We spoke with one of our clients, Solid Start, about how Bank of Central Florida advocated for the business during its launch when no one else would.

People in a warehouse

Launching a business isn’t easy. 

Entrepreneurs rely on a team of supporters; family, friends and financial advisors all come together to help small businesses thrive. At Bank of Central Florida, we believe a community bank should be part of that team. 

Longtime client Solid Start adheres to this philosophy coined by its founder: “Truth is not just a way of business – it’s a way of life.” Company owners Amber Kossak and Crystal Mathews seek transparency and simplicity. When they opened Solid Start in 2010, they looked for a bank that held the same values – and they found Bank of Central Florida.

Solid Start is a developer and manufacturer of automotive solutions. Stores use Solid Start to source high-quality fuel and oil treatments. Its business model is innovative, operating out of a recently-expanded warehouse in Lakeland and boasting a customer base all over the country.

Solid Start is homegrown. Amber and Crystal founded the business in 2010, but their family’s entrepreneurial legacy goes back generations. The passion began decades earlier with their grandfather and then to their father and uncle, Larrell and Dale Willis.

In 1976, Larrell and Dale began to conduct chemistry experiments in their mother’s garage. They laid the groundwork for newer and better automotive solutions. They incorporated their family business in the late 1980s and sold the company in 2006. Both Amber and Crystal were actively involved in the family business at a young age.

In 2010, Amber and Crystal decided to continue the Willis entrepreneurial legacy and started their own company – Solid Start.  An early decision was a call to Bank of Central Florida for their deposit account and equipment financing needs. One of our Relationship Managers, Randy Hollen, listened to their story and our team provided the business loan information they needed within 24 hours.

The company persevered through the typical early obstacles new business owners face.

Now, with the help of Bank of Central Florida, Solid Start has grown to over 30 employees as they develop products for 20+ distributors around the world. 

Most recently, they worked with Randy to expand their business with a new building. They moved from a 3,000 square foot office to a 76,000 square foot warehouse. Their exponential growth can be attributed to their hard work, honest business model, and team of advisors. Bank of Central Florida is proud to be part of their success.

When we asked Amber and Crystal what they appreciated about Bank of Central Florida, they reflected on the personal touch we offer in every client interaction. “We always know who to call,” said Amber.

Most of all, they expressed their gratitude for our team’s support. Crystal told us, “Bank of Central Florida believed in our success from day one.”