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.

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Pediatric Home Service
St. Paul
The 22-year-old independent pediatric home care company specializes in helping children with complex medical conditions live at home rather than in a hospital or other care facility. The company is active philanthropically and gives to more than 15 nonprofits annually. In the past five years, it increased the number of employees by more than 60 percent.

Rayito Del Sol Spanish Immersion
Peruvian native Luisa Fuentes founded Spanish immersion school Rayito Del Sol in 2001 and now runs the business with her brother Luis. Besides overseeing two school locations, the company works with organizations that promote cultural understanding, such as the Minnesota Peru Baseball Fellowship and Red Fountain. The company is projecting more than $1.5 million in revenue in 2012.

B&F Fastener Supply
B&F Fastener Supply provides a wide range of hardware, safety equipment, and other products primarily to manufacturing and construction companies. Founded in 1988, B&F has since expanded to 11 locations, including Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Dubuque, Iowa, in 2012. It currently employs 150 people in five states.

Bridgewater Bank
Bridgewater Bank recently broke into the top 25 bank ranking in the Twin Cities, based on asset size. The bank continued to post earnings during the economic downturn, and as of June, its 2012 revenue is projected to exceed $2.3 million. Bridgewater grew its lending portfolio by 19 percent in 2012.

Code 42 Software, Inc.
Code 42 provides cross-platform, secure backup and recovery software, focusing on data created and stored on endpoint devices such as laptops and desktops. The company was named to the Inc. magazine 5,000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies, and serves more than 4,500 companies and organizations globally, including Google, Adobe, and NASA.

Donnelly Custom Manufacturing
Donnelly is a short-run manufacturing company. While the business saw its sales decline 31 percent during the downturn in 2009, investments in sustainable technologies and customer relations have helped it grow since then. Founded 28 years ago, the company is on track to top $30 million in revenue this year, which will make 2012 its biggest year to date.

Energy Management Collaborative
Energy Management Collaborative focuses on efficient lighting solutions in industrial, retail, and commercial spaces, connecting companies that seek to reduce energy costs with an array of green solutions and expertise. The company projects its revenue will top $28 million in 2012, with an annual growth rate of 30 percent over the next five years.

Fishbowl Solutions, Inc.
As a software and services company, Fishbowl Solutions assists businesses with content management. Founded by Tim Gruidl in 1999, the company has weathered the recession, grown its staff, and expanded its offerings to include portal and collaboration software. Fishbowl’s first million-dollar project was signed in 2010, and as of this year, the company’s revenue was $7.2 million.

Supply Chain Services
In 2010, Chip Emery bought Supply Chain Services, a provider of customized data collection, barcode scanning and printing, and networking solutions for manufacturing and distribution companies. Among other changes that CEO Emery instituted, the 12-year-old company has created new initiatives and strengthened its sales approach. As a result, the company’s revenue was up 17 percent in 2010 and increased 43 percent in 2011.

Vomela Group
St. Paul
Family-owned Vomela Group is a collection of companies that specialize in the design, manufacturing, and installation of graphics products and signage seen on trucks, in-store displays, and more. The company’s active acquisition strategy has resulted in 19 business locations. In five years, Vomela has more than doubled its staff, from 400 in 2006 to 860 this year.

President and CEO Maureen Steinwall

Steinwall, Inc.

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

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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.

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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.

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Founder Brenton Hayden

Renters Warehouse

Renters Warehouse helps property owners profitably manage their leased holdings.

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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.

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Founder Akhtar Chaudhri


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

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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.

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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.

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Angie Franks


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

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Tara Watson

Watson Chiropractic And Exceptional Home Health

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

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