The core of Woolrich’s business has remained virtually the same for more than 185 years. Ever since John Rich started selling the products from his woolen mill to laborers at lumber camps throughout Pennsylvania, Woolrich has been known for the warmth and comfort its outdoor apparel provides wearers. 

Even today, as Woolrich’s apparel is just as likely to be worn by people lounging around a fireplace as it is by people working out in the elements, the DNA of Woolrich’s brand is practically unchanged from its roots in the 1830s. President Nick Brayton says the success of the company is due to how closely it has hewn to its core values because its customers know what to expect when they buy clothing with the Woolrich label. 

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CPD Energy Corp. is a petroleum distributor and marketer in the Northeast with more than 200 gas and convenience store locations in the Tri-State Area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It was founded in 1981 by entrepreneur Mickey Jamal with one Mobil dealer location in New Paltz, N.Y.

The organization has grown to include Mickey’s brothers, Sal, Cal and Saleh, and is now one of the largest distributors of gasoline products in the northeastern United States. CPD represents the Shell, Mobil, Gulf, and Sunoco brands, and has an active role in close to 200 facilities across the region.

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Skating across the ice and stopping on a dime, soaring above an opponent’s heads for a game-winning slam dunk – the physical prowess of professional athletes seems almost otherworldly at times. And yet, the best sports teams connect with their fans in such a way that the fans don’t just feel like they are supporting the team, but are part of it. Perhaps that’s why the NBA’s Toronto Raptors newest media campaign is titled “We The North,” – effectively letting its fans know that although it is part of a league composed mainly of U.S.-based teams, the Raptors are proudly one with their fans.

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After nearly 50 years, Lueken’s Village Foods maintains the standards of its late co-founder, Joe Lueken. “He was renowned in our part of the world for his integrity, honesty and work ethic,” President and CEO Brent Sicard says. “That’s been really [the key to] our success.”

Based in Bemidji, Minn., Lueken’s operates three family owned supermarkets in its home city. Joe Lueken and his brother started the company in 1966 and gradually “built it up from nothing,” Sicard says. 

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Welch Foods is known for its 100 percent grape juice and grape jelly. In fact, in 1869, its founder invented the modern, unfermented juice version we drink today. But in recent years, the company has been extending its licensed portfolio into other products – ones that have a logical relationship to the Welch’s brand – through selective licensing partnerships.

“As an industry leader with an iconic brand, a 145-year history and more than 100 flavor profiles available to license, Welch’s has the ability to create strong partnerships,” says Glenn Hendricks, head of global licensing. “The toughest part is picking which companies to work with.”

The goal, Hendricks explains, is to build on the company’s heritage. “We want to tie every partnership back to our various core product lines; 100 percent, Chillers, Essentials, sparkling, soda, jam, jelly and spreads,” he says, “because we want to get the Welch’s brand in front of more people in more places.”

This past winter, Welch’s announced it was adding three new items to its licensed product portfolio: PB&J snacks, Fruit and Veggie Smoothie Kits and sparkling drink concentrates.

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A few years ago, people thought of convenience stores as merely places where they bought fuel and picked up a quick snack. But times have changed, and Sheetz Inc. has even been ahead of the curve with stores that offer a menu of items.

“We’re pretty progressive,” Executive Vice President of Operations Travis Sheetz says. “Foodservice is something a lot of convenience stores are getting into, [but] we’ve been into it for 25 years.”

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Back in 2009, Rovio Entertainment Ltd. hit it big with Angry Birds – a mobile game that became a worldwide sensation and has now permanently entered popular culture. Earning the title of the most downloaded game of all time with 2 billion downloads under its belt, Angry Birds is Rovio’s classic and beloved brand. But the company isn’t taking its success for granted. A hub of passionate artists, seasoned game developers and experienced business minds, Rovio has more than 800 employees worldwide but still operates as a start-up, constantly looking for ways to innovate and delight its fans with new offerings

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Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa has built its franchise brand over the past decade by delivering on the demand for a day spa where customers can receive a tremendous experience at an affordable price and at a convenient location. “You have a successful business with these three elements,” CEO Todd Leff says.

John Marco, a physical therapist for more than 25 years, founded the Hamilton, N.J.-based company in 2004 with the goal of making massage services more convenient and affordable. Leff joined Hand and Stone in 2009 after retiring as president and CEO of AAMCO Transmission Inc. in 2009. “After playing golf for 90 straight days, I started looking for a company to invest in and lead from a management position,” Leff recalls. “I met John, loved the concept of Hand and Stone, loved the industry and within 45 days I invested money and became the president and CEO.”

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