When Peter Tedeschi stepped in as president and CEO of Tedeschi Food Shops four years ago, complete unification was his first mission. The convenience store brand – with 190 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire – has family roots planted in a company that began in 1923. Angelo Tedeschi, Peter Tedeschi’s grandfather, built the business from his basement and then from the back of a delivery truck, selling imported Italian meats and cheeses. His sons joined in the trade and opened a string of supermarkets before selling the brand to Stop & Shop. But the entrepreneurial spirit remained.

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It takes more than good customer service for a retail business to succeed, but a retail business surely cannot succeed without it. That is one of the keys to the success of the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission’s 77 stores throughout the state. “We have a lot of great people that work here, believe me,” Chairman Joseph Mollica emphasizes. “The liquor commission is indebted to the people currently that work here and to the legislatures past and present that have supported us. We’re not going to let anybody down. We’re here to sell a product responsibly and safely.”

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The great thing about having a full line of services is that it provides companies with a diverse portfolio, giving them the ability to weather storms. When one product or service is in low demand, the others can provide such a steady revenue stream that a change in one service may not even be noticed. But that also means there are more trends to stay abreast of and more competitors to contend with, which creates its own organizational conundrum.

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In the beginning, there was no Walmart in town. Lynn Morris and his wife, Janet Morris, established Family Pharmacy’s first store in 1977 in a shopping center in Ozark, Mo. “Back then, that was what there were – just independents,” President Lynn Morris recalls. “Then shortly after that – about 12 to 18 months after we opened up – there was a Walmart that appeared. Then they started appearing everywhere, just like a case of the measles.”

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The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) has celebrated its 20th anniversary this year with several new initiatives that will enable it to continue to provide military families and other authorized patrons with a safe, secure shopping environment. DeCA allows its customers to obtain brand-name groceries and household products at reduced prices. 

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By carefully helping its clients understand the ins and outs of purchasing precious metals, this company has seen steady growth. Goldline International wants to let individuals looking to diversify their portfolios know they don’t need to wait for a 50th anniversary to own gold. Considering gold prices’ consecutive gains in the past 10 years, Goldline’s message that people should consider gold is one investors should pay attention to. 

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By focusing on environmental safety, customer service, and four-star quality, this Northwestern car wash chain has what it needs to succeed. In 1990, a city of Seattle inspector came out to a Brown Bear Car Wash location to make sure the business was following the rules and threatened to fine an employee for hosing down the dirt that had collected in the vacuum area. Rather than protesting the attention, the company decided to take action and has since become a major educational force in alerting businesses and private citizens about the importance of water sanitation. 

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The business structure behind this developmental toy store franchise makes sure children and parents walk away happy with their purchase. Plenty of evidence abounds about just how much the retail industry suffered through the recession. But for Karl’s TV, Audio, Appliances and Furniture, the ability to navigate through a difficult time period comes down to the same things that have carried it since it was founded in 1956: the quality products, personal attention, and value that big box chain stores simply can’t provide. 

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