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There’s no beverage challenge BevSource won’t tackle. Whether it’s an idea for a flavored beer, hard cider, recovery drink, or vitamin-spiked water, BevSource can help novice entrepreneurs as well as top beverage companies put their drinks into the hands of consumers.
A veteran of the beverage industry Janet Johanson understands just how complex it can be to navigate the business. Her and her team know how to avoid the pitfalls. As a one-stop-shop for customers who have sales and marketing savvy but not the time or expertise to incubate a product, BevSource provides its customers with beverage development, production, sourcing, and logistics solutions.
“Our customers look to us to help bring their concepts to life. They value their time and our expertise,” Johanson said. “We make their beverage idea a reality.”
Trends in the beverage industry come and go, but the industry itself is nearly recession proof. In an economic downturn, for example, manufacturers will often produce more store-brand beverages as consumers opt to buy less expensive beers, sodas, and other beverages, rather than give them up entirely. Understanding this need for agility is one of the strengths that has made BevSource successful since opening in 2002.
“Just because a beverage idea was once tried but failed, doesn’t mean the idea is a failure,” Johanson noted. “The timing could have been off, sales and distribution could have been insufficient, or the beverage company might not have had enough capital to make it work.”
BevSource uses its can-do attitude to make its customers successful and looks for these same qualities in its service providers.
“I value our relationship with 21st Century Bank. The bank recently helped me structure a business refinance. When some of the big players told me it couldn’t be done, 21st Century Bank made it happen,” she said.
Location: 219 Little Canada Rd. E Suite 100, St. Paul, MN 55117
Headquartered in the busy business hub of downtown Minneapolis, Chestnut Cambronne Attorneys at Law offers a hearty menu of top quality legal services, designed to meet the immediate and unique needs of each client and their family. Established in 1964, Chestnut Cambronne provides services in over 30 practice areas, including estate planning, family law, class action litigation, criminal defense, personal injury and real estate law.
Anchored by a seasoned roster of 29 attorneys, Jeffrey Bores, a partner at the firm, said “Chestnut Cambronne has built an impeccable reputation as a trustworthy, honest and straightforward full-service law firm. We provide extensive experience with sensitivity to the client’s individual needs.” The company also owns the unique distinction of being recognized in the Star Tribune as the only law firm in the area to receive consecutive “Best Places to Work” awards.
“We want to be the first legal stop for the clients from the start of life to the end of life, and it’s our intent and goal to meet as many of their needs of possible,” said Bores, who started with the firm in 1991 as a law clerk. “Chestnut Cambronne prides itself on developing and maintaining a close relationship with the client and is likewise proud that it has achieved those accomplishments while maintaining an outstanding workplace and culture for its employees.”
Bores said most things in life are relationship oriented and he noted the importance of their business banking partnership with 21st Century Bank helps them to provide high-quality services.
“They really are there to support our business, and they always provide their help with a smile, and they tailor products and services to our needs to assist us in making sure we can do our business providing services to clients,” he said. “21st Century Bank is there as a true partner.”
With pinpoint precision, E & M Manufacturing, Inc. builds, creates and fabricates unique, complex and often one-of-a-kind parts, tooling and commercial grade hinges for businesses, engineers and companies across the nation and internationally.
Using state of the art systems, cutting-edge technology and both manual and computer-aided processes for precision machining, metal stamping, assembly, reverse engineering and more, E & M takes pride in getting the job done on time.
“As a full-service precision machining shop, we can accommodate any need they have,” said Emmanuel Efiong, President and CEO, noting that companies have moved away from buying parts and stocking them on the shelves. “We get the job done fast and right the first time with the customer in mind.”
Efiong began working for the company in 1995 as a temp employee, eventually purchasing the company with co-worker and business partner Matt Braund, who started with the company in 2001.
“We produce long production runs to one-off prototype parts,” Braund said. “We always strive to meet our customers’ needs.”
Based in White Bear Lake, E & M was founded as Daro Industries in 1977, specializing in commercial grade hinges for industrial applications like radiation shielding and soundproofing. Over the years, the company grew to add milling and turning capabilities. Daro Industries merged with All-American Engineering & Mfg. in 2004 and ultimately become E & M in 2017.
Efiong said both he and Braund agreed 21st Century Bank would be their banking partner after their initial meeting.
“21st Century Bank took a complicated acquisition and simplified it, they made it stress-free for us,” he said. “They did the small things to make us feel comfortable; we knew then that they were the bank for us. I would tell anyone in business to look at 21st Century Bank as your bank first.”
Rapid Marine has one goal in mind; it wants its customers to have fun. “We sell fun,” said Ricky Brown, business manager at Rapid Marine. “People ask what I do, and I tell them, ‘I sell toys—big people toys.’ We have fun coming to work. People like to buy from us. They like to buy from happy people.”
Not only do customers of Rapid Marine have fun picking out their boat and the options, but they also get years of pleasure, enjoying their purchase on one of the state’s 14,000 lakes.
With locations in Ham Lake, Rogers, Shakopee, and Marine on the St. Croix, Rapid Marine surrounds the state’s largest metropolitan base. The full-service marine dealer offers an excellent selection of new and used boats including some of the most desirable brands in the territory, such as Cypress Cay pontoons, Glastron runabouts, and Lund, Ranger, and Crestliner fishing boats, as well as Evinrude, Honda Marine, Yamaha, and Mercury outboard motors.
The family-owned business got its start in the early 1970s, when Brown’s father-in-law purchased a motorcycle dealer. He soon began selling ATVs and snowmobiles, which then expanded into personal watercraft and boats. By the late 1990s, the firm was specializing in boats, and today Rapid Marine deals solely in marine sales and services.
Located in one of the state’s boating hotbeds, Rapid Marine has continued to build partnerships with its customers, the manufacturers of the lines it sells, and its employees, some of who have been with the firm for more than 30 years.
“Even during the darkest time for the industry, when both the boating and banking industries were suffering, we were having fun. We took the opportunity to expand, and 21st Century Bank assisted us,” Brown said. “We did our due diligence, and 21st Century Bank provided an excellent finance package for us and they continue to be a great partner.”
When business partners Bradley Wohlers and Laurie Barger set out to fund their innovative small business idea – the young entrepreneurs faced immediate rejection. “We went through a lot of meetings with SBA lenders, and to be quite frank, we were laughed out of some meetings,” said Wohlers.
The Mahtomedi, MN native admits, their idea is different – but it had the potential to disrupt the entertainment market in the East Metro area of the Twin Cities.
The idea developed over time as Wohlers, an accomplished amateur golfer, realized the options for indoor golf practice was limited. Following his graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a few years in the workforce, the then 26-year-old set out to open a state-of-the-art indoor golf facility. He joined forces with his partner Laurie Barger, a Monticello, MN native with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and another Master’s Degree in Leadership. The pair created a thorough business plan, developed accurate financial projections and sought funding – eventually meeting 21st Century Bank’s Blair Oklobzija.
“They were passionate and knew what they were doing,” said Oklobzija, our Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending. After diving into the pair’s business plan and financials, 21st Century Bank determined an SBA 7(a) loan was the perfect fit. “This provided a lot of flexibility for them. Most of the loan went to buy equipment, but we provided them with working capital and nice terms to get them up and running,” said Oklobzija.
These loans are backed by banks and the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and provide flexible financing options for individuals with limited credit history or businesses that do not qualify for a conventional loan. The SBA 7(a) Loans are popular for startups, giving business owners access to working capital for furniture, fixtures, leasehold improvements and more.
Since January 2019, Wohlers and Barger have run the business side-by-side, often working 12- to 15-hour shifts alongside 8 employees. They pride themselves in providing the best tools, technology and resources to get golfers “In [their] element, against all elements.” The small business features top-of-the-line GOLFZON Simulator Technology, with options for all ages and experience levels. Between the technology investment and its fun, group-friendly atmosphere – the business is already seeing success.
Location: 4255 White Bear Parkway, Suite 2100 Vadnais Heights, MN 55110