Posted in: Personal Product & Services

Truck-Based Retail Companies That Are Succeeding During the Pandemic [Interview]

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One category in the small business space that is getting a lot of love during the COVID-19 pandemic is mobile businesses: pop-up shops on wheels that conveniently and safely deliver not just goods and services, but in-person, often on-demand, experiences that so many are craving after months in isolation.

For owners, this fast-growing model allows for versatility, adaptability, flexibility to remain in operation and lower overhead cost compared to other businesses. And mobile isn’t solely synonymous with food trucks anymore. As these businesses can attest, parlaying your passion and expertise, from clothing to fitness, truly delivers.

Avabelle Boutique brings a curated selection of trend-driven women’s clothing to locations across the metro Detroit area. — Avabelle Boutique

Randee Garrett, owner/creative director, Avabelle Boutique

Who we are: A Detroit, Michigan-based fashion boutique pop-up shop on wheels.

Our mobile shop is a 26-foot Freightliner truck that is fully renovated inside to feel

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Posted in: Personal Product & Services

Cooking Entrepreneur Expanded Her Business Through Virtual Classes

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Hipcooks founder Monika Reti emphasizes the need for businesses to constantly be open to change in order to meet the needs of their target customer. — Hipcooks

Known for its “measurement-free” cooking classes, Hipcooks has always been less about getting it right and more about getting together. So when COVID-19 hit, owner and founder Monika Reti faced a huge challenge: How could she translate the collaborative and creative classes she offered in her Los Angeles-based cooking studio to the virtual world?

“We weren’t sure if we would be able to retain customers in a virtual setting when they were used to attending our in-person classes,” Reti told CO—. “Digitally transforming Hipcooks truly felt like we were starting the business from scratch.”

Catering to your audience: How Hipcooks adapted to new consumer needs

Reti’s approach to marketing her new virtual classes was the same as making the perfect dinner: People

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Posted in: Personal Product & Services

How Startup Kevin’s Natural Foods Is Tapping Into Consumers’ Health Focus

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The concept behind Kevin’s Natural Foods has dual trends at play: the U.S. consumers’ ever-growing obsession with health, and their heightened demand for convenience. — Kevin’s Natural Foods

Why it matters:

  • U.S. consumers’ ever-burgeoning focus on health has contributed to a $4.5 trillion global wellness industry.
  • Consumers are also seeking out additive-free meal options that are convenient and ready-made.
  • Leaning into those trends, Kevin’s Natural Foods combines ‘clean’ eating with heat-and-eat meals.

We’re entering a renaissance of frozen and ready-to-eat meals. The days of tasteless, low-calorie microwave dinners are becoming a thing of the past, as innovators in the prepared food space are finding ways to incorporate quality ingredients and flavor into easy, health-minded, heat-and-eat dishes.

Kevin McCray, founder of Kevin’s Natural Foods, believes that diet and nutrition can act as a form of preventative medicine. He also believes that can be achieved without expensive specialty grocers or a

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Posted in: Personal Product & Services

Interview With the Co-Founders of Row House

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Eric Von Frohlich and Debra Strougo, husband-and-wife founders of fitness studio Row House. — Row House

Eric Von Frohlich and Debra Strougo, married entrepreneurs, founded Row House in 2014, born from the idea that rowing is the most efficient, low impact, high energy, full-body workout for any fitness level that brings the camaraderie and drive fostered by the sport of rowing to each class.

They were right—and so was the timing. Row House was the right business to launch at the right time. So right, they started franchising. Today there are almost 100 Row House studios with more than 200 others in development.

“Franchising helps empower people,” they say. “Starting your own business is hard enough; if you have a franchise structure and network behind you it helps you maneuver through the journey. We didn’t have this, and we made many costly mistakes!”

We asked Von Frohlich and Strougo

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Posted in: Personal Product & Services

Small Business 2021 Resolutions [Interview]

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Never has the anticipated end of one year and the promise of another been so profound a feeling as many of us are currently experiencing. A mix of optimism and uncertainty will usher in 2021, and the impact of 2020 will be felt for years to come — redirecting the structure, strategy and operating plans and procedures for nearly all businesses in some fashion. Yet plan they must, and these five businesses share how their goals for the year ahead have been shaped by the unexpected experiences and unforeseen challenges, as well as the great takeaways, that have been the theme of the pandemic.

Woof Gang Bakery caters to the discerning tastes of Savannah’s puppies and their loyal owners. — Woof Gang Bakery

Greg Lard, master franchise owner & area developer, Woof Gang Bakery

Who we are: A specialty retailer of pet food, pet supplies, and professional pet grooming

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