Small Biz Profiles

Office-supply cooperative Stationers lands big contractRestricted Content

December 11, 2010
Francesca Jarosz
A local company whose mission is to help mom-and-pop office-products dealers survive has a new weapon in the fight against big-box retailers.

Production firm turns out TV shows without leaving state

November 27, 2010
Sam Brattain
Indiana-based MMY Productions, an independent production company that specializes in reality TV, is working on a new show that chronicles action at Terre Haute's Crossroads Raceway.

Old-school costume shop survives new competition

October 23, 2010
Sam Brattain
Costumes by Margie isn’t a strip mall box store full of packaged—and disposable—costumes for sale. The shop has a variety of clothing and accessories for rent and a staff, including owner Cheryl Harmon, ready to help put together whatever disguise a customer can dream up.

Surveillance trailblazer Exacq Technologies touts big clients, rapid growthRestricted Content

September 25, 2010
Chris O'Malley
Clever adaptation of new technology has helped propel Exacq Technologies’ dizzying 1,624-percent growth rate in the last three years.

Owners enjoy Melody Inn's niche as well-worn music venue

September 18, 2010
Marc D. Allan
Since Melody Inn owners Dave Brown and Rob Ondrish bought the 38th and Illinois streets mainstay in 2001, they figure more than 7,000 bands have played on the 18-inch-high stage tucked just inside their front door.

Summer is key time for those who raise Christmas trees

August 7, 2010
Joe Jasinski
Christmas and July harmonize like a blizzard on Independence Day, but the summer months are perhaps the most vital for Tom Dull and his wife, Kerry, who raise 23,000 Christmas trees on their peaceful farm in Thorntown.

Independent optic lab fights giants with technologyRestricted Content

June 12, 2010
Kathleen McLaughlin
Bill Harding and his two partners in LensTech Optical, Greg Kyle and Greg Dallas, are striving to keep up with as many of the changes in the eyeglass manufacturing business as possible. It's a tall order for a lab with fewer than 30 employees.

Stone Creek owner adding to his dining empire

May 8, 2010
Cory Schouten
Mike Cunningham has run dining spots ranging from a bar and grill to yogurt stands and is now growing a popular chain of upscale restaurants—primarily under the Stone Creek Dining Co. name—in Indiana and Ohio.

Noblesville company has high hopes for pomegranate

April 10, 2010
Kathleen McLaughlin
Verdure Sciences, a botanical-extract distributor, has invested more than $1 million in marketing and research, and hopes to see its product in more foods and drinks, perhaps even mouthwash.

INSIDE DISH: Harried chef at R bistro tries to keep it fresh

April 9, 2010
Mason King
InsideDish_Rbistro_WVIn IBJ's new video feature on front-burner business issues that vex restaurants, Regina Mehallick of downtown's R bistro mulls the financial and personal demands of running a chef-owned eatery with a menu that changes every week.

Adversity prepared health exec for new role at helm of SynCare

January 9, 2010
J.K. Wall
Stephanie DeKemper believes everything in her adult life has prepared her to run SynCare LLC. She’s so sure that she’s buying the company.

Safis Solutions speaks 'FDA'Restricted Content

December 26, 2009
Peter Schnitzler
Indianapolis regulatory compliance consultant Safis Solutions snares contracts with Eli Lilly, other big clients. CEO Ping Poulsen has built company to 20 employees.

Barber shop thrives on retro appealRestricted Content

November 28, 2009
Brock Benefiel
Brownsburg's Everyday Joe's Barber Shop offers personal touch and a retro look.

Marketing firm Brandwidth helps clients with online brandingRestricted Content

October 24, 2009
Brock Benefiel
Firm combines traditional marketing, Web technology to help companies build successful brands. Measurable results help companies document effectiveness.

Fishers biz grows from dog-walking to full-service pet careRestricted Content

August 29, 2009
Marc D. Allan
Cristi Melson started Purrs & Gurrs 2-1/2 years ago with an idea and some fliers she distributed door to door. She didn’t have a formal business plan then and still doesn’t.

Candle company cooks up products with a 'green' twistRestricted Content

July 27, 2009
Kim Puckett
After working in retail management for four years, Rich and Jodi Scheve decided to take business into their own hands—and their own garage. Passing on business plans for Subway and South Bend Chocolate Co. franchises, the couple skirted heavy franchise fees and started Twisted Wick Candle Co.

Blue House Salon keeps it simpleRestricted Content

June 29, 2009
Gabrielle Poshadlo
Blue House salon owner Phil Salmon spends no money on advertising and yet makes a six-figure salary.

HVAC company heats up sales in cool economy through acquisitions

May 25, 2009
George Umbarger
Doubling annual sales might seem an impossible feat in a recession, but at the modest office of Williams Comfort Air and Metzler's Mr. Plumber, it is a reality.

Liquor store adapts to local tastesRestricted Content

April 27, 2009
Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
When Mr. G's Liquor opened in 1977, the wines du jour were Madera and Blue Nun. Bartels & Jaymes wine coolers were all the rage, and few of us had heard of craft beer. Today, Mr. G's is in its third location, where a 36-foot wall of whiskeys, vodkas and gins is rivaled only by the kiosks fully laden with local, domestic and imported wines and beers chilling in coolers.

Family business repairs what others tossRestricted Content

February 23, 2009
Marc D.
Much of downtown has been erased and rebuilt over the last 38 years, but quietly and with almost no notice, Cento's Shoes has remained one of the few constants.

Mass Ave shops thrive 'in the city'Restricted Content

December 29, 2008
Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
Talk to anyone about Kristin Kohn and her "In the City" ventures and you hear the same thing, over and over: Smart. Enthusiastic. Fun. Entrepreneurial. And hardworking, especially when it comes to Massachusetts Avenue.

Crime-scene cleanup company eases burden of trauma victimsRestricted Content

May 19, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
On any given day, employees of Bio-Trauma 911 Inc. could be dealing with everything from the mess left by a decomposing body to a home that's been declared a biohazard. What may sound like a scene out of "CSI" is in fact a day at the office for the seven-person crime-scene cleanup company housed in unassuming offices in a strip center on East 56th Street at Interstate 465.

Beef & Boards stays popular by catering to audience, insisting on quality actorsRestricted Content

April 14, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
Indianapolis-based Beef & Boards has survived 3-1/2 decades by giving viewers what they want. "We cater to our audience," said owner and artistic director Doug Stark. "I have no artistic problem with that."

Admitted 'geek' builds product-development prowess at Priio

April 30, 2007
Tammy Lieber
By Larry O'Cull's own admission, his company's northwest-side office is staffed with "a bunch of geeks," including himself. But as clients of product-development firm Priio will attest, it's hip to be geek. A tour of the office offers a glimpse at a playground for engineering-inclined grown-ups. One of the firm's 12 employees fiddles with the trigger on a paintball gun, while another tinkers with a concept for a propane-tank vending...

Kipps Brothers still evolving after 125 years

October 24, 2005
Candace Beaty
Walk through the Kipp Brothers showroom and you’ll find the makings of one heck of a birthday celebration: gag gifts galore, endless sugary treats and headgear that puts the traditional party hat to shame.
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  1. Looking at the two companies - in spite of their relative size to one another -- Ricker's image is (by all accounts) pretty solid and reputable. Their locations are clean, employees are friendly and the products they offer are reasonably priced. By contrast, BP locations are all over the place and their reputation is poor, especially when you consider this is the same "company" whose disastrous oil spill and their response was nothing short of irresponsible should tell you a lot. The fact you also have people who are experienced in franchising saying their system/strategy is flawed is a good indication that another "spill" has occurred and it's the AM-PM/Ricker's customers/company that are having to deal with it.

  2. Daniel Lilly - Glad to hear about your points and miles. Enjoy Wisconsin and Illinois. You don't care one whit about financial discipline, which is why you will blast the "GOP". Classic liberalism.

  3. Isn't the real reason the terrain? The planners under-estimated the undulating terrain, sink holes, karst features, etc. This portion of the route was flawed from the beginning.

  4. You thought no Indy was bad, how's no fans working out for you? THe IRl No direct competition and still no fans. Hey George Family, spend another billion dollars, that will fix it.

  5. I live downtown Indy and had to be in downtown Chicago for a meeting. In other words, I am the target demographic for this train. It leaves at 6:00-- early but doable. Then I saw it takes 5+ hours. No way. I drove. I'm sure I paid 3 to 5 times as much once you factor in gas, parking, and tolls, but it was reimbursed so not a factor for me. Any business traveler is going to take the option that gets there quickly and reliably... and leisure travelers are going to take the option that has a good schedule and promotional prices (i.e., Megabus). Indy to Chicago is the right distance (too short to fly but takes several hours to drive) that this train could be extremely successful even without subsidies, if they could figure out how to have several frequencies (at least 3x/day) and make the trip in a reasonable amount of time. For those who have never lived on the east coast-- Amtrak is the #1 choice for NY-DC and NY-Boston. They have the Acela service, it runs almost every hour, and it takes you from downtown to downtown. It beats driving and flying hands down. It is too bad that we cannot build something like this in the midwest, at least to connect the bigger cities.