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entrepreneurship : Featured Stories

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Ying Xiong, General Manager Hmongtown Market

VideoLine: Hmongtown Marketplace, A place Like Home

A re-run of one of our most popular videos--a trip through Saint Paul's colorful Hmongtown Marketplace with Ying Xiong, its general manager.

LOHAS Green Globe

Editor's Pick: The Minneapolis LOHAS Forum

LOHAS means "Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability"--people concerned with health, the environment, social justice, and personal growth who buy $290 billion worth of goods and services in support of these ideals. The first regional LOHAS conference kicks off tomorrow at the U of M, for merchants, marketers, and others who want to reach these consumers.

The Pedal Pub on the Move

The bar-meets-bike business called pedalpub is on a roll

Al Boyce and Eric Olson's fleet of human-powered saloons are wheeling their way through the Twin Cities again as the weather warms up. And their business is hot too, with booming local bookings and a Chicago branch launched.

Faheem Uddin Khan of Little India

The immigrant soul of Central Avenue: A slide show

The stretch of Minneapolis' Central Avenue Northeast that runs from around 18th Avenue to a little past Lowry is a colorful collage of immigrant businesses: Hispanic, Arab, Afghan, Indian, Southeast Asian. Bill Kelley's images capture a neighborhood that feels both faraway and very close to home.

Enrique and Michelle Palma

The natural-pet-foods movement is growing, and Woody's is its Twin Cites headquarters

We love our pets, and we're coming to realize that over-processed foods are no better for them than they are for us. Hence the natural-pet-food movement, and new businesses like Enrique and Michelle Palma's Woody's Pet Food Deli, where "human-grade" pet food is for sale. For the Palmas and their customers, feeding pets better isn't sentiment or anthropomorphism--it's good science and good sense.

Don Smithmier

Four-way entrepreneur Don Smithmier: they told him to "focus," and luckily, he didn't listen

Don Smithmier starts companies without worrying about crafting a single image for himself. In fact, he calls the Minneapolis office of Matter Worldwide, his umbrella company, "the physical manifestation of my weird brain." It contains four companies he founded or in which he's a partner: a music studio, a web design firm, a web news aggregator, and a bold new venture in online learning. And then there's his country-and-western band...

Jenni Undis, owner of Lunalux

Lunalux: Where fine printing is hip, funny, and fashionable

Lunalux, Jenni Undis' hip printing shop and paper-goods boutique on Minneapolis' Loring Park, pioneered in the crafting of "indie" greeting cards--cleverly conceived fine-press alternatives to Hallmark. Some of the most design-savvy people and organizations in town have gone to Undis for their printing needs--and her retail shop is full of offbeat paper goods you won't find anywhere else.

Jim Delaney at Work

The new corporate hybrids: socially conscious local companies bridge the profit/nonprofit divide

Plenty of companies in the Twin Cities and around the country want to do good as well as make a buck. In order to make that easier in a time of shrinking resources, new forms of corporate structure are evolving, including the L3C--the low-profit limited liability company. At least one Twin Cities company has opted for that new status, and others are looking into it and other ways to combine the best of the for-profit and nonprofit worlds. But there are those who wonder of  these highly experimental new structures are anything more than good PR.

Trylon Cinema

Dale Connelly, Resident Tourist, visits Trylon Microcinema, the biggest little theater in town

Dale Connelly--disc jockey, wit, culture maven, and for many years the co-host of Minnesota Public Radio's Morning Show, is back, and we've got him. As the Resident Tourist, he'll drop into The Line from time to time to share some of his favorite Twin Cities phenomena. This week: the tiny, elegant Trylon Microcinema, a cineaste's labor of love that lets fifty people at a time watch classic films in plush red seats. Does it have a chance against the multiplexes? Or is it playing an entirely different game?

Josh Klauck of the Angry Catfish

In bike-culture cafes, java meets pedal power--and art

The Twin Cities' newest bike cafe, Angry Catfish Bicycles and Coffee, joins two predecessors, One on One Bicycle Studio and Cars R Coffins Coffee Bar/Cykel Garage in catering to the caffeination needs, and gear lust, of serious bike riders. These coffee house/bike shop/art gallery hybrids are celebrations of two-wheel culture in a town that's getting prouder and prouder of it.

Groupo Rival at El Nuevo Laredo

El Nuevo Rodeo: The restaurant/dance club with something for everybody in the Latino community

El Nuevo Rodeo is a a large, cheerful Mexican restaurant on Lake Street. It's also a gigantic, pretty sensational dance club upstairs, drawing huge crowds to hear the biggest names in Latin music, from Mexican banda and norte´┐Żo groups to pop and salsa superstars. For co-founder and owner Maya Santamaria, a music promoter who used to be an anthropologist, it's also a cultural and community center for the whole local Latino population--straight and gay--and a symbol of Latino entrepreneurship and enterprise in the Cities.


Does coworking work? A colleague-craving freelancer gives the non-office office a try

Our intrepid, and maybe just a little lonesome, freelancer Elizabeth Millard decided to road-test Saint Paul's two coworking spaces--offices where people like her, who would normally toil at home or in coffee shops, gather for mutual support, idea swapping, and random chitchat in between bouts of work. This is office life without managers, a dress code, or water-cooler grousing. And there are pancakes.

Roy Goslin & his wife Diane Ferrandi

South African wines are winners--meet the couple who are putting them on Twin Cities tables

When South Africans Roy Goslin and Diane Ferrandi were hired by an American firm and offered their pick of US locations, the couple chose Minneapolis/St. Paul because it's about the size of Cape Town. Within a few years they were working for themselves, importing wine from their homeland. But thanks to the bad rep that cheap South African wines had garnered, and their unfamiliarity with the Twin Cities food scene, they had an uphill climb. Today, after the World Cup, South Africa is trendy, Goslin and Ferrandi are old hands, and metro Minnesotans are getting a taste for fine vintages from the land of the springbok.

I Like You

I Like You, the colorful shop that gives hip crafters a home

The Twin Cities teem with cool crafters whose edgy and beautiful creations go miles beyond hand-painted "Bless This Mess" signs and laser-cut rocks that bid us "Imagine." For a long time these artists' main outlets were occasional crafts fairs and web sites. Then along came Sarah Sweet and Angela Lessman, who crafted the big, colorful, funky consignment store in Northeast Minneapolis with the disarming name. All it took for the shop to succeed was a dream, a near-failure, and a work ethic that borders on insanity.

Fashion from scratch: four local designers who started small and are getting noticed

They started with not much more than a sewing machine and an idea and, far from global fashion centers, they set out to turn their dreams into beautiful things to use and wear. And lo and behold, these Minnesotans made it happen. Laura Nelli's chic handbags, Rapport's leather bags and whimsical accessories, and Gillian Gabriel's beautiful, flattering-to-any-form swimsuits are made-in-Minnesota fashion phenomena that are making their mark in the wider world.
214 Articles | Page: | Show All
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