Success Stories

Business owner Rhett Roeth, his wife and daughter at Discount Vials in Madison

Veteran Rhett Roeth has built a successful company from the basement up. Back in 1999, Rhett Roeth walked into the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Surplus With a Purpose (SWAP) store looking for a business to buy, any business. Roeth already knew how he was going to make money with his new venture; he was quick to recognize the power of online auction sites on the Internet and, it being 1999, he didn’t have too much competition. The only problem was, Roeth had no idea what he was going to sell. He was at the mercy of whatever Madison’s SWAP store had in stock. SWAP, as it turned out, had surplus glass for sale that day. “And the rest, as they say, is history,” Roeth said.


So began Discount Vials, a Madison-based distributor of glass packaging. Roeth has guided his startup from selling a few glass vials from his basement to now owning his own warehouses with a client list and five employees.  Roeth served in United States Navy from 1975-1981, and Discount Vials is... Read More

Ana Lopez, founder and owner of ALLCON LLC and staff

Headquartered in Butler, Wisc., ALLCON LLC is a Hispanic, female-owned general contracting firm specializing in carpentry and electrical disciplines. ALLCON is currently certified as 8(a), EDWOSB, MBE, SBE by the City of Milwaukee and DBE by Milwaukee County. Founder and President Ana Lopez started ALLCON in 2009 with a focus on electrical contracting and expanded one year later to include general contracting. She also added a division of carpentry services in 2010, enhancing the firm's ability to take a job from planning to completion.

Currently, ALLCON employs 30 carpenters, electricians, project managers and engineers with skills in many areas including steel, concrete and masonry as well as electrical and carpentry. At this point in the company's growth trajectory, they can manage both small service contracts and larger new construction, design build and renovation projects. Lopez saw opportunity in contracting from an early stage with her company. Based on her... Read More

Wisconsin Small Business Persons of the Year Daniel Sidner and Joseph Muench

First there was Maxie’s with Cajun and southern Lowcountry food, next Blue’s Egg hatched with outstanding breakfasts, then Story Hill BKC with its morning café to lunch diner to evening restaurant serving beer, wine and spirits. Three restaurants withdifferent concepts, in three different Milwaukee neighborhoods opened during one of the toughest recessions in living memory. All are popular and thriving, and a part of Black Shoe Hospitality. And, in seven years, the company has gone from zero to 160 employees, with more than 30 percent of them working full-time.

There’s no question that delectable cuisine, locally sourced food, relaxed atmosphere and reasonable prices have brought customers—and profitability—through the doors. Behind the scenes, however, owners Joseph Muench and Daniel Sidner have taken a thoughtful approach to business. Through their relationship with Community Bank and Trust (which recently merged with Wisconsin Bank and Trust), they have made repeated use... Read More

Enterforce: SBA's 2014 Small Business Person of the Year Runner-up 

Marie O’Brien was working at an engineering staffing firm in 2001 and saw an opportunity.  Most staffing decisions were influenced more by the proximity of vendors than by the benefit to the clients’ bottom line. Could she create a model that better served clients?  The answer became yes. O’Brien established Enterforce in 2001. As she was preparing to start her business, she turned to SCORE to help lay the groundwork, consulting extensively with SCORE mentor John Patzke. He helped her in all aspects of developing the business, including structure, bylaws, financial issues, developing a business plan and more. He also connected her to her accountant and banker as well as other professionals. Marie attributes her tremendous success to the early work she did with SCORE.

Ultimately, Marie developed the “Enterforce Advantage”, a business model that creates value for her customers by providing a vendor-... Read More