Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jennifer Delaye JDK Catering

I set out to do some research on the catering. My thought process was, wouldn’t it be cool to write about the first documented catering company and who started it. I typed “History of Catering” in Google and came across JDK Catering.

Upon reading the website, I found the person to be interesting, and as I read more it became more interesting.
Jennifer Delaye is the Chef/Owner of JDK Catering, a catering company that operates in the Harrisburg, Pa area.

Ms Delaye started in the foodservice industry at a young age. She started out operating seasonal food service kiosks with her brother and sister at Harrisburg City’s Recreational Center. In 1988, they all opened a restaurant in Harrisburg. While operating the restaurant, Ms Delaye noticed that a lot of their clients were ordering food take-out and delivery. Around the same time, she developed an interest in catering. She decided to transfer full ownership of the restaurant to her brother and created JDK Catering on her own.

She operated the business solo for many years and treated obstacles like opportunities. JDK now boasts a roster of 3,000 clients. Sales have grown from $25,000.00 in 1992 to $3.4 Million in 2007. They boast a staff of 20 Full Time and 250 Part-Time employees.

As a smart and ambitious entrepreneur, Ms, Delaye decided to restructure the company in 2007. She created the JDK Group which is an umbrella company over four independent event service companies. JDK Catering, Essential Party Rental, Imagine Event Design and Weddings by JDK are the individual companies.

I believe this move was smart and it has made me rethink the future and direction of The Spice Rack. I think that accidentally coming across Ms Delaye was probably one of the best things that could have happened.

Submitted by Jamaal Fuller

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Matthew Cain - Yellow + Blue Wines

Matthew Cain is the Founder and President of Yellow+Blue Wines, an Organic Wine company that imports from South America and Spain. Not only are the wines 100% Organic, but they are sold in TetraPaks, a universal packaging for liquid goods that need to remain fresh, such as juices and stocks. This packaging eliminates the expense and waste caused by using glass bottles for the wine, something that Cain found to be unnecessary with most wine drinkers consuming the wine soon after purchase, as opposed to years after the purchase. “Eighty percent of wine is drunk within a week. It doesn’t make sense to put nine liters of wine in a 40 pound box and ship it thousands of miles.” Cain stated that “in other countries people are using alternative packaging to bring down the cost of wine. It’s not just for poor wine but for good wine. Here in the US, it’s only been used as a gimmick.” Cain has worked in fine wine his entire life, in various countries, and says he has “no interest in bad wine.”
Instead of bottling the wine at the source, he has the wine transported in large “flexitanks” to Toronto, where the TetraPak materials are housed. The TetraPak packaging facility is certified organic to meet the standards of Yellow + Blue Wines. The wine sells for about $11 and the container holds about a third more wine than a standard bottle.
The process of growing, shipping, and packaging the wine already leaves about half the carbon footprint of traditional wines, but through carbon offsets and renewable energy credits from Renewable Choice Energy, Yellow + Blue Wines is carbon neutral. In addition to keeping it green, Y+B also contributes 1% of all its proceeds to, an organization that helps entrepreneurs in developing countries.
Cain dedicates his company to “finding a 21st century solution to an outdated business model.” Blending a traditional process with modern practices is what makes Y+B a new, fresh take on wine. Matthew Cain took something old and made it new again, wine has always been around, but now it is current and growing with the times. He found a solution to what he and many others perceived to be a problem, and he didn’t have to create anything new in the process, all of the tools required were already in existence and he put them all to practical use.

Schnuer, Jenna. Entrepreneur Magazine. May 2011. May 2011 .
Shannon, Chiara. K&L Wine Merchants. 15 February 2011. May 2011 .
Y+B Wines. Y+B Wines. 2010. May 2011 .

Submitted by: Kathleen Maurer

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Brian LeGette- “Serial” Entrepreneur

Brian LeGette is a philanthropist and entrepreneur responsible for starting companies in several fields. His first company, 180’s, a consumer apparel company makes 180 degree ear warmers. It was once Inc. Magazine’s ninth fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S.
Originally called Big Bang Products, the company was started by LeGette and his Wharton School friend, Ron Wilson. They both started out as engineers and knew they wanted to be entrepreneurs. They were both interested in athletics and decided to start a business together.
Their first idea, a made in China, a CD rack that rotated fell through. Wilson hit on the ear warmer idea as he had been thinking about it since his college days at Virginia Tech. He used to have to walk across its Quad every day and said it was like a big wind tunnel.
They went through a hundred different designs and finally had a prototype. Wilson started hawking them on campus. Their breakthrough came when they got a spot on QVC. LeGette sold zero the first few minutes on the air, the next few minutes he sold 5,000 ear warmers. He then became a regular on the show and the company took off.
They then decided to move the company to Baltimore and were joined by Wharton classmates and two toy designers from Milton Bradley and started trying to come up with other products. They started making sunglasses, beach towels, pool flotation devices and a line of collapsible beach chairs that turned into back packs which became the most successful.
The ear warmers, however, produced the most revenue, jumping from$1 million in sales in 1999 to $7.4 million in 2000. Staffing rose and the next year revenue went to $15.2 million and staffing increased to 36.
LeGette decided to start making some changes. The name then changed to 180s, he also changed the sales structure of the product. The success had come from selling the ear warmers in large department stores where they were available to everyone and were selling as fast as they could be produced. His new plan was to move the product to specialty running and skiing shops. It was then that the company decided to sponsor a team of nonprofessional athletes, Team 180s.
The shift in model affected the growth of the company and the need for more financing and more problems, including Wilson’s departure. Ultimately,  the company was turned over to a private equity firm which bought out the investors and took over controlling share of the stock.  The company had grown too quickly and needed significantly more capital.
LeGette left 180s and has since been involved in numerous ventures such as, an international medical laboratory accreditation, Big City Farms, which has set out to create a network of city-wide urban greenhouse operations in cities across the U.S. and ZeroChroma, a company that makes cases for mobile electronics.
Brian has an MBA from Wharton School and BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Maryland. He has received numerous awards, one of which is the Ernst and Young’s Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year award for consumer products. He also holds numerous patents and patents pending in many countries all over the world. He serves and directs on boards of several educational and philanthropic institutions. He is also the co-founder of the b4students foundation, a mentoring program that targets inner city youth in Baltimore and is currently considering ex-offender reintegration issues.
Submitted by
Lisa C. Lawson

Monday, April 11, 2011

Jerry Edwards - Chef's Expression

From humble beginnings, Jerry Edwards has successfully grown his catering business to one of the most successful in the region while still maintaining those key principles that helped him climb his way to the top.  In 2010, Chef’s Expressions earned the prestigious “Caterer of the Year” award from the Restaurant Association of Maryland and the “Event of the Year” from the National Association of Catering Executives.
How it all started - Jerry had worked in the food business, but found himself selling alarms. He wasn’t particularly thrilled about his profession and knew he wanted to find passion in a career. In 1982, he had the opportunity to purchase a sandwich shop.  With a mere $2,ooo in hand, Jerry purchased what would become Gourmet by Chef’s Express. The sandwich shop drew customers from the above office complex, but there wasn’t enough to sustain the business. He knew he needed to create a delivery business and expand his market reach in the area in order to build his customer base.
Jerry put an ad in the Towson Times seeking attractive women to wear old fashioned cigar trays and walk around Towson selling his sandwiches at lunch time. The delivery business grew with just Jerry, a staff of two part-time employees and Towson students making deliveries. He started to build a reputation in the area, and within two years opened Gourmet Shop in Timonium.
In 1985, one of Jerry’s customers asked if he would cater her son’s Christening - and at $6/person, a catering business had been born. Years later, the same woman would ask Jerry of Chef’s Expressions to cater her son’s graduation from the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
In 1991, Jerry realized he needed to create a steady flow of catering customers and hired his first salespeople.  By 1995, Chef’s Expressions was was growing to be more than Jerry could handle alone, and brought on business partner, Vito Piazza. Four years later, the catering business started to take off and Jerry Edwards, Executive Chef John Walsh, and the Event Design Consultants were instrumental for setting the standards for the catering industry.
Jerry is active in many charities for children’s issues and adult diseases. Among those is Meals on Wheels where he spearheads a Chef’s Dinner that has raised over $40,000 in the past five years. Jerry hosts a fundraiser for St. Vincent’s Center which has raised $70,000 to date; but his favorite time is when he goes to the center to work and play with the children. As a Chef he teaches at Baltimore City Schools for the “Days of Taste” program, which directs children toward healthy eating and food preparation. Each year, Chef’s Expressions donates food, labor and personal time to the following Charities and non-profit organizations: Cystic Fibrosis, Healthcare for the Homeless, March of Dimes, Meals on Wheels, and many others.
Jerry is active in various local and regional organizations, and sits on the board of The American Institute of Wine and Food; The National Academy Foundation where he hires culinary interns from the Academy to work in his company; National Association of Catering Executives, where he is one of eight people to be inducted into their Hall of Fame, and the Food Editor for Catersource Magazine. Jerry’s achievements are impressive and endless. His honors include being recognized by Special Events Magazine as a top 20 industry leader to watch; by Catering Magazine as Wedding Caterer of the Year 2000; by The Academy of Tourism and Travel as Caterer of the Year 2000 and nominated as Industry Leader of the Year 2004.  He was the first Catering member of the Year for NACE in 1992 and 1993.  In 2004, he won the Nation’s Capitol “Iron Chef” competition and also won the Baltimore NACE Iron Chef competition.     He has won over 30 industry competitions including three ACF Gold Medals and the prestigious “Best Chef” for the Meals on Wheels Culinary Extravaganza.
His recipes and accomplishments have been seen in the following National Magazines: Food Arts, Special Events, Catering Magazine, Catersource, Culinary Trends, Restaurants and Institutions, Restaurant Hospitality and Chef.
Jerry lives in Baltimore with his wife Julie Brown-Edwards and his two daughters Amanda and Stephanie. He recently completed a 1 year stint as host of "Talk Cuisine", a radio program that focuses on the pleasures of entertaining and cooking.
Jerry Edwards is a successful entrepreneur because he continually watched the trends and he knew that by filling a niche for high end catering in an area where there was a need to fill was a recipe for success.
I had the pleasure of meeting jerry and Julie Edwards and was thrilled to do a large scale landscaping project for them at their lovely home in Timonium, Maryland.

Submitted by: Sharon Seborg

Monday, April 4, 2011

James McClintock - a True Entrepreneur

     My father James McClintock is a true entrepreneur in my opinion.  He works for Environmental Protection Agency, working to help stop pollution from ruining our environment.  He also teaches science at George Mason University.  On top of that, he owns his own business called DNA Diagnostics in which lawyers ask him to test evidence from suspects and victims in criminal cases.  He has worked for the EPA ever since he got out of college.  He got a doctorate degree in microbiology.  He loves anything and everything about science. 
            He works for the EPA to help come up with ideas on how to go about saving the environment from pollution.  For example, he is working on a project to help the Chesapeake Bay from pollution.  His dream since he was young was to be in charge of the whole EPA but since he is close to retiring, he decided to take up teaching as a side job.  The side job to help pay for bills became a secondary permanent job.  He taught at AACC before receiving his job at George Mason University teaching microbiology.  He teaches what he got his degree in so he is quite experienced in the field.  He wants to help those in trying to get their degree in that field now so they can do well in the future with a job related to that field of study. 
            He had also always dreamed of doing something related to criminal justice as well.  He started his business DNA Diagnostics so he could own his own business related to criminal justice and science.  Lawyers will ask him to test evidence from suspects and from victims in such cases involving rape, assault, and murder.  This way he is helping keep criminals off the streets but also doing something he enjoys related to science and criminal justice.  He came up with the idea to start his business because he wanted to be his own boss so he could do things the way he wanted.
            That is the meaning of being an entrepreneur by making a business from ideas of what you like to do.  He worked doing what he wanted to do by going to college and studying what he enjoyed learning about.  When he realized he couldn’t go any further in the EPA, he took what he knew about science and turned into his own business.  He chose to make a business that will always be in need.  There will always be evidence in criminal cases that needs to be tested to tell who committed the crime.

By: John McClintock

Harold MacDonald - Plumber

       The entrepreneur I decided to write about is my father who has owned his own plumbing business for over 5 years now. My father started off in the plumbing business after coming back from a tour in the Navy when he was 21 years old. He joined the union and became an apprentice for a couple years as he moved his way up in the company he worked for at the time, Saia Plumbing. He eventually became a journeyman plumber, which is a licensed plumber who can complete jobs alone. He worked for Saia until around 1991 when he was laid off and got another job at W.L. Gary Plumbing company in D.C.
            My father worked for W.L. Gary for over fifteen years and in that time became a Master Plumber, the highest skill and licensed level a plumber can achieve. Throughout his time with W.L. Gary my father became one of the company’s most trusted and hard working employees and was offered a higher paying job as a supervisor. My father declined the job offer because of his love for being hands on and actually doing the work instead of inspecting it.
Around 2005 my father left W.L. Gary to start his own plumbing business. He is now the owner of MacDonald Plumbing LLC where he is the main plumber for the company and basically runs a one man business. On larger jobs he will hire some of his old friends from the business and even me as his apprentice. My dad is a very busy man, taking care of all the customer jobs and while maintaining the legal documents and certifications he must have to keep his business legit. His philosophy on owning his own business is that if he can get paid by a larger company for doing the same work as he can by just being the sole profiteer of his own company. My father is his own boss, and still is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. His expectations and goals don’t stop, he only wants to make himself and his business more successful. 

Dietrich Mateschitz - Red Bull

Dietrich Mateschitz is an Austrian entrepreneur, who cofounded the energy drink Red Bull. He didn’t even invent the product, he founded an existing Thai product called “Krating Daeng” and ran with it. He took that recipe and tweaked the formula, which soon turned into what is now known as Red Bull. Dietrich used his marketing and entrepreneurial skills to the ultimate. He targeted the youth and marketed to them in so many ways. He made a simple product stand out from all competitors. Simple but effective marketing, Red Bull, “it gives you wings.” It took Mateschitz about three years of hard work and experimenting to get it right, but when he did the product boomed.
He is currently a billionaire, and many successful events of his own. The Croation entrepreneur is known as a marketing genious due to the effectiveness of all of his advertising campaigns. Mateschitz has also dipped his fingers in the vast world of sports in various ways. He also owns a nascar team which is called, "Team Redbull", the successful business man also owns two soccer teams in Brazil and Germany. Another important fadct is that Mateschitz company Redbull, hosts many big time sporting events including, Redbull rampage, Redbull Crashed Ice, Redbull X-figthers, Redbull Air Race World Championship, Redbull Flugtag, and many more. Red Bull also sponsors many big time athletes such as Travis Pastrana.
Dietrich Mateschitz is the ultimate entrepreneur in my eyes, because he did not create a new product, he found an existing product and , stumbled upon the idea for Red Bull. He then used his great entrepreneurial mindset and advertizing expertise to seek out the best target market which is the, and focus on selling to them. This worked out very well because kids aspire to be like a lot of athletes they endorse. All of his success led him on a path to become one of the world's billionaires.

Submitted by: Dilan Desai

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bringing Dreams to Fruition

Hoping to own a clothing boutique in the near future I find myself privileged to have such inspiration within family. My cousin Chris Julian owner of Fruition and Monogram Las Vegas as well as co-owner of Stussy and UNDFTD Las Vegas which started from the ground up and continue to soar amongst his competitors. Chris attended UNLV and graduated a business major. At the age of 22 years old he decided to take what he has a passion for and turn it into a lifestyle. Starting off with just a vision opening Fruition at the age of 23 years old he never thought that would lead him to the opportunity’s that he’s had and will have in the future.  Fruition is a clothing boutique in Vegas that offers vintage urban sheik such as vintage Nike, Polo, and Stussy to a higher end Louis Vuitton, MCM, and Fendi. Following that movement he was then offered a co –owner position of UNDFTD and Stussy Las Vegas. 
His most recent projects B.A.R. (Born and Raised) a restaurant lounge and bar area overlooking the Vegas strip and Monogram a clothing boutique placed in the new Vegas Cosmopolitan makes a statement that he has taken Vegas by storm and I’m sure will take his brand outside Vegas in the near future. He is now in the process of helping star basketball player Lebron James open a store in Florida and working on projects with hip hop artist Kanye West.
Chris is my mentor and has helped me with numerous internships so hopefully one day I can bring my dreams into reality. 
Submitted by: Roberto Julian

“The American Dream”

            The wind has a way of defining Annapolis as a city for sailing. In June, this is a refreshing reminder, but in January, when locals cut through the wind like knives through ice, that air can feel a bit uncomfortable. So when a lawyer is finished with his trial and he walks back to his office on West Street, he passes by an almost invisible coffee shop, whose lingering scent can allure anyone in search of a warm place to stay. Inside Café Ole, one can greet the owner, a cheerful woman named Claudia Hassan: an entrepreneur whose ethics were never learned in a classroom, but always perfected in her business.
            Upon initial entry her voice can be heard toward the direction of the door to greet her most recent arrival, but her shocking blue eyes will most likely be fixed on the soul of one of her regulars. She sparkles behind her cash register, including everyone in her conversation through her contagious laugh. If enough time is spent there, a customer can learn about her history before she offers another refill of a sixteen-ounce drink. Her Brazilian accent complements her story well. When it’s combined with her jovial tone her happiness seems immeasurable.
            When she first moved to the United States, Café Ole was known as The Pony Espresso. Claudia was a barista there for eight years working hard to support herself and her family. “Everyone here knows everything about everyone. They always ask me about my boys, my house and my family in Brazil,” she told me on the first day I worked for her, “and soon they’ll know everything about you!” Her laughter turns into ecstasy when two elementary-aged boys skip into the store squealing for their mother’s attention. She showers them with love as they play with the register, count money and sip chocolate milk like they own the place (because of their ancestral right, they do). “Don’t forget to say hello to everyone who walks in the door,” she teaches the boys, “also say thank you very much for coming Miss Nancy, because we want her to come back! We love her!”
Over half of her customers are regulars, which is typical of businesses downtown. When regulars bring co-workers or a passerby stumbles upon the open doorway, they seem to make a connection with the 10-foot wide building. The familiar faces become a family, but even the out-of-towner can feel at home at either a barstool by the window or a table between the door and the register. Claudia’s shop is an oasis for her customers, whose spare time she values for it is spent drinking her coffee.  Her presence distracts busy Annapolitans from the stressors of daily life, providing them with service so pure it doesn’t feel like service. It’s a small abode, humble at its’ worst, that generates gallons of coffee per day, filling West Street’s atmosphere with the seductive smell of a fresh brew.
A Brazilian smile, Seattle’s Best coffee and an American currency keep her business running. For nine hours of the day, every day (apart from weekends, which are reserved for her heirs), Claudia is like the best friend you never had. She intently listens to her customers, always giving advice and receiving favors in return. One of the first things she taught me upon my employment was not simply serve coffee, but to build a relationship. It’s a beautiful thing to see your customers as friends. She understands the exchange of service, not simply of money, and that is what makes Claudia Hassan a notable entrepreneur.
Submitted by: Sigrun Kalatschan

Ron Popeil

For the past 40 years, Ron Popeil has generated over $2 billion in sales with his unique and creative products. He was even voted as one of the 25 people who have changed the way we eat, drink and think about food by Self Magazine readers. One of his most successful inventions, The Showtime Rotisserie, at one point was selling by the thousands each week. Yet life wasn’t always this easy for Popeil, he would have to go through a lot of heartache and turmoil to get to the top. From a rocky childhood, to finding his true calling, to close financial ruin of his company, Ron Popeil would find his way through it all and come out on top.
  Ron Popeil was born on May 3, 1935. He and his brother, who was just 17 months older, were constantly moving from foster home to foster home in upstate New York. His parents were divorced and rarely spent time with them. Even at Christmas, when all of the parents came to pick up their children from the foster home, Ron’s parents never came. By the age of seven, Ron’s grandparents took Ron and his brother to live with their aunt in Florida for about two and a half years. When he was 10, his grandparents moved to Chicago and he and his brother went with them. By the age of sixteen, Popeil was out on his own.
  His father, Samuel Popeil, was also an inventor. He sold his inventions to different department stores and chains throughout the U.S. When Ron moved out on his own, he went to go work with his dad. He showed the different products at the store and convinced them that consumers would by the products in large quantities. Due to the significant sales of the products, stores would buy the products has fast as they could. However, the turning point in Popeil’s life didn’t come until a causal walk down Chicago’s Maxwell Street.
  During that walk down Maxwell Street in Chicago, it came to him. He saw all of the people selling their products on the street and all of the money they were making. So he thought he could do what they can, but he could probably do it better. So he bought some kitchen products from his dad’s factory and went down to Maxwell Street to sell them. It was a success; he was putting more money into his pockets than ever before and that’s when he knew what his true calling was.
  In the mid 1950’s television was on the rise and Ron discovered he could produce a 60-second commercial for $500 and he did. Popeil’s first TV product was the Ronco Spray Gun, a gun shaped hose nozzle that held different tablets of soap, wax, weed killer, fertilizer, and insecticide. By the 1960’s, Ron was selling most of his products on television, his father and he became very wealthy. In 1964, Ronco pulled in $200,000 in sales and by 1968, the company was raking in $8.8 million.
  In the 1980’s Ronco faced financial problems. A Chicago bank went under and Ronco’s bank didn’t want to follow suit. So, the bank called in all the company’s I.O.Us. Ronco couldn’t cover them because of the certain time the bank wanted their money. So, the bank took over the company’s assets and decided to auction them off. When the bank was ready to auction off the assets, Ron offered the bank $2 million to buy it back. The bank denied his offer and went on with the auction. When the bid only came up to $1.2 million, the bank asked if Ron’s offer still stood. Keeping his word, Ron bought his company back and got it back on track.
  These days, Ron is still inventing and keeping busy, but he always finds time for his favorite hobby, fishing. Ron always takes out one of his two boats and uses one of his inventions, The Pocket Fisherman, to help catch his dinner. Ron Popeil is a successful entrepreneur for many reasons. First, he has made a significant amount of money and he and his family are financially set for life. Second, he has brought the consumers useful and high quality products that have made their lives easier. Third, he followed his dreams and didn’t let anyone tell him otherwise, and has made a successful career of what he loves to do.
Submitted by: Alex Wright 

 "About Us." Web. 29 Mar. 2011. <>.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tyler Balliet - Second Glass

Tyler Balliet (founder & president of Second Glass) felt the marketing of wine was inefficient to his generation. Thus, through his love for wine, Second Glass was created. Second Glass is mainly a source for wine information. It drops knowledge through weekly e-mails informing everyone about wines and encouraging them to enjoy more. It enriches knowledge of the readers of the different regions, styles, and techniques in a simple, yet slightly humorous, way.
            Tyler discovered wine at college in the Pacific Northwest. He studied the culture surrounding wine while living in France. From there, he bettered his skills at a wine shop in Boston. Second Glass was born out of Tyler’s desire to create a fun, entertaining atmosphere when learning about wine. Second Glass started as an unpretentious wine print magazine, and then grew into an event company that ran on new media and technology. Tyler was instrumental in the use and development of new technologies to create and distribute wine information. He created a mobile application which is used at Wine Riots (a series of events that connects wine distributers to young consumers) and third party events and utilizes new social media techniques to make wine information more easy to obtain and more useful to the average consumer. Tyler became profiled as one of 2010’s most exciting young entrepreneurs in INC Magazine’s 30 Under 30 and crowned “prince of Boston’s wine revolution” by Stuff Magazine.
Submitted by: Ryan William Lynch - 29

Monday, March 28, 2011

Harold Butler, Entrepreneur, founder of Denny’s Restaurant

Entrepreneurs are an integral part of my family history. Both my grandfathers were life-long entrepreneurs, but family member about who I am reporting is a cousin on my father’s side. My father had a cousin named Harold Butler, whom I have met.  Harold’s mother and my paternal grandmother were sisters, so some of this report is anecdotal.
Harold Butler (1921 to 11 July 1998), born and raised in Buffalo, New York, was one of many children. Personal anecdote reports that Harold’s father disappeared when Harold was in his youth. The family reportedly counted buttons for money. Harold also sold donuts, which allowed him to purchase a row boat. He used this row boat, goes the family lore, to take paying customers out on Lake Erie for short rides. My mother was a little fuzzy about the donut connection, but apparently he eventually owned a donut shop in Buffalo. He decided he didn’t want to live the rest of his life in Buffalo, however, so he moved to California, which is where he started a donut shop he called “Danny’s Donuts”. (Schwartz, 2011)
In 1953, Harold founded the first of his donut shops, which he called “Danny’s Donuts”. The Denny’s corporate site reports that he used the name “Danny” because he felt that would have a large appeal to the general public. (Denny's Restaurant, 2011)  I am guessing he used the name “Danny” because “Father Knows Best” was a popular TV show and Danny Thomas was the male lead of the show.  According to Denny’s corporate site, it only took Harold a year to expand his donut shops and he decided to add sandwiches and other entrees to his menu (Denny's Restaurant, 2011), again, I suppose, to increase the appeal of his shops to the general public, and this served to differentiate him from McDonald’s, which was a healthy and growing franchise, even then. By 1959, Danny’s Donuts had been renamed as “Denny’s Restaurants” and had become a 20 restaurant chain (Denny's Restaurant, 2011)
The differentiation from McDonald’s while still using the franchise model set up by Rae Croc was a critical factor in Denny’s Restaurant growth. Harold’s concept for Denny’s was to be a restaurant that offered decent food for low prices, in high volume with uniform menus and fast service. The difference from the diner model would then be the uniformity of the service and menu, giving people continuity wherever they went, as long as there was a Denny’s available. In fact, Denny’s occupies a unique niche, as it is a hybrid between a donut shop, a franchise and a diner. This is the crux of Harold Butler’s success in building this particular business. He did go on to build some other businesses, most of which were restaurant chains. When one chain's fortunes failed or declined, Butler went on to another one.
"I love to feed people," is the way he once explained his dedication.” (Oliver, 1998)
Submitted by: Karen Schwartz-Mcgady
Denny's Restaurant. (2011, March 19). Denny's Restaurants History. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from Denny's Restaurants:
Oliver, M. (1998, July 11). LA Times|Article Collections|Obituaries. Retrieved March 21, 2011, from LA Times Archives:
Schwartz, E. B. (2011, March 19). (K. Schwartz-McGady, Interviewer)

  Denny’s Timeline (Denny's Restaurant, 2011)2011
Harold Butler founds the first Denny’s in Lakewood, California, under the name Danny’s Donuts.
Butler opens additional Danny’s Donut shops and expands the menu to include sandwiches and other entrees.
Now a 20-restaurant chain, Danny’s Donuts name is changed to Denny’s.
Denny’s makes its initial public offering on the American and Pacific Coast Stock Exchanges.
Denny’s introduces the Grand Slam Breakfast in Atlanta as a nod to Hank Aaron. It went on to become Denny’s most famous, and still-popular, breakfast.
Denny’s continues to grow, now with over 1,000 restaurants across the country.
Denny’s headquarters moves from Irvine, California, to Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Denny’s becomes the largest corporate sponsor of the national charity Save the Children.
Denny’s common stock is relisted on The NASDAQ Stock Market under a “DENN” ticker symbol as a result of the company’s sustained sales growth and continued improvements to its restaurant operations.
Denny’s ends the year with system wide sales of $2.4B and $1.72M average unit sales for company-operated restaurants.
Carolinas Minority Supplier Development Council named Denny's Corporation of the Year in Supplier Diversity
Denny’s parent company, Advantica Restaurant Group, Inc., is renamed Denny’s Corporation to reflect the one brand focus.
Black Enterprise magazine ranks Denny’s at the top of its list of “Best 40 Companies for Diversity” in July 2006.
Denny’s remains the largest family-service restaurant in America, with 21,000 employees and 1,546 restaurants.
(Denny's Restaurant, 2011)

Kevin Plank is a Very New Giant in a Sports Clothes Business

One of the best examples of the modern and local entrepreneur is Kevin Plank.
Kevin Plank, is the founder and chief executive of Baltimore-based Under Armour, the highly successful sports apparel company. He is talented entrepreneur who turned Under Armour from cash-starved brand into a legitimate Nike and Reebok opponent.
 Frustrated by his sweat-soaked cotton T-shirt’s, he started look for a material that would wick the sweat from his body and provide muscles support. (Heath, 2010)
Plank recalls sitting in his dorm room during his senior year at Maryland and drawing the first Under Armour shirt. “I thought, ‘I figured it out, I am going to make a T-shirt,’ ” Plank says. He bought fabric that he hoped could combine the snug fit of a “Hanes cotton T-shirt” and the lightness and fast-drying texture of synthetic, stretchy fabrics used in women’s lingerie. He found a tailor outside College Park and paid him “$480” to sew seven prototypes. Plank then had football teammates and athletes from other Maryland teams test them.
Plank says he built his company using the same principles he learned during his years on the football field. (Salter, 2005)
By the end of 1996, Plank says Under Armour had generated $17,000 in revenue purely by word of mouth. The next year he had $100,000 in orders to fill and found a factory in Ohio to make the shirts. He had gone through the $17,000 from the rose business in college and run up $40,000 in debt across five credit cards.
The company first made a profit in 1998, but a pivotal moment came in 1999 with the release of Oliver Stone’s football movie Any Given Sunday, in which actor Jamie Foxx wore an Under Armour jockstrap in a locker room scene. After hearing about the movie through a Fork Union teammate, Plank sent samples of his products to the costume designer and convinced Stone’s assistant to pay for the Under Armour goods.
With the Stone movie about to be released, Plank decided that Under Armour had to tell its “story.” The company had only $25,000 to spend, and Plank put it all on an ad in ESPN The Magazine. He calls the move a turning point. “We generated close to $750,000 in sales from the advertisement,” he says. Three years after starting the company, Plank put himself on the payroll. (Dessauer, 2009)

Submitted by: Olga Samokhvalova

1. Dessauer, C. (2009, march-april). Team Player. Retrieved 03 24, 2011, from
2. Heath, T. (2010, January 24). Taking on the giants: How Under Armour founder Kevin Plank is going head-to-head with the industry's biggest players. Washington Post Staff Writer .
3. Salter, C. (2005, August 1). fast company. Retrieved March 23, 2011, from Protect This House :


Teresa Vetter, Annapolis, MD “Tessemae’s All Natural” Dressing

Teresa Vetter is a Pilate’s instructor and the mother of 3 lacrosse players. Two of her sons play major league lacrosse for the Bayhawks and the youngest son plays for Towson.  When the boys were younger, she was always trying to prepare healthy meals for her family. Getting her boys to eat their salads was a challenge, so over the years she began enticing them with homemade dressings. Over dinner one evening in 2009, her eldest son Greg told his mother that he wanted to sell her dressing. Greg has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business. The whole family readily agreed to pursue the business venture together. “Tessemae’s All Natural” was to become a reality.

Greg took the responsibility to acquire the necessary paperwork. They formed an LLC, received an employer ID number and gained approval for a loan. To make the dressing, the Vetter’s needed a certified restaurant kitchen. The owner of Adam’s Ribs in Eastport agreed to let them use his kitchen after the restaurant closed in the evening. This worked out well with the Vetter’s busy schedule. Adam’s Ribs now even offers Tessemae’s as the house dressing.

Whole Foods at Annapolis Towne Centre was planning to open and agreed to sell their dressing. At the grand opening, the Vetter’s offered samples served over fresh spinach. Within 90 minutes, they sold out of all of their cases.

Since the beginning in 2009, “Tessemae’s All Natural” is now sold at numerous Whole Foods, has a blog site and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

The Vetter’s admit there have been obstacles along the way. One such task was to create a label and find a glass bottle manufacturer. One time the bottles did not arrive on time and they quickly had to find another manufacturer. The label didn’t fit the new bottles so another label had to be created right away. Working late into the night is exhausting, but the family appears to be very upbeat, driven and focused.

Starting a business in their hometown is a key component to their success. Teresa works in a health club. The boys have attended local schools, gone to college in Baltimore and gained wide spread recognition in lacrosse. These have all been great opportunities for socializing and networking.

Since I was working on this project, I felt I had better purchase a bottle for myself. I found it in the chilled section of the produce department. The label was interesting and printed with Teresa’s story and I liked how the lid was sealed with wax. So far, I have tried the dressing over salad as well as with grilled asparagus. It’s delicious.  There are also some interesting recipes for chicken and rockfish.

I enjoyed researching the history of “Tessemae’s All Natural”. It’s a “feel good” and “taste good” story. I wish the Vetter’s much success.

Submitted by: Jane Gilleland


Sauers, Elisha. “Annapolis Sons Take Mom’s Salad Dressing to Grocery Store”. 
      Capital (Annapolis) 2 June 2009. Hometown Annapolis. Web. 22 March 2011.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Phil Knight - Entrepreneurial Thinker

Philip Hampson Knight is an American billionaire. He is the founder and CEO of the athletic gear company known as Nike, which is the number one athletic shoe company in the world. Together, Philip Knight and the Nike Corporation helped start a sports business revolution in the 1970’s, changing old-fashioned tennis shoes into highly specialized equipment and promoting them as symbols of athletic prowess and success. The success of Nike has made Philip Knight one of the wealthiest men in the world. As of 2007, Knight’s 35% stake in Nike gives him an estimated net worth of $9.8 billion, making him the 30th richest American. Over the years Knight has earned a reputation as both a visionary businessman and a hard-nosed CEO.  He resigned as the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) as well as the president of Nike in 2004, while still maintaining the position of chairman of the board and advisory to the company.
Philip Hampson Knight was born on February 24, 1938 in Eastmore, which is a suburb of Portland, Oregon. He is the son of William W. (publisher of the Oregon Journal as well as a lawyer) and Lota (Hatfield) Knight (stay-at-home wife and mother). Philip Knight attended Cleveland High School where he excelled at track and field. Knight’s interest in running track continued throughout his years at the University of Oregon,  where he distinguished himself as a mile runner. After graduating from the University of Oregon with a BBA in 1959, Knight went on to earn his masters in Business Administration at Stanford University.
Right after graduating from the University of Oregon, Philip Knight enlisted in the Army and served one year on active duty and seven years in the Army Reserves. During this period of his life, Philip Knight attended Stanford Graduate School of Business where he realized that he is meant to be an entrepreneur. After graduation, he became employed as a CPA, however, shortly thereafter he realized that this was not the type of work that he wanted to do. In 1963, Knight decided it was time to put his business school plan into effect.
The interest in sports, especially that of track, gave Knight the impetus to study the way that track shoes were being made and marketed in the late 1950s. Knight contacted Bill Bowerman, his former track coach from the University of Oregon. Working together, they determined that American shoes were inferior in style and quality, too heavy, and too easily damaged. By doing intensive research, they learned that the Japanese’s were trying to manufacture shoes using light-weight durable nylon.  He later became personally involved by arranging to import the new trimmed down styles to America. He started a company that he called Blue Ribbon Sports. Knight made a purchase of 200 shoes and began selling them out of the trunk of his car at local track meets. In 1965, the first Blue Ribbon Sports store was opened in Santa Monica, California and Bowerman began experimenting with his own designs for durable, lightweight, supportive sports shoes. By the year of 1970, Knight and Bowerman had twenty employees scattered around his stores as well as his East Coast Distribution Center. Blue Ribbon Sports had revenues of just under $300,000 and promising potential, but they needed venture capital to expand. In 1971, they sold shares to a handful of friends for $5000 and arranged further financing in Japan, where they began manufacturing their own model of soccer shoe for import to the United States (American Decades). They changed their company name to Nike and adopted the well-known logo, called the Swoosh. And the rest is history. Nowadays, you see Nike products, such as shoes, shirts, pants, shorts, jackets, hats, etc.. everywhere you go. 
According to article in the Encyclopedia of Business, Knight said that there were three separate events that lead to his success as the leader of Nike. The first event occurred in 1957 when he first meets Bowerman. Bowerman was a former Olympian who had a passion for athletes and innovation, which would eventually inspire Knight to create a business dedicated to those two things. The second event occurred while he was attending business school at Stanford University. One of his business professors gave him an assignment where he had to devise a business plan for importing- high quality running shoes from Japan and then sell them in the United States at a high-profit margin. The third event occurred in1963, when Knight actually traveled to Japan in order to have meeting with the executives of Onitaska Company, which distributed the Tiger running shoes. The final result of these three particular events was the creation and success of the Nike empire.
Submitted by Cheryl Haynes


Krentzman, Jackie. “ The Force Behind the Nike Empire.” Print .

“ Nike.” American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, Victor Bondi, Richard Laymam, 
             Tandy McConnell, and Vincent Tompkins. Vol. 8: 1970-1979. Detroit: Gale,
              2000. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. Anne Arundel Community College.
              23 Sept. 2009.

“ Philip Knight.” Newsmakers 1994, Issue 4. Gale Research, 1994. Reproduced in 
              Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2009.    

“ Philip Knight.” Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement, Vol. 19. Gale Group,
              1999. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale

Philip Knight.” Business Leader Profiles for Students. Gale Group,
              1999. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale