Flyer Enterprises History
Since 1990, Flyer Enterprises has been proud to serve the University of Dayton community with its variety of student-run businesses. Today, it continues to seek out opportunities for growth and enrich the lives of its employees and the surrounding community.
FE traces its beginnings to Rudy’s Fly-Buy, the University of Dayton’s original student-contrived venture. Although the student-run store was purchased in 1994 by the University due to lack of operating capital, four UD students recognized the potential of Rudy’s and formed Dayton Student Agencies (DSA), a group that researched student business opportunities.
DSA created comprehensive business plans for three new businesses: a UD clothing outlet, a bagel shop cafe and a gourmet coffee shop — all of which set a foundation for the development of FE.
After careful review of of DSA’s proposals, Associate Provost Dr. Deb Bickford worked with students to launch a coffee shop in the basement of UD’s library. In January 2000 ,The Blend became the second student-run business to develop on campus.
Within a month after The Blend’s opening, it became apparent that The Blend and Rudy’s Fly-Buy had similar needs for a formal advising structure and improved University control. The presidents of the two divisions joined forces in brainstorming methods of restructuring the advising body and growing the student-run business program.
Finally in 2001, with a new corporate model comprised of a University administration-run Board of Directors to provide oversight of an executive team, Flyer Enterprises was born. With limited advisement from the University, the ventures were ensured to remain student-run.
FE proved itself to be a successful and fast-growing business after opening multiple divisions within just four years. The Blend Express opened in 2002 as a coffee shop located in UD’s business building. Then, in 2004, ArtStreet Cafe opened in the heart of the student neighborhood. This hip cafe was designed as the perfect hangout spot to listen to live music while enjoying Panini sandwiches, salads and even quesadillas. By the year 2006, FE partnered with UD’s Dining Services, enabling the success of three joint venture divisions: Stuart’s landing, a convenience store, the Galley, an ice-cream and snack shop, and The CHILL, a fat-free frozen yogurt and drink stand located at the University’s RecPlex.
In May 2007, Flyer Enterprises closed Rudy’s Fly-Buy. While the division struggled to generate sufficient profits, it established growth opportunities for Flyer Enterprises. Since its official closing, FE has opened four new divisions: Flyer Spririt, FE Catering, FE Storage, and The Jury Box.
Flyer Enterprises has been driven by its desire to serve the UD community for the past fifteen years. With over 170 student employees operating nine divisions and boasting annual revenues of over $1.2 million, it’s no wonder that FE is one of the largest and fastest growing student-run businesses in the nation.
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