Jennifer Wilson Sees Substantial Success With Both of Her Local Businesses
Writer / Aimee MacArthur
Photographer / David Fennig
When Muncie native Jennifer Wilson took a leap of faith and started a business 12 years ago, she had no idea it would set her on a path to being a successful owner of two businesses – At Your Service Cleaning & Errands, and A Team Concessions & Catering.
At the time, Wilson worked for a physician four days a week and was looking for something to do on Fridays. “I started cleaning for a couple of friends and it turned into their friends wanting their houses cleaned,” Wilson says. “It turned into more of an opportunity to make it full time.”
The cleaning business continued to grow, and Wilson knew she needed to take a chance to make the business a full-time career. She received her employer’s blessing to quit her job and work on being a full-time business owner. Wilson’s intuition and business savvy paid off, and she has nine employees who work for At Your Service Cleaning & Errands. The business recently won Muncie’s 2023 Quest for the Best award.
Wilson also worked for a concession business. Five years ago she took over that business, and A Team Concessions & Catering was born.
You can find A Team Concessions at Ball State University (BSU) sporting events, as well as other events on campus. The most popular place you can find A Team Concessions is at BSU football home games. Attendance can reach up to 10,000 devoted football fans and Wilson says it takes 75 people to run the concession booth. She has 15 regular employees, but depends on nonprofit organizations to help run the concession booth at every home game. Nonprofit groups earn money while volunteering to work for A Team Concessions.
“They come in and they work in the booth, and they earn a commission for their groups,” Wilson says. “It’s a way of having 60 extra hands on game day.”
A Team Concessions offers a variety of tasty and classic concession food, and the most popular item is Cardinal Corn, an addictive concoction of buttery popcorn mixed with caramel glaze popcorn. Wilson came up with the popcorn mix herself and it’s a fan favorite.
“We’re kind of known for our Cardinal Corn,” she says. “That’s something that I kind of created myself when I worked for the guy who owned the concessions before me. I worked for him for 10 years. I named it Cardinal Corn, so that kind of turned into our staple. Everybody wants the Cardinal Corn.”
Cardinal Corn is so popular that fans buy it in bulk at football games, and she’s even made large amounts as wedding favors. Wilson received a lot of inquiries about how to get Cardinal Corn when the concession booth was closed during the pandemic. Wilson started selling it at the Muncie Makers Market. This inspired her to get a food truck so she could be more mobile.
The A Team Concessions food truck is at all BSU home football games. It is also at community events, fairs and festivals. In addition, the catering side of the business is booming. Wilson says it started small with a few taco bars, and after catering a 350-person wedding, she already has a few more weddings booked.
Wilson depends on her talented employees to keep business running smoothly. She says she is a good boss and her employees agree. Wilson tries to keep things fun, and knows when to decline opportunities that may not be the right fit for the business. She says it is hard to turn down some opportunities and she could be busy year-round, but tries to schedule breaks. She values her employees’ input.
“It’s work but it’s also fun,” she says. “I’m open to ideas. A lot of times [the employees] are the ones who know what works and what doesn’t. I take all those ideas into consideration and think how I can make their job easier as well. We try to work smarter, not harder. I tell them, ‘If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.’”
As for future business plans, Wilson recently obtained a second food trailer, in which she will have a smaller menu with tempting offerings like Pillowy Elephant Ears drizzled with icing – a delicious game-changer according to Wilson – and Walking Banana Pudding, a mini bag of Nilla wafers with bananas, banana pudding and whipped cream. She plans to add dessert items like Walking Dirt Pudding and Walking Cheesecake. Wilson says people like grab-and-go treats that they can eat while walking down the street.
For Wilson, the key to her success is family. She has a supportive husband and family. She would someday like to pass on A Team Concessions & Catering to family members.
“A lot of our workers are family,” she says. “Family doesn’t want to let family down. Family is going to show up. I feel like because a lot of our staff are family, that’s been very helpful. They want to make us look good for A Team, because obviously our whole name is out there.”
Wilson is actively involved in the Muncie business community. She is the president of Community Business Connections (CBC). She says CBC works hard to support fellow business owners, and those wanting to start businesses and to give back to Muncie nonprofit organizations. Wilson was recently awarded 2023 Business Associate of the Year by the American Business Women’s Association Raintree Chapter. She is a member of several Muncie organizations and strongly believes in giving back to the community, whether donating food or her time.
Wilson is enthusiastic about living and owning businesses in Muncie. “I feel like everybody is friendly and always wants to help each other,” she says. “It’s a decent-sized city, but it’s a small-town feel.”
For more information on A Team Concessions & Catering including ordering their famous Cardinal Corn, which is also available to ship, visit their Facebook page @ATeamConcessions. You can contact them at 765-702-7188, or via email at TheATeamConcessions@gmail.com.
To learn more about At Your Service Cleaning & Errands, visit their Facebook page @AtYourServiceCleaningErrands. You can contact them at 765-702-7188, or via email at email@example.com.