Casa Founder Named Entrepreneur of the Year

If you like fast, local, Mexican food...you already appreciate the Entrepreneur of the Year.

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In the annual banquet of the Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce Tuesday evening, the highest honor went to the founder of Casa del Taco, Bill Barker.

He said, being an entrepreneur "means every day you've got to get up and do it again."

And his advice to those who want to be one? "It's going to be the hardest thing you'll ever do, and the most rewarding thing you ever do."

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Barker founded "Casa" on Bridge Street in 1984, started the Western Avenue location in 2006, and bought the Old Canal Smokehouse in 2011.

He says his wife and four sons are already helping to run the businesses.

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Chamber president Mike Throne said his first 90 days have been very positive, and he has an outreach planned, along with an event to address the opioid epidemic.

Other awards were:

  • Young Professional of the Year: Ben Daughters of The Pour House and Chillicothe's Dairy Queens
  • Corporate Citizen: Janney Montgomery Scott of the Schwemlein Group Chillicothe, financial ad visors
  • Legacy: Haller Funeral Home

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Kevin Coleman regularly reports on Chillicothe & Circleville councils and local culture

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