The North Metro Denver Small Business Development Center is always anxious to share our feel good success stories with the community. The success of our clients is the most rewarding experience for all the staff and volunteers of the SBDC.

Many of our clients want to share their experience with others, and give insight to the workshops, consulting, and guidance our organization provides them and their businesses.

Watchdog Cleaning Solutions USA

Back in 1979, The Village People recorded the song, “IN THE NAVY”, and that is where the founder and owner of Watchdog Cleaning Solutions USA, Tasia Brick, spent four years of her life on active duty. Tasia served across the globe in various ports and duty assignments. During her enlistment she was able to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Columbia College. Upon leaving active duty she was afforded the opportunity to transfer …

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KidSpace

To say that Roger and Meghan Stockman have somewhat of a diverse background and childhood would be an understatement. Megan is a Kansas native raised in rural northern Kansas, served in the military and retired with the rank of Major. Roger, whose Father was with the State Department, was born in Singapore…lived in Africa, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Ireland…finally landing in Kansas City. Roger’s initial career was in Law Enforcement, serving with agencies in Lawrence, …

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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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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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Black Hound Design Company

Black Hound…a name one would at first think was associated to a dog training business or a hunting operation; however, the reality is that it belongs to a custom furniture design and manufacturing business…Black Hound Custom Furniture and Design. In 2013, the owners, James and Kate Hixson, had an idea…a vision that would expand and enhance James’s college education in sculpturing. What started as a wood sculpture for a friend, evolved into a prosperous and …

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Frolic Play Space

Pilar Johnson owner of Frolic Play Space re-imagined an indoor play space for children under seven after visiting an indoor play area with her young daughter. Pilar states, “There really was not a lot of places that I felt like I could take her, be free for a little bit and get a little break which was back when I first said I should really do this”. At that moment, Pilar came up with the …

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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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2nd Time Sports

2nd Time Sports is an affordable, fun place to shop for team sporting gear and snow sports. Recently, the City of Northglenn honored 2nd Time Sports with the 2017 SMALL BUSINESS of the YEAR Award. Chuck and Anita Adam’s business philosophy is to keep sports affordable for families, by keeping new prices competitive and offering gently used at discounted prices. Kids grow so fast that they really don’t “use up” the cleats, shoulder pads, helmets, …

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Timberleaf Trailers

Kevin Molick is a custom cabinet contractor and outdoorsman. The idea of building a teardrop trailer for his camping adventures intrigued him so he built one to suit his needs. It wasn’t long before he was getting inquires on social media about how one of these trailers could be purchased which moved him to start building more trailers. By the end of 2016 he had built and sold 12 of these custom made trailers. “We …

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Mother Tucker Brewery

After decades in corporate America Deb and Scott Tucker agreed it was time to start living their dreams. So after 30 years, with one of the pair in risk management, they decided to take a calculated risk at owning their own business and started Mother Tucker Brewery. They started practicing their craft in their garage inviting neighbors to come in and taste their wares. Their brews were a hit with neighbor and friends. After many …

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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 …

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Mass FX Media

Mass FX Media is a small business that delivers big creativity in the area of video production. Shawna Schultz and her husband, Matt, met in high school, drawn together by their interest in producing videos. After they both completed their Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in film production at the University of Colorado, they got jobs making documentaries for Group Publishing for almost three years. When faced with the opportunity to go on a four-month …

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Key Results

Key Results is a small company with a long reach. For almost twenty years, Owner, Marge Fajardo, has worked with individual leaders globally and a variety of business groups from small local companies to large governmental agencies in Washington D.C. The ultimate goal of Key Results is to improve the interpersonal health of an organization and build on their people-power to produce better results. Prior to starting Key Results, Fajardo worked in business, government, and …

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Backyard Soda Company

The beauty of small businesses is their ability to listen to their customers, quickly pivot and reassess. Backyard Soda Company started with a vision of a modern version of a soda shop, but after trying to bootstrap the business with a food cart in 2011, they realized they might be going about selling their product from the wrong angle. Co-owners and founders Patrick Creager and Ari Murdock officially started Backyard Soda Company in 2012, and …

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Denver Escape Room

For many businesses, being first to market is essential to their success. When owner Brian Lacertosa of the Denver Escape Room began planning his venture, there was nothing like it in the state of Colorado, but by the time he launched he was third to market in Denver. That didn’t stop his momentum though; just a year after opening his first location he has already opened a second location in Phoenix, Arizona, and by the …

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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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Deltech, Inc.

Deltech Inc. designs and builds furnaces for the production of scientific products, from laboratory implements to semi-conductor components. Deltech is a small, family-run company with a large impact. It began in 1968 as an engineering services company for the mining industry. The co-founders, Calvin L. Stevenson and Donald J. Drinkwater, were mining engineers. Deltech built its first furnace for Coors Tek, then known as Coors Porcelain. Their second customer was Los Alamos National Laboratories. Mary …

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4th Kind Entertainment

In the age of YouTube and smartphones, how does a small video production company distinguish themselves from anyone who can hold a camera? In the words of 4th Kind Entertainment’s owners and founders, Curt Donohue and Jason Graisa: empathy mapping and humor. “We spend a lot of time with our clients to find out who their clients are,” says Curt. 4th Kind Entertainment, a Denver area video production company, specializes on customer discovery and injecting …

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Zoe’s Coffee

In May of 2008, Vaughn and Judy Pepper started a small coffee kiosk business. For many years, they dreamed of turning this kiosk into a full coffee shop. In 2012, they were able to turn this dream into a reality and they expanded into a full coffee shop—Zoe’s Coffee. They explained that location played an extremely important role in the new venture. “Judy and I established the shop based on demographics of the area.” The …

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Colorado Swim School

Armed with the knowledge that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury fatalities for children under the age of four and the second leading cause in children under the age of fifteen, learning to swim was non-negotiable for Brent and Stephanie Scarbrough’s children. From the time their children were infants, they searched for a swim program that was child-centered, fun and engaging, yet also prepared children to know precisely what to do in the …

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Fiesta Time Inc.

Fiesta Time Inc. is a family business that started seven years ago in Brighton, Colorado. The Jurado family opened it services with only ten tables and seventy chairs, and since then has grown to be a driving force in the party rental industry. Fiesta Time is now much more than just tables and chairs, offering a whole repertoire of frame tents, pole tents, linens, dance floors, and sound systems. Having a strong foundation is essential …

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Profound Fitness

Diana Rael is the owner of Profound Fitness, a small, personalized gym and training program for all fitness needs. That sounds like the description of many typical fitness establishments. However, Rael’s program is anything but typical. She serves people with special needs, those dealing with the challenges of aging, and those who are uncomfortable in a gym setting—as well as everyone else. Rael’s background includes early childhood education, science education, martial arts, and personal training. …

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