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Success Stories

Montucky Cold Snacks launched in 2011 in Bozeman, Montana, by Chad Zeitner and Jeremy Gregory with the goal of developing an American style light lager beer that gives back to local communities. This concept would set them apart from their competitors and help develop the company's mission to work with local charitable groups and promote a fun outdoor lifestyle.  The company has grown across 15-states with 8% of profits going back to work with local nonprofits wherever the beer is sold.

Chad and Jeremy started brewing in LaCrosse, WI, recycling every dollar back into the company to be able to brew more beer and find more consumers.  They took the boot-strap approach to funding Montucky Cold Snacks using their own personal funds and eventually utilizing the SBA 7(a) loan program to help grow the brand.

Montucky has expanded their brewing network to include a facility in Colorado.  Montucky... Read More

Variety is exactly what you will get at the Dram Shop in Missoula.  The Dram Shop has the distinction of being Montana’s first dedicated growler fill station and tap room, catering to the strength of the local craft brewing industry with more than three dozen regional craft beer and wine offerings on tap. 

Zach Millar was raised by entrepreneurial parents in Pennsylvania and moved to Missoula in 1995 to attend the University of Montana.  After graduating in 1999, he spent some time as a musician touring around playing music, then got his first introduction to the craft beer industry working for Big Sky Brewing in Missoula.  After over a decade working for Big Sky Brewing, Millar was having trouble getting ahead in the industry. He was working for the largest brewery in the region at the time - coupled with a very specific skillset handling all forecasting and logistics for the regional giant, which really limited his ability for advancement and expanding his career. He and... Read More

Turning a favorite past time into a successful business is a dream come true for Ron and Danielle Bolan, owners of Sleeping Giant Lanes since November 2016. 

Their two children practically grew up at the bowling center, and Danielle has been a league bowler for many years, starting at a young age.  The opportunity to purchase Sleeping Giant Lanes came along when the original owners decided they wanted to retire.  “They weren’t necessarily planning to sell, but the timing worked out and everything just fell into place,” said Ron. 

After spending more than 20 years as a fixed operations manager for Lithia Motor Group, Ron was ready to try something new.

Ron and Danielle worked closely with SCORE mentors Chick Rolling and Jan White and received assistance with their business plan.  “Once we started going over the financial statements, we got pretty excited about buying the business,” offered Ron.

The couple approached First Community Bank, and with the... Read More

A.L. Swanson grew up in New England where he learned woodworking from his family.  He sustained a back injury in 1992 and couldn't continue his golf course management career.  Woodworking had always been a passion and labor of love so he slowly evolved it from a hobby into his vocation. He also returned to college and studied business. He realized he was good at marketing  and loved to create unique pieces of fine art furniture. He started his business in downtown Helena in 2004.

In the last few years he began to notice a major shift in the way Millennials spend money so he decided to change course.

He wanted to bring clients to the end of the process. He started offering classes like Make a Table Over the Weekend. He was incorporating woodworking and his love for design and relationship building at the same time growing his business.

He also tapped into his constant reserve of creativity. "I got an idea one day seeing the drift boats at the downtown hotel near... Read More