Success Stories

The husband and wife team, Mike Watkins and Jaci Katz, opened their first small business called KOLÁČE Dough Company & Eatery in January 2018 after a year of planning and preparation. Both were marketing and media professionals at different companies before fulfilling their dream of working for themselves. “We always wanted to start a business – but one that offered something new and unique to the Wichita market,” said Katz.

The inspiration to start a restaurant that specializes in Kolaches - a palm sized pastry with either sweet or savory toppings, or filled (like a bierock) with meat and non-meat items. Originally from central Europe, kolache (pronounced Kuh-lah-chee) is gaining popularity in markets like Dallas and other cities. Mike and Jaci have added their own unique toppings and fillings to satisfy the hunger and tastes of Wichitans.

“After we visited a kolache restaurant in Kansas City, and saw how delicious and popular they were, we decided to bring the... Read More

Creative Financing Solution Opened the Door to Expansion

Andrew Gough (pronounced Goff) grew up in Andover (KS) and later studied Hotel and Restaurant Management at Kansas State University. After taking that coursework, he vowed to never get into the restaurant or lodging business. Gough changed his major, and graduated with a degree in Journalism - Public Relations. After college, he became an investment advisor and an employee education coordinator at a retirement planning company in Wichita. 

 Act First, Plan Later

While working as a financial advisor, Gough started his venture in coffee by buying an expensive, commercial roaster. “I bought the coffee roaster, and then started creating a business plan to make the investment pay off,” said Gough. “I did the exact opposite thing any business advisor would tell someone thinking of starting a business,” he said smiling.  

The pressure was on, but Gough made it work with a team of others that wanted to... Read More

Double D Family Mat Shop - Dale Goetz

Dale Goetz grew up working with his brothers and father at the family feedlot in Park, Kansas. “My father was an ‘order buyer’ (cattle broker) in the area. When Goetz started his own feedlot business just outside Park (Kansas) in 1993, little did he know that his penchant for tinkering would lead to a new family business that exports its innovative products to faraway places like Canada and Australia. Today, the Double D Family Mat Shop, Inc. produces mats made from used tires that that help prevent cattle from slipping and being injured at feedlots and farms. The livestock mats reduce noise, which calms the cattle, and reduces the risk of injury when the cattle are moved on hard surfaces like concrete. The company also produces a similar mat that helps prevent soil erosion. The innovative livestock and anti-erosion mats are made from re-purposed used tires, which make them environmentally friendly. 

Eureka Moment

Goetz’s inspiration to create livestock mats from car... Read More

Overstock Art employee stretching a hand-painted artwork piece

What started as an experiment selling hand-painted replicas of original artwork online, has turned into an award winning e-commerce retailer OverstockArt.com that is based in Wichita, Kansas.

While David Sasson was selling refurbished personal computers in Wichita in the late 1990’s, his brother was selling paintings in California. One day, his brother mentioned that he had found a vendor that was selling inexpensive, hand painted replicas of a few famous pieces of artwork. Seeing a potential sales opportunity, the two brothers decided to test their idea of selling the hand-painted replicas on the auction website uBid.com. “In hindsight, those first hand-painted replicas were not very good – as far as their quality was concerned – but, we wanted to test what the market would pay for them using the auction website,” said Sasson. “We were surprised by what people were willing to pay, and it went from there.”

Using the connections Sasson’s friend had in China, they were... Read More

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