippo Café in 2019. The duo had owned and operated home improvement ventures for nearly 30 years when they felt a calling to open a restaurant in their hometown.
Hippo Café offers what the Fellers proudly describe as “one of the best things in the world,” comfort food! The local eatery specializes in breakfast foods, burgers, chicken and other home cooked fare. With a menu in mind and a keen understanding of the local market, Scott and Stacie took a leap of faith when they expanded their small business portfolio.
“We started a roofing company, KangaRoof, in 1992 and were working within that company when we decided to open a restaurant in our local town,” Stacie said. “We have started multiple local businesses and opening the Hippo Café was another exciting business that we could offer in the town we love.”
Scott and Stacie quickly learned that their previous experience in entrepreneurship came with both positives and negatives. One of the biggest positives was the technical knowledge about how to launch a business from the ground up, including the necessary financial literacy to be successful.
“We learned you have to have enough money to live on, or you have to find a way to earn money that doesn’t effect the business,” Stacie said. “Every dime needs to go back into the business until you can actually support yourself and the business with the money being made.”
On the flip side, having already established businesses in the local community, the Fellers knew they couldn’t risk their reputation and standing if their newest venture wasn’t successful.
“We risked a lot when opening Hippo Café,” Scott said. “We risked the company and name for ourselves we had already built. If this failed, it could have brought down our entire life.”
Luckily for the Fellers, everything fell into place and Hippo Café became an instant success, earning a reputation as one of the most popular comfort food restaurants in town.
“It was less about the right time and more about the right opportunity,” Scott said. “We were able to open up pretty quickly and offer some of the best food around.”
Visit Hippo Café at 109 East Front Street and check out the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram for more information.
About This Series
As part of National Small Business Week, the City of Hutto is excited to shine a spotlight on local small businesses. The nationwide theme for #SmallBusinessWeek 2022 is the resiliency and tenacity of America’s entrepreneurs, who are doing their part to power our nation’s historic economic comeback. For the next couple of weeks, we’ll make daily posts on the City’s Official Instagram page to celebrate the local entrepreneurs whose businesses help make Hutto such a special place to live and shop. Follow along by visiting @cityofhutto on Instagram.