“When you have a dream that you have thought about for most of your life, you never really know you can achieve it until you step past fear and go for it! The Small Business Development Center gave my husband and I the necessary tools to get past the fear, dive into the numbers, and they surrounded us with an amazing group of talented people to support our dream of owning our own restaurant.”

Jen Marble, Co-Owner

With a lifelong love of food, Jason Marble became a chef and worked at several restaurants in Billings. In 2020, he and his wife Jen decided they wanted to open their own restaurant to turn their lifelong dream into a reality. Knowing that the combination of Jason’s culinary skills complimented Jen’s business mind, they decided to take a leap of faith in the middle of a global pandemic. Wanting to share their love for food in an environment filled with comfort, warmth, and a taste of home- cooked meals, they turned to the Billings SBDC for help.

SBDC Regional Director, Lorene Hintz helped them develop their business plan, cash flow projections, and provided them with additional resources. They were referred to a mentor who had expertise in marketing and communications to help them with an initial marketing plan.

With the help of the SBDC the business was able to obtain a $80,000 SBA loan along with personal investment of $196,000. A year later they received a $100,000 SBA 7(a) loan for their expansion and created 29 new jobs in Yellowstone County.

The Marbles found a location with restaurant fixtures already installed. Jen wanted to make sure the restaurant conveyed a charming atmosphere for her customers. With pandemic restrictions in place, Jen made the best of the situation by placing repurposed antique doors as dividers between the tabletops to make individual booths. Her ingenuity helped create the charm she had envisioned for The Marble Table. The uniqueness of the decor is coupled with hospitality; Jen and Jason make sure to greet customers, bring meals out to the tables, and visit with the diners.

When The Marble Table opened in November of 2020 they were only able to have nine tables. The Billings community showed up to support the business causing Jen and Jason to have to turn away over fifty tables a day. In May 2021 they needed to expand the size of the restaurant in order to meet the customer demand and grow the business. They expanded their footprint by renting the vacant space next door, adding more tables, and increasing sales.

Jen and Jason conquered their fears and continued to move forward in growing their business. “The community has been here every day supporting us. We wouldn’t be here without them! Don’t let fear drive your dreams. We are successful because we chose to muffle the negative voices and look to our future even in a pandemic” said Jen Marble.

“I loved working with Jen and her passion for making everyone at the table family! I can’t wait to see how this dream becomes the next hot spot in downtown Billings” said Lorene Hintz.


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