Eblens1 ThumbBefore even opening the doors of its first urban clothing store in 2004, EbLen’s Clothing & Footwear had a problem. As they were unloading the first shipment of merchandise, the dozen or so kids hired to work at the Brockton, Mass. store had to not so gently remind owner and president Richard Seaman that if he was planning to put Yankee hats in the store, he would need to find someone else to work there.

Plumbs1 ThumbFive years ago, Plumb’s grocery stores had to contend with just two Meijers Supercenters in the Muskegon, Mich. area. Today, there are three Meijers and two Walmart Supercenters. Jim Nader, president and CEO, said his predecessor saw the influx of new competition as the perfect time to sell the chain and retire, but the younger executives thought differently. They bought the company, established it as an ESOP, and started making changes.

Northern1 ThumbThis woman’s clothing retailer completed a successful turnaround in a decade of new ownership and redefined systems and products. This women’s clothing retailer completed a successful turnaround in a decade of new ownership and redefined systems and products. When Canadian-based Northern Reflections was sold seven years ago, it began a new era on its own. But it wasn’t without challenges, such as redesigning product lines and rebuilding IT infrastructure. Lalonnie Biggar and Bill Booth, managing directors, helped lead the reinvention that returned a once distressed business to profitability.

Family1 ThumbNot your typical drug store chain, this company has with a variety of services and never stops innovating. The drug store industry has changed a lot in the last 30 years or so, as Lynn Morris knows. He and his wife founded Family Pharmacy in 1977, when patient profiles were recorded by hand, prescription labels were typed on a typewriter, and generic drugs were rare. But what hasn’t changed for this Ozark, Mo.-based company is the values the Morris family founded it on.

Bluemercury1 ThumbOne of the fastest growing in the nation, this skin care and cosmetics chain changed the way beauty products are sold in the US, and it isn’t finished yet. One of the fastest growing in the nation, this skin care and cosmetics chain changed the way beauty products are sold in the US, and it isn’t finished yet.

Service1 ThumbDecades of experience and a commitment to long-term relationships will feed this company’s growth in the coming years. Decades of experience and a commitment to long-term relationships will feed this company’s growth in the coming years. People today are busy and don’t often have the time to spend preparing a meal for their families to enjoy at home. Service Foods provides an alternative to restaurants and grocers: it delivers high-quality meats, prepared meals, and brand-name grocery items to upper-middle class homeowners across the South.

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