Forty Under 40: Brad Magg
Owner, General Manager, Goldie's Ice Cream Shop and Magg Family Catering
Friday, March 07, 2014 7:00 AM
Growing up, Brad Magg didn’t have much time to be a kid; he was too busy running one of several businesses he started before he even graduated from high school.
Mentor: Chris Diebel, managing director at LCPA Public Strategies
By age 15, Magg won more than 60 ribbons in the food department at the Iowa State Fair, including 21 first-place blue ribbons and grand champion overall for his apple pie.
Magg’s entrepreneurial spirit first took shape in third grade when his babysitter taught him how to cook and bake. Word of his talent spread around his hometown of Colfax, and before he knew it, people were placing orders for his baked goods.
By the time he was in middle school, baking on the side turned into a full-fledged catering business. When he was a freshman in high school, Magg catered weddings with more than 200 guests.
“That was when I realized I needed to get license and make it a real business. Either that, or scale back,” Magg said. “But I figured, what the heck?”
His experience and ambition as a child, which included opening a Tropical Sno shaved ice stand in Colfax his junior year, have paid off now that he’s in his 20s. Magg attended Des Moines Area Community College’s culinary arts program. While he was there, an ice cream shop and small-town diner in Prairie City came up for sale.
For a restaurant that only seats a couple dozen, Goldie’s Ice Cream Shoppe has become a bit of a landmark in the small town of 1,600 people.
It’s been named the fourth best restaurant in Central Iowa by Des Moines Register readers, and in 2009, its pork tenderloin sandwich was named the best in Iowa by Iowa Pork Producers.
In between all that, Magg is serving his second term on the Colfax City Council.
He volunteers on several boards, and recently he purchased a historic building in Prairie City and plans to restore it.
Magg said he credits the support of a small town in giving him the confidence to take those chances.
“A lot of times people don’t believe me when I tell them what I’ve done,” Magg said. “But the people in this town did. They took a chance on me, and they trusted this kid to do it.”
Reasons he’s a Forty:
• Founder and general manager of Magg Family Catering
• Created Magg Holdings in 2010 to make his first commercial real estate purchase
• Serving his second term as a Colfax City Council member. He was elected in 2010 at the age of 23
• As a high school senior, Magg served as vice president on the Colfax Chamber of Commerce board of directors
• Volunteers on several boards and committees, including United Way of Jasper County, WineFest Des Moines and Colfax Main Street, Greater Des Moines Music Coalition’s Backstage Ball and Colfax Demolition Derby.
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