|Mark Meusborn back in concession stand|
|Written by Darci Tomky|
For someone who has been involved in the food service industry a good portion of his life, it has been easy for Mark Meusborn to jump into service at the Lions Club concession stand at Holyoke Ball Park.
Most recently, Meusborn could be seen filling up soda drinks at the state Babe Ruth baseball tournament Saturday, July 20. And although he doesn’t get the chance to work in the stand too often, his 33 years experience certainly makes him qualified for the job.
Meusborn, who is blind, was involved with the Business Enterprise Program run by the State of Colorado. Because of the Randolph Sheppard Act (1936) and federal and state laws, blind individuals are given priority to operate and manage food and vending services in federal and state government office buildings and facilities.
At the age of 21, he made a bid on his first location—a snack bar in Denver. For the next 33 years he operated around 20 locations in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder and Fort Collins.
The program would buy the initial inventory, supplies and equipment, but as the sole owner of the business operation, Meusborn was in charge of all the management functions like hiring employees, maintaining inventory, keeping track of the bookkeeping and coming up with specials and the menu.
Lions Club member Mark Meusborn hands a soda to a customer at the Holyoke Ball Park concession stand during the July 20 state Babe Ruth tournament. He has 33 years experience in the food service industry through a state program for blind individuals. —Enterprise photo
Meusborn started out with no employees, but other locations he ran were large operations, serving thousands of people in government buildings. He mentioned a store at a Colorado Springs military location, which also included dry cleaning and other non-food items. Meusborn also ran the snack bar at the state capitol building and the cafeteria across the street.
Rest area vending machines are also part of the state program, which contribute to a retirement fund for the program participants.
Meusborn has had braille cash registers, and in his later years, he had a talking cash register that could help him determine the money he received for the sale. Prior to that, it was a game of trust—trusting that the bill the customer handed to him was what they said it was. He knows he lost some money, but in general, it wasn’t a problem for this store owner.
Meusborn has gotten to again experience the buzz of a concession stand with the Lions Club after getting out of the Business Enterprise Program in 2007. He was born in Holyoke, which is where he attended primary school before his family moved away. Meusborn moved back in 2009.
Holyoke Enterprise August 1, 2013