Spotlight Interview: Dave Mattson

Dave Mattson - Sandler Systems, Inc

Dave talks about innovation, learning from customers, and success in sales.

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Spotlight Interview: David Allen

David Allen - Getting Things Done

David talks about GTD and how it can help you, your business, and your success.

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Spotlight Interview: Gordon Logan

Gordon Logan - Sport Clips

Gordon talks about Sport Clips and the success of the franchise model he built.

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Jul29

Meg Hall
Meg Hall
Made by Meg
Celebrity Chef, Caterer & Owner

Meg Hall is a celebrity chef, caterer and owner of Made by Meg – a catering commissary and test kitchen in Redondo Beach, California. She specializes in healthy farm-to-table meals, local farmer’s markets and catering for parties.

Chef Meg has trained at the Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, CA, followed by a job alongside a renowned chef at Michelin-star restaurant Ortolan. She has worked with high-profile companies including Absolut Vodka, Citysearch.com, Paramount Studios, Seacrest Productions and the Supper Club, as well as celebrity clients such as Kaley Cuoco, Jaime Pressley, The Jonas Brothers, The Kings of Leon, Tori & Dean Spelling and more.

BusinessInterviews: Tell me about your catering company, Made by Meg.

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Jul25

Sandy Korem
Sandy Korem
The Festive Kitchen
Founder

Sandy Korem is the founder of The Festive Kitchen, a premiere catering company in Dallas, Texas, featuring recognizable gourmet food. Self-taught in the culinary arts, Sandy started the business in 1991 by providing handcrafted brownies to a local upscale casual restaurant. Within its first 10 years, The Festive Kitchen experienced annual double-digit growth in catering sales.In 2000, The Festive Kitchen began selling some of its most requested items from its production catering kitchen that had previously only been served for catered events. This concept proved to be explosive in the growth of the company and absolutely something that is recession-proof.

BusinessInterviews.com: At what point did you decide that catering was the industry you wanted to start a business in?

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Jun11

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Jim McFarland
FLEXR Sports Products
President & Owner

FLEXR Sports provides environmentally friendly, sports hydration products and accessories. Additionally, FLEXR Sports donates five percent of all sales to charities in the fields of health and environmentalism. Jim McFarland created FLEXR Sports Products after competing for a combined 35 years in a variety of sports including running, hiking, swimming and cycling.

BusinessInterviews.com: What problem is FLEXR solving?

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May1

ed-doyle
Ed Doyle
RealFood Consulting
President

President, Ed Doyle, has worked 27 years in the food service industry and his culinary passion led him to form RealFood Consulting. A day at RealFood is not just another typical day at the office for Ed and his team. Instead, it is an opportunity to combine passion and skill with the food and beverage industry.

RealFood is a full-service consulting firm attending to the needs of the food and beverage industry since 1996. They provide custom solutions for overall concept development, front of house, kitchen and back office, ensuring their clients achieve their goals and vision. They work with entrepreneurs and chefs alike, for planning and implementation of your restaurant concepts, and craft customized solutions to meet each client’s needs. The process for their advisory services can range from a simple menu evaluation and staff training, to a complete turnaround or reposition to an existing operation.

BusinessInterviews.com: What key changes have taken place in the food and beverage industry since you first launched back in 1996?

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Jul11

jeff kohr
Jeff Kohr
Boosted Vapor
Founder

Boosted Vapor is a provider of e-cigarettes and e-liquids. The company was created by a group of smokers looking to quit tobacco without giving up the joys of smoking. Other electronic cigarette companies dilute the nicotine and flavor in their products. Boosted Vapor’s products boost the nicotine and boost the flavor – thus, Boosted Vapor.

MO: How did you come up with the idea behind Boosted Vapor?

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Jul2

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Daniel Rensing
The Smart Baker
Founder

The Smart Baker was officially founded in 2009 by Daniel and Stephanie Rensing, but it was years in the making. The young couple has been spending time in the kitchen together and baking up goodies for their families since they started dating as high school sweethearts. Every time they entered the kitchen, they would search for an easier, smarter and more efficient way of doing things.

One challenge they always had was finding a recipe that yielded just the right amount. When they baked for themselves, they’d scale recipes down considerably. When they were making treats for their large families, they’d have to scale the recipes up. In the process, Daniel and Stephanie would always need to convert measurements for an easier and faster way to measure out their ingredients. One day, Daniel made Stephanie an apron with the measurement conversions printed upside down for easy reading. And thus, The Smart Baker was born.

MO: Can you talk about the development process behind taking a simple idea and turning it into a manufacturing and e-commerce business servicing all different type of industries?

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Jul1

BBQ Restaurant in Columbia and Jefferson City, MO
Burl Lutz
Lutz's BBQ
Owner & Operator

Burl Lutz is the founder and owner of Jefferson City’s one and only Lutz’s BBQ, smokin’ delicious, home-style barbecue. After constantly traveling with his construction job, Burl decided to start his own barbecue restaurant. You might find his recipes similar to his personality; tasteful, but straight to the point. Today, 13 years later, Lutz’ BBQ is located in two different cities, including Columbia, MO, and business is booming.

MO: What got you started in the food business?

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May23

Grean-Bean-3346-copy
Sarah Haselkorn

Green Bean is a fast-casual, sustainable, salad and wrap restaurant located in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, MO. Our mission at Green Bean is to provide tasty, convenient, and nutritious salad fare to our Midwestern community in an eco-friendly manner.

Sarah Haselkorn is an undergraduate senior studying systems engineering and entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis. During her junior year, she opened Green Bean, a fast-casual, sustainable salad and wrap restaurant located a few miles from campus. Haselkorn competed in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards and was a finalist in 2012. She is currently working on expanding Green Bean, and starting an e-commerce business sock company.

MO: You impressively launched a restaurant at just 19 years old. The restaurant business is notoriously hard, what made you think that you could beat the odds?

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May17

SamLundin
Sam Lundin

Sam Lundin was an investor in technology companies at an $8 billion hedge fund, with a focus on the Internet space. In 2011, he switched from investing to operating when he launched Vimbly.to fix a personal pet peeve — the amount of time he would lose when researching & booking recreational activities.

Vimbly shows open time slots for activities, classes, & date ideas by different businesses on a single page and lets users book directly. These activities include dance, cooking, glassblowing, pizza making, wine tasting, intro to cigars, learning to DJ, improv, scotch pairing, samurai sword fighting, persuasion class, and hundreds more.

MO: How did you come up with the concept for Vimbly?

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May9

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Anne Churchill
AnnaBelle Events & Rentals
Owner & Event Planner

Anne Churchill is known locally in Columbia, Missouri as the go-to event and wedding planner and expert. She has a passion for planning flawless events and creating one of a kind event designs. Anne started her business in 2010 and now holds eight years of event planning experience and a Bachelors Degree from Columbia College. As the Owner & Event Planner of AnnaBelle Events & Rentals, she leads a team of professional and experienced Event Assistants.

AnnaBelle Events & Rentals is located in the North Village Art District of downtown Columbia, in Studio 107. The company focuses on planning corporate events, social occasions and weddings throughout Missouri. The company’s work continues to be recognized, most recently AnnaBelle Events & Rentals received the 2013 Bride’s Choice Award placing the company among the top 5% of wedding professionals nationally. In 2012 AnnaBelle Events & Rentals was named the Best Event Designer in Missouri by the Wedding Industry Experts annual awards. In addition to coordination and design services the company offers their clients an inventory of rentals, providing endless options and the ability to achieve the latest trends and styles.

Gus: What local resources were of most useful when launching your company?

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May8

Anne.Shaeffer
Anne Shaeffer
Sulpice Chocolat
Founder

Founded by Chef Anne Shaeffer, Sulpice Chocolat is a Chicago-based artisan chocolate house specializing in the world’s FIRST designer, painted chocolate bars.

From their use of the finest truffle-quality chocolate to the unique flavor profiles created by their classically trained master chocolatier, Anne Shaeffer, Sulpice Chocolat does not compromise on quality. Each one of their chocolate creations is not only kosher, but is inspired by Anne’s days as a pastry chef where she would create unforgettable plated desserts. Ultimately, her passion for chocolate guided her decision to create astoundingly delicious chocolate bars accessible to everyone. Finally, no experience is complete without a striking visual component. By being the world’s first team to individually hand-paint each of our chocolate bars, Sulpice Chocolat elevates its sumptuous creations to an art form.

MO: Where does your passion for creating unique and elegant treats come from?

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