Of all the groundbreaking technology in the last 20 years, none has been so largely ignored as the printer. Unlike MP3 players, flat screens, touch screens, and cell phones, the latest printer models are not greeted with national headlines. But at DataBazaar.com, printers and printing equipment are in the spotlight. 

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The baby business is not what one would call a sexy enterprise. It’s by no means macho to sell a stroller, and advertising the best price on a changing table isn’t an action one equates to glamour. But that hasn’t stopped Jack Kiefer from growing BabyAge.com into a successful e-commerce site that satisfies parents, grandparents, and babies alike.

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Trends change at the drop of a hat, and a retailer’s job is to keep pace. But with many layers between the creative process and production, it’s often difficult to stay on top. This is where Zazzle.com can help. Launched in 2005, Zazzle.com’s business model comprises two components. The first is a manufacturing and technology platform that enables products to be made on-demand, one at a time. From posters and printed items to shoes and T-shirts, the company now has more than 27 product lines for retailers, designers, and consumers to choose from. 

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After noticing a void in the Asian food market in the area in which he lived, Roger Chen founded Tawa Supermarket in 1984. The business began as a single-location operation in Westminster, Calif., but throughout the last two and a half decades, it has grown significantly. 

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Making a brand better isn’t just about advertising realignment, especially for a company with 96% brand recognition. So when Nelson Marchioli became president and CEO of Denny’s in 2001, he knew it would take more than a new scrambled egg dish to turn the tide of consumer opinion. 

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Value isn’t a one-way street heading straight to cost savings, especially in the grocery industry. Value also includes customer service, quality, and freshness. These are the tenets upon which Cosentino’s Food Stores was developed 61 years ago when Dante Cosentino bought a local market. A famous ecclesiastical Kansas City artist, Dante’s skill set was in painting, but his expertise was in taking care of people, which has been passed down from generation to generation.

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After more than 35 years in business, Tree of Life is known as a leader in natural, organic and specialty food distribution. Unfortunately, the company hit a rough patch a few years ago, and needed a fresh vision. With a new president, a new senior team, significant IT investments, and a bold new strategy, 2009 looks to be a good year.

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After 25 years in the greater New York City area, The Food Emporium-New York has undergone a number of reinventions, but none so dramatic as the transition Hans Heer, SVP & general manager since 2006, has undertaken. This once typical neighborhood supermarket is quickly becoming a luxury outlet for high-end and specialty food items, and the recession hasn’t dampened Heer’s spirits.

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