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We’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs. Here are some of their

Success Stories

CG Habitats

CG Habitats is a premium “Board sport Lifestyle” apparel and accessories brand that strives to make the world’s best product offering high quality products for snowboarders, skateboarders, and others who live an active life. Their merchandise ranges from Technical Streetwear, to headwear, to detailed leather gloves.

According to Brandi Paik and Co-founder Austin Paik, CG Habitats was born from necessity. As riders who spent nearly every day on the snow, they struggled to find products that met their needs and started making their own and soon started having friends asking for the same apparel. The company started in their living room and currently is a full blown production and distribution center for their latest designs meeting the lifestyles of their customers.

“Through the years, our focus has expanded to better meet the needs of our lifestyle. We no longer hibernate when the snow melts, but instead offer products for every season. We believe each of our products tells a story. It’s a story lived with friends and shaped by cookouts, skate sessions, and chair lift conversations. Yet the story is not just ours—it’s one we share with others committed to living creatively. We no longer store fabric samples next to our cereal, but we haven’t forgotten our roots. We will always be committed to crafting excellent products” stated Brandi Paik.

The snow and skate industries have a reputation for being difficult to enter and secure success. CG Habitats, however, has been successful in the marketplace due to a strong foundation in snowboarding and skateboarding, unrivaled quality, innovative designs, and by continually offering new and exciting products.

“We have emerged as a leader in the snow and skate industries. CG Habitats is committed to building a community based on quality products, specialty retailers, and people who are passionate about board sports. Through excellent craftsmanship and a commitment to blending form and function, we create products that meet the demands of dedicated riders, skaters, and surfers” said Austin Paik.

In 2007 – our inaugural year – 7 retailers carried CandyGrind our inaugural brand. Today, over 300 specialty shops in seven countries carry our products as CG Habitats. ”Live your Habitats”.

Only in the most respected and established shops, you will find CG in the countries: US, Canada, S. Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, and Australia.

Brandi and Austin both give credit to the SBDC for helping grow to the next level in their business, “If we had known about the SBDC when we started we would not have struggled for the many years we did. Thanks to the efforts of the staff and advisors at the SBDC we can envision our company becoming the multi-million operation we dreamed of in 2007” said Brandi.

Mon Cheri Bakery & Bistro

Baking for Cheri Spickard owner of Mon Cheri started as a young child in her grandmother’s kitchen. Cheri loved spending time in Grandma’s kitchen making biscuits and cookies using Grandma’s method of a pinch of this and a bit of that. She did not learn about recipes until age 13 when working with her mother in her mother’s catering business. No one on her mother’s team liked to make deserts so Cheri took out the

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Cipher Roasting

Kristen Dering, owner of Cipher Roasting, didn’t set out with the intention of starting a small business. Her passion for great coffee led her to start experimenting with small-batch coffee bean roasting. As her friends and family began tasting the coffee brewed from the roasted beans though, they couldn’t keep it a secret. The buzz around Kristen’s coffee slowly grew to the point of officially opening business in July of 2020. Kristen felt she needed

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Nova Engineering

An affinity for science and its potential applications drove Manhar Karsanbhai to pursue his Bachelor of Science at Colorado University in electrical engineering. After spending several years gaining experience in semi-conducting, storage, and research and development with companies from Colorado to California, Manhar decided it was time for a change. “It’s a big leap going from corporate America to jumping in to business ownership,” he said. Nova Engineering was established in 1979 and Manhar took

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Core Progression Elite Personal Training

In 2006, Jon Cerf was graduating from Baylor University, working part time at a fitness center and had plans to go on to Med-School. He had done some work in the landscaping industry when he was in high school and had somewhat developed a fondness for the freedom of being involved independently in business. But something happened while working in the fitness world. The bright light of inspiration went off and he kept wondering how,

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Ruby Jean Patisserie

Jen Essex, owner and baker at Ruby Jean Patisserie came to the Small Business Development Center with a passion for baking and a dream of opening up her own bakery shop. Having completed her French technique training in Chicago Jen was driven to make her dream a reality. Jen decided the best strategy was to enroll in our 11 week Leading Edge Business Planning course which prepares students for starting their own business and writing

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Rheinlander Bakery Success Story

Ed Dimner started glazing doughnuts in his parent’s bakery at the age of nine. The Dimner family started Rheinlander’s German Bakery in 1963 and Ed and his twin brother helped in the shop throughout their childhood growing alongside the bakery. Ed’s parents retired in the mid-1980s while Ed was still in College. After graduation Ed considered his options and realized that he really wanted to go back in the baking business by re-opening in the

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