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Blog Category:Small Business Stories

March 18, 2019

The Rachel Special: Rachel K’s Bakery gives small businesses a lesson in charitable giving

When she quit her corporate job, Rachel Midgette knew she wanted to start making breads and pastries, her real passion. She began baking to sell at the local farmers market in 2010, starting out of her home, which had to be inspected by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. After selling at the Washington, N. C. market for a few years, she expanded to nearby farmers markets and convenience stores. With three ovens and two refrigerators taking up her home space, she decided to pursue opportunities elsewhere. After a quick stint co-locating with a coffee shop, she bought and renovated her current space, which now houses Rachel K’s Bakery.

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January 8, 2019

How One Artist-Turned-Entrepreneur is Changing Lives in Camas, WA

Cameron Potts, Vice President of Communications for Deluxe Corporation, has met a lot of inspiring small business owners over the years. Elida Field, whose work as an artist and teacher has literally changed lives, is no exception.

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October 7, 2018

LuciAnna’s Pastries

When you walk into LuciAnna’s Pastries located on East Broadway in Alton, Illinois, you are overwhelmed by the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked goodies. The smell of chocolate wafts through the air, emanating from the brownies or the orange mocha cookies or quite possibly the chocolate ganache where the owner dips almond horns.

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Shalon Salon

During our work on the Small Business Revolution – Main Street, our team meets a variety of business owners; some with vibrant personalities, others who are more reserved. Almost universally, many don’t know the first thing about marketing or branding their business. And then there is Shalon White, owner of Shalon Salon in Alton, Illinois. She is a born marketer.

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October 6, 2018

River Bend Yoga

When we were sifting through the business applications for Season 3 of Small Business Revolution – Main Street in Alton, Illinois, few were health or personal well-being related. But one stood out to us — River Bend Yoga.

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October 5, 2018

Mississippi Mud Pottery

Living in a town next to a river – especially one so mighty and famous as the Mississippi – often inspires people in a variety of ways. For Felicia Breen and Chad Nelson, the river has inspired many of their pottery creations at Mississippi Mud Pottery in Alton, Illinois. They can see the river through their studio windows and incorporate that inspiration into their pottery.

In 2006, Felicia and Chad had one big week. They were married and purchased the business. Unlike most artists who supplement their income with teaching or some type of secondary employment, Mississippi Mud is their full-time employment, meaning not only are they devoted to their craft, but it has to provide a steady income for them both as well.

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Alton Chiropractic Neurology

When people think about small businesses, they think of retail shops, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Yet the majority of small businesses in the US are service-based businesses, like doctor’s offices, dental practices, attorneys, accountants, etc.
The Deluxe team working on the Small Business Revolution was intrigued by the idea of featuring a service-oriented business this year, and Alton Chiropractic Neurology caught our eye. As we learned, Dr. David Bemis, owner of the business, came from a long line of chiropractors.

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August 13, 2018

Small Business Stories: Law Offices of Amy Sholar & Kelly Stephan

Amy Sholar started her law office in her hometown of Alton, Illinois, because she saw a great demand for legal services in the area. After demand for her services grew, she hired more people, added a partner and the Law Offices of Amy Sholar & Kelley Stephan doubled their volume.

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August 6, 2018

Small Business Stories: Jacoby Arts Center

The Jacoby Arts Center is a nonprofit organization in Alton, Illinois that works to nurture and promote the practice and appreciation of the arts. With art programs being cut from local schools, they help to provide arts and education programming for youth and the community.

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August 3, 2018

Small Business Stories: The Brick Ballroom

When Heather Lanker and her husband Jason moved to Siloam Springs, Arkansas, she opened a small store downtown, but her dreams were larger. She eventually bought an old 1920s Chevy dealership turned junk store and transformed it into The Brick Ballroom, an event space right in the heart of downtown.

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