Success Stories

There's something about Retro-a-go-go! that makes you smile the moment you enter the company's new headquarters in downtown Howell, MI. Maybe it's the fun & functional jewelry, accessories, and home décor that owner Kirsten Pagacz and her product designer husband sell. Perhaps it's the little bit naughty but oh so nice vintage parasols on display, or her stellar team. Whatever the reason, Kirsten and Doug Pagacz have created a successful, predominantly on-line business based on nostalgia and fun.

It's hard to believe that Kirsten started the business at her kitchen table with only $100! But she had the background and the commitment to make the company a success. She had spent her entire career in product development and marketing, and her husband Doug is a brilliant illustrator and artist with over 20 years of experience as a product developer. Plus, the two have been collecting art for years, so the creation of Retro-a-go-go! was a natural melding of work and love.... Read More

Morsels Bakery in Traverse City, Michigan is the brainchild of Misha and Jeff Neidorfler, a husband and wife team who have seen tremendous success since they opened in 2008, including being nominated for the past four years for the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Hagerty Small Business of the Year Award.

They specialize in creating bite-sized pieces of deliciousness called “morsels” that are baked fresh daily and offered in a wide variety of flavors. Their first Morsels Bakery, located on a busy downtown main street, carried a full line of morsels, great coffees, breakfast dishes, sandwiches and salad. They also provided catering services; their morsels have become a familiar sight at many popular community festivals and activities, including the National Writers Series and Traverse City Film Festival, because they cleverly name their morsels after the guests (authors, filmmakers, celebrities, etc.) that appear at an event. Since then they have added two locations,... Read More

Established in 1985, K Drive Greenhouse began as a wholesale bedding plant grower serving customers in the Detroit and Chicago areas.  The former owners would invite friends and neighbors in to purchase plants right from the production facility. As word of their quality and service grew, so did their retail business. In 1994 they constructed their first dedicated retail area on site. Today, K Drive Greenhouse has grown to an acre of retail sales area and still produces 95% of the product sold.

In 2006, Hollis retired after more than 50 years in the industry and sold his share of the business to Josh Bell.  Josh grew up in the greenhouse business and brought not only his skills as a grower but a passion for a diversity of plants. K Drive Greenhouse now grows over 750 varieties of annuals, perennials, and flowering shrubs in order to provide customers with the best selection in the area. K Drive Greenhouse is constantly looking for the best performing new plant varieties to... Read More

Sue and Kevin Burns never dreamed that a botched batch of laundry would turn their world upside down.  That’s exactly what happened when Kevin accidently washed one of Sue’s wool sweaters, rendering it useless.  Unless…Sue began thinking…she could someone reuse the beautiful wool and make something for her daughter.  And that was the beginning of Baabaazuzu, a little company that started from one useless article of clothing. 

That was in 2007 and today, Baabaazuzu is a manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer of fashionable clothes for women.  The company has received six SBA guaranteed loans to grow the business.  The most recent loans, approved in 2011, helped the company with inventory and marketing.  Baabaazuzu also received a State Trade and Export Promotion grant administered through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and funded by the SBA.  The grant enabled the company to participate in a Canadian trade mission.  The trade mission was a complete success with... Read More

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