Rochester, MN
Arts and Entertainment

Story Overview

For Nathan Nelson and Maggie Pancetta, their entrepreneurial journey is Inspired by artistic passion and family legacy.  

In 2017, Nathan and several partners launched their own business called Treedome in Winona, MN. Treedome started off providing music video production services, band bookings, and producing small events. Nathan’s father, an avid artist himself, contributed his talents by designing the business logo – a sprawling tree overhanging the Treedome name. 

Today, Nathan operates Treedome alongside his wife, Maggie, and in 2021 they moved the business to Rochester, MN to open a retail location. In addition to their original services, Treedome now also sells vinyl records, thrifted clothes, vintage goods, audio gear, and hosts live music performances. 

A plot twist in the small business journey 

Left to right: Nathan Nelson and Maggie Pancetta

Maggie and Nathan’s journey took an unexpected turn when the owner of a local movie theater asked them if they wanted to purchase his business.  

For Nathan, the opportunity was serendipitous. He studied film in college and even created a business plan for a movie theater as a class project. 

Nathan and Maggie acquired the theater as a part of the Treedome business and decided to give the venue a new look. To bring their vision to life, they began searching for capital. 

“We really weren’t a candidate for traditional bank financing,” Maggie recalls. “The SBA’s Small Business Development Center in Rochester recommended CRF, especially because of the Minnesota Inclusive Growth Fund option.” 

Working capital sets the stage for growth 

Co-created by CRF and several other local business support organizations, the Minnesota Inclusive Growth Fund (MIGF) is designed to increase access to flexible and affordable capital and small business support services for entrepreneurs across Minnesota. 

In working with CRF, Nathan and Maggie secured a MIGF loan which they used to breathe new life into the theater. 

“The second I started talking with CRF, I felt confident that we were going to have a positive outcome,” Maggie said. 

With the working capital MIGF loan, Nathan and Maggie revitalized the venue and acquired film rights. 

“We were able to create a lineup of movies that was stronger and had more frequency, and we could afford to do more movies,” Maggie said. “And now we’re in a place to continue to do that.” 

Business financing leads to movie magic 

As part of the business makeover, they also gave the theater a new name: Pop’s Art Theater in honor of Nathan’s late father.  

Adorned with Nathan’s father’s artwork and styling, the theater pays homage to his legacy. And for their inaugural screening, they played one of Nathan’s father’s favorite movies: Godzilla. 

As Maggie reflected on her search for financing to update the theater, she emphasized the importance of programs like MIGF in helping entrepreneurs in Minnesota access capital. 

“I think a lot of small business owners don’t realize that there are programs that exist in Minnesota and nationally that we can participate in. Knowing that CRF is based in the Twin Cities made that connection easier.” 

The second I started talking with CRF, I felt confident that we were going to have a positive outcome.

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