2005 Small Business and Champion Award Winners

Small Business Person of the Year, Lynn R. Gordon, French Meadow Bakery

French Meadow Bakery was founded in 1985 in the kitchen of Lynn Gordon’s home; it has steadily gown year by year into what is now a $4.8 million wholesale business. The company is committed to baking the most nutritious and best-tasking breads available, while educations customers on the benefits of organic products and support small family farms. As the nation’s first continuously certified organic baker, French Meadow currently produces 26 organic and yeast-free breads, bagels, and pizza crust in its 24,000 square foot bakery in south Minneapolis.

Entrepreneurial Success Award, Kent Johnston, President, Plymouth Plumbing, Inc.

Plymouth Plumbing, Inc. one of the largest contractors in the Twin Cities residential construction market, provides plumbing, heating and air services throughout the eleven-county metro area. The company focuses primarily on new residential construction, a sector that continues to demonstrate ongoing, robust growth.

Emerging Entrepreneur Award Winner Douglas and Janet McMillan Corner Coffee House

As longtime residents of Little Canada (and avid coffee drinkers), Jan and Doug McMillan had to drive three to five miles to get a good cup of specialty coffee. They believed that Little Canada needed a coffee house, and the McMillan’s were determined to build one. The Corner Coffee House is a destination coffee house, providing a warm friendly atmosphere, extraordinary service, superb coffee, specialty drinks, fresh baked goods, soups, made to order sandwiches and other culinary delights. It features drive thru service and delivery to local businesses.

Family-Owned Small Business Award Winner, William Hansen, President, Sawbill Canoe Outfitters

Sawbill Canoe Outfitters provides wilderness canoe camping adventures into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeaster Minnesota. Frank and Mary Alice Hansen founded the business in 1957. Bill and Cindy Hansen own Sawbill Canoe Outfitters today. Bill and Cindy’s four children, who are seasonal employees, will continue three generations of single family ownership.

Young Entrepreneur Award Winner, Robert, Ryan and Aaron Weber, Freeze.com, LLC

Freeze.com, LLC, is a leading online direct marketer. They distribute screen enhancement content to millions of consumers around the world. Freeze.com, LLC, profits by providing advertisers with access to these millions of consumers. Freeze is home to the highest quality computer art on the internet, including thousands of original clip art images, hundreds of photos, 3-D wallpaper, original screen savers, and more. Freeze’s founders consider themselves students of the Internet, and they are continually looking for new solutions to satisfy you, the user.

Women-owned Business Award Winner, Diane Buzzeo, Marketing Concepts of Minnesota, Inc.

Marketing Concepts has been a leader in the direct commerce industry for over 20 years. By offering technology, marketing, operations, e-commerce and software solutions, Marketing Concepts has the knowledge and tools to grow businesses in today’s challenging global marketplace.

Financial Services Champion, Thomas W. Burke

Tom Burke is the National Program Director for Wells Fargo SBA Lending. His responsibilities include interacting with the SBA’s central, regional and local district offices; developing and implementing marketing, technology and audit policies and procedures; and interacting with government agencies and other economic development organizations to foster positive working relationships that provide for financing and technical assistance opportunities for clients.