Nurse Practitioner and Entrepreneur

Joeanna Larson shared her story at TREK on August 1, 2023

Healthcare to Entrepreneur

Joeanna Larson, a Certified Nurse Practitioner for Sanford Medical Center Thief River Falls, has always loved helping friends with weddings and receptions.

Her personal entrepreneurial journey started with a simple, but deep, love of party decorating and event planning and things just exploded from there.

A couple summers ago, Joeanna helped with putting together wedding receptions for two of her friends. “We just had so much fun with it,” she said. “I’m like, ‘God, this is what I think I want to do as a part-time job.’”

Golf Simulator

At the same time, Joeanna’s son, Christian, was getting close to graduating and he was interested in bringing simulated golfing to town. He told her, “Mom, we need to do this, so let’s find a spot, let’s get golf simulators, and let’s do this.”

So, with input from her son and a couple of co-workers, Joeanna started looking into golf simulation equipment and potential locations.

Facility options included placing the simulator at the golf course, building a new building, or the possibility of renovating an existing space somewhere in town.  When she learned that space would be available at the Quality Inn in town, the golf simulator business idea expanded into one that included a bar and restaurant. “It completely changed our business plan,” Joeanna said.

One of the things they needed to figure out was if they could fit a golf simulator in the building. After a quick assessment, it looked like they could take some walls out and break up the ceiling to accommodate the equipment.

Opening the Business

Once they decided that they could make the space work, they moved quickly on the opportunity. “We just hit the ground running,” she laughed. “We signed a lease, and we had 15 days to open.”

Their goal was to open by June 1, 2022. The interior of the facility needed “a major refresh.” Joeanna and her family did most of the work themselves. “We did a bunch of muscle work, which is the part that I enjoy.”

With the need for healthcare practitioners being so great in the community, Joeanna did not see herself stepping away from healthcare to run a bar and restaurant full time. “I’ve committed my life to health care,” Joeanna said, “and I couldn’t see myself leaving that.” Fortunately, several other family members stepped up, including sisters and a grandmother.

Gratitude

Joeanna is quick to express her gratitude to the many family and community members who have helped her on this journey. “I have been blessed with support that I don’t even deserve to be honest,” she said. “This is a much bigger undertaking than I had ever even dreamed it would be.”

“I keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone,” Joeanna laughed. “We’re learning a lot of things that work and things that don’t work. It’s just been a super adventure.”

In addition to dining and drink, state of the art golf simulation, large TVs, darts, pool, karaoke, and sand volleyball, Mulligans has space to host a variety of events, including weddings.

For more on Mulligan’s, visit their Facebook page.

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