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The Business Resource for Suburban Chicago
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:54 AM
  • Bryan Real was operating his own vending company when he decided the machines, mainly found in offices, needed better tasting hot chocolate and cappuccino mixes. He created his own, and he watched sales in his machines spike 40 percent. 
  • Jessica Grasse grew up in the Gurnee area and holds vivid memories of her trips to Door County where she spent quality time with her family.
    Grasse’s grandmother lived in Door County and several times a year her family would head north to swim, hike and enjoy the festivals and parades along with the autumn colors.
  • Many of today’s homebuyers are busier than ever with work, children’s sporting events or caring for aging parents. A local homebuilder says it’s important to focus on this lifestyle when building homes. 
  • At a young age, Ashley Marquez learned that hard work is essential in running a business. She recalls she was paid a penny for each nail she picked up from the construction yard of her father’s company, which was started by her grandfather. 
  • For more than two decades, business owner Barry Schuster has watched the landscape change in the world of kitchen and bath products on both the consumer and wholesale side. 
  • Culver’s co-founder Craig Culver describes the owner of the Darien frozen custard store as a “driven young lady.”  This drive is one of the primary reasons he chose Darien store owner Fernanda Fernandes as the divisional champion in the nationwide “Culver’s Crew Challenge.” 
  • A competitive drive and diversifying the product line are two key components in the continued growth of Kiefer U.S.A. based in Lake County. 
  • Keith Surroz spent the past three decades operating a couple of construction-related businesses and, like many, he struggled to fit exercise into his daily routine.Surroz would start exercise programs, but would lose interest because he would become “bored” with the activity. He is looking to change all that with his latest business venture.
  • Craig Thurber’s grandfather was a victim of the Great Depression, losing his sales position at a Chicago ingredient manufacturer in 1933. 
  • It all started when Michael Barbanente dreamed of creating a backyard ice skating rink — a winter wonderland for his children. 
  • Financial Adviser James Platania has experienced many changes in the industry over the years, from technology upgrades to economic ups and downs to the need to learn social media. 
  • Ken Courtright is all about helping others grow their business. To assist with the credibility factor, it helps that his own business is a prime example of growth. 
  • As the area housing market picks up showing steady signs of improvement, the furniture industry is going right along with it. 
  • Culligan, based in Rosemont, has been named the official bottled water provider of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks.
    The agreement involves Culligan International along with nine dealer franchisees in the area. That includes dealerships in Wheeling, Crystal Lake, Bolingbrook and Bradley owned by franchisee U.S. Water Company and independent franchisees in Wheaton, Geneva, Mokena, Ottawa, Forest Park and Merrillville, Ind. 
  • Suzie Martin admits that it was tough when she first started her company that maintains, builds and repairs elevators and escalators.  
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