Small Business Success Stories 2012

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Ten tales of successful small businesses offer lessons learned, and inspiration.

by Fran Howard, Gene Rebeck, Ingrid Case, Kenzie Zimmer, and Suzy Frisch

December 20, 2012

Small-business owners have a taste for adventure. They have to: Pursuing risks that don’t guarantee rewards can be something of an extreme sport, capitalist division. That said, the storytellers below didn’t pursue risk for risk’s sake. They saw smart opportunities and their risks were calculated—whether the chance taken was starting a business from scratch, expanding a product line, improving processes and work flow, grasping an idea that no one else seemed to see, or simply pushing themselves to provide a product or service better than anyone else. They also persevered through countless surprises and setbacks—one faced flood and wind powerful enough to daunt almost anyone. These 10 tales offer lessons learned, and inspiration. Share the adventure.

Click the links below to read about this year's Small Business Success Stories.

President and CEO Maureen Steinwall

Steinwall, Inc.

Injection molding company Steinwall, Inc., uses technology to embrace, not replace, its work force.

Read Story | View Acceptance Speech Video|View Biography Video

Co-founder Chuck Anderson and CEO Robert Hartzell

Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet

Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet grew from one to 23 stores in 22 years by selling quality food in a man’s-best-friendly retail environment.

Read Story | View Acceptance Speech Video|View Biography Video

Brothers (from left) Kory, Kyle, and Kurt Kottke

Kottke Trucking, Inc.

Good values and good service helped food hauler Kottke Trucking, Inc., grow throughout the recession.

Read Story | View Acceptance Speech Video|View Biography Video

Founder Brenton Hayden

Renters Warehouse

Renters Warehouse helps property owners profitably manage their leased holdings.

Read Story | View Acceptance Speech Video|View Biography Video

Director of Brewing Horace Cunningham, Head Brewmaster Michael Kneip, and General Manager Doug DeGeest

Cold Spring Brewing

Cold Spring Brewing refreshes its old business with new craft beers.

Read Story | View Acceptance Speech Video|View Biography Video

Founder Akhtar Chaudhri

Virtelligence

Virtelligence is on the cutting edge of health care automation—an edge that legislation has sharpened.

Read Story | View Acceptance Speech Video|View Biography Video

Founder and President Mark Stutrud

Summit Brewing Company

Craft beer’s nothing new—Summit Brewing has been bottling and kegging it for a quarter-century.

Read Story | View Acceptance Speech Video|View Biography Video

Paul Radjenovich, Bonnie Radjenovich, Kathy Felling, Merle Felling, Brenda Jennissen and Patrick Jennissen.

Felling Trailers, Inc.

Felling Trailers, Inc., used the recent downturn to position itself for the recovery.

Read Story | View Acceptance Speech Video|View Biography Video

Angie Franks

Healthland

Rural health care facilities are essential to their communities—and Healthland’s software is helping them keep up to date.

Read Story | View Acceptance Speech Video|View Biography Video

Tara Watson

Watson Chiropractic And Exceptional Home Health

Chiropractor Tara Watson has overcome floods, tornadoes, and other disasters to build her businesses.

Read Story | View Acceptance Speech Video|View Biography Video

Small-Business Success Stories Finalists

Twin Cities Business recognizes the following Minnesota companies as finalists in the Small Business Success Stories program for their notable achievements.

Read Story

The Small Business Success Stories Awards Dinner was held January 10 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Minneapolis.

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Presented By:

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Sponsored By:

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