Business Profiles

Case Studies of Successful Small Businesses

buona caffe

Brewing Up a Niche Coffee-Roasting Business in the Shadow of Starbucks

When Pat and John Curry launched Buona Caffe, a specialty coffee-roasting company in Augusta, Ga., as a part-time venture in 2009, each entrepreneur had a “regular” job. Pat worked as …

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Michelle Zatlyn

CloudFlare Founder on “Supercharging” Websites and Her Soaring Success

Michelle Zatlyn (pictured) is a go-getter, in every sense of the word. Armed with a degree in chemistry, she worked for Google and Toshiba, earned an MBA from Harvard Business …

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Kimberly Dillon head shot

No Glitter or Highlights Needed for This Buzzed-About Beauty Website

House of Mikko, which lets women recommend beauty products to one another, gets the kind of buzz and user interaction on its website that most businesses dream about: With a …

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closed sign

Kitchen Retailer Survives Downturn by Closing 3 Days a Week

Snowy weather and the recession nearly forced 30-year-old retailer Kitchen Kaboodle of Portland, Ore., into bankruptcy in 2009. But the five-store chain reinvented itself in a move many people thought …

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edible insects

Edible Insect Chef Garners Attention

When Monica Martinez debuted her “pre-Hispanic snackeria” at the San Francisco Street Food Festival in August, customers lined up to try her tacos stuffed with insects and larvae. “Don Bugito …

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steve lopez

How Tour Manager Steve Lopez Keeps Widespread Panic’s Wheels Rolling

When you’re a touring rock band, your to-do list is never done. You travel to the venue for soundcheck, give interviews, do radio promotions, perform a concert, meet fans, and …

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national-74

Entrepreneur Sells Restaurant on His Own Terms

Sooner or later, you’ll ponder the idea of selling your business. But will you do it? That’s the question Michael Diedrick asked himself as the three-year anniversary of The National …

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st judes logo

8 Ways Small Businesses Can Support St. Jude’s Thanks and Giving Program

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a not-for-profit organization, has been on a mission to save children’s lives ever since it opened its doors 50 years ago. The hospital treats nearly …

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Randy Yono

R.U.B. BBQ Pub’s Randy Yono on Starting Up During a Downturn

Randy Yono had a hunch that, despite the recession, his family’s concept for a new barbecue restaurant and sports bar in downtown Detroit would work. He and his brothers set …

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sheena edwards

Shoe Designer Sheena Garg Edwards on Maintaining Work-Life Balance

Sheena Garg Edwards seems to do it all. Lately, her daily routine includes designing shoes for the next season, planning for the holidays, and running three kids to and from …

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Frank Menard

Frank Menard on Real Estate: ‘After Every Crash There Is a Boom’

Some people look at the housing market and think the sky is falling. But real estate agents Frank and Carol Menard see opportunity in uncertain times. Or, as the duo …

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teecycle

Recycled-T-Shirt Company Grows with Social Media Help

Tim Cigelske was always drawn to quirky T-shirts yet frustrated by their prices. “I got really sick of paying $25 for a T-shirt that’s going to be entertaining for about …

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jami curl

Jami Curl on Saint Cupcake Bakery’s Sweet, Sweet Success

When Jami Curl opened Saint Cupcake, her hip bakery in Portland, Ore., in 2005, she didn’t plan to specialize in cupcakes. The shop originally offered cinnamon rolls, pies, brownies, and …

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charcuterie movie

6 Small-Business Documentaries Worth Watching [VIDEO]

What is it like to run your own business? Documentary films give you the opportunity to shadow entrepreneurs in diverse fields, from rock ’n’ roll to farming, on your own …

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monster mini golf

Monster Mini Golf’s Rich and Alice Rathjen on Becoming Mini Franchise Moguls

Rich and Alice Rathjen wanted to be franchise owners of Monster Mini Golf so much that they packed up their belongings and relocated from New York to Pennsylvania. Their dream …

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