Category: Business & Finance

Long Leather Works A Quiet Success Story

Forty years ago, Mike Long walked into a Florida leather shop and asked for a job. The owner asked if he knew how to make sandals. When he said no, the owner replied, “Yes, you do,” and, soon enough, he did. “I found it very easy,” Long says.

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Switchyard Brewing: Open for Business (at last!)

In May, after much anticipation and a few false starts, Switchyard Brewing Company officially became part of the Bloomington craft beer community. The grand opening, originally scheduled for last winter, showcased the extensive renovation of the former Jake’s Nightclub building at 419 N. Walnut into a brewery and taproom that is best described as rustic-industrial—polished concrete floors, limestone bar, rough-hewn lumber trim, stainless-steel brewing equipment, and plenty of natural light.

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Time to Sign Up for YMCA’s Annual Corporate Challenge

When the Monroe County YMCA hosted its first Corporate Challenge in 1985, it attracted 10 companies and a total of 200 employees. Last year, 27 companies brought 900 people to compete in 35 individual and team events. Among those participating were Cook Group, Baxter, IU Credit Union, Catalent Biologics, and Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation.

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A Little Spencer Candy Store Hits Big Time with Fudge O’Bits

One night five years ago, Kristi Risk woke from a dream with an idea and popped out of bed to write it down. That idea became Fudge O’Bits, bite-size pieces of chocolate-coated fudge. Today, the tiny treats are the centerpiece of Diamond K Sweets and More, 109 S. Main St. in Spencer. The business launched in 2015 and was named the 2016 Owen County Business of the Year.

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The Cade: A Place to Imbibe, Play Games, and ‘Geek Out’

A sign posted above the wooden bar at The Cade reads, “Play like a kid, but act like an adult.” That typifies the mindset of Jeremy Black, who co-owns the new arcade bar with his fiancée, Chelsea Long. Black says he created the bar to give people a place to enjoy a drink while they play arcade, board, and card games—and, essentially, “geek out.” 

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B-Start: Program to Help Local Tech Entrepreneurs Succeed

In March, 11 local tech founders—hoping to win cash and greater visibility for their startups—will pitch ideas ranging from long-distance ride-sharing to a personal carbon offset exchange to a panel of judges. Hyperlocal and much friendlier, Demo Day is kind of like Shark Tank—sans sharks and snark. The big day is also the culmination of Bloomington’s 22-week-long B-Start program. 

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Hoosier Barber Shop: Where Everyone is Welcome

Jay Thompson, owner of Hoosier Barber Shop, had barbered in Indianapolis and Kokomo before moving to Bloomington in 2000. He says in those cities, customers were divided along racial lines. Thompson says that’s what he loves about Bloomington—the diversity of his customers. 

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More Local Businesses Filling College Mall Since Expansion

In 1965, when College Mall opened, Sears was its first anchor. That’s why the announcement in early 2016 that the global retail giant would be closing its Bloomington store later that summer may have seemed like a potential blow to the east-side landmark. Instead, it became an opportunity for growth and expansion. 

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One World KitchenShare: Where Small Food Enterprises Prep & Cook

With the opening of One World KitchenShare—three professional-grade rental kitchens complete with prep tables, ranges, ovens, slicers, mixers, fryers, and more—One World cofounder and CEO Jeff Mease says, “Everybody who’s doing anything cool in the local food scene is pretty much here.” 

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Ivy Tech Helps Local Workers Achieve Degrees—Debt Free!

When Roy McRoberts, 60, graduated from high school, he went into the military instead of going to college. After serving his country, he was busy providing for his family. Although he says he always wanted to attend college, he didn’t think it was a possibility until now.

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It Takes More Than a Small Fire To Keep the Book Corner Down

When owner Margaret Taylor opened the doors to the Book Corner on November 15, 2016, she knew something was amiss. There was a haze in the air though she couldn’t smell anything. But her assistant manager, Patty Wong, says, “I could smell it immediately. There had been a fire.”

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