Make It Rain

https://medium.com/media/e049c1d99323c5afa8e5d8a327472f1a/href Matt Stock is a business owner who loves marketing and has embraced the unglamorous job of selling a pretty mundane service: basement waterproofing. He’s tried everything from Yellow Pages to billboards to Internet advertising at U.S. Waterproofing, his 60-year-old family business. But Matt faced[…]

Jungle Jim, I Presume?

Illustration by Nate Otto In an industry known for selling commodities at low margins, Jungle Jim’s International Market in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio is something else entirely. It’s a super-sized grocery store that’s also a tourist attraction with animatronic characters, a dedicated events center, and a working[…]

Steeped in History

Dim sum at Nom Wah Nom Wah Tea Parlor is New York Chinatown’s oldest dim sum restaurant. For decades, it served Cantonese dumplings and rolls in the traditional way, from trolleys pushed around the restaurant. When Wilson Tang took over Nom Wah in 2011, he switched[…]

Solo Act

Illustration by Nate Otto Bruce Roper never planned to start a business. As a teenager, he wanted to be a Beatle. As an adult, he moved to Chicago after a brief stint running a music store and began fixing guitars. Over the next quarter century, Bruce[…]

Clothes Call

Illustration by Nate Otto Here’s a story for all you Cubs fans out there, or anyone who’s ever wondered: Who makes the championship t-shirts you see players wearing in the locker room right after they win the game? Marathon Sportswear in Blue Island, Illinois is one of[…]

Enter the dot matrix

Illustration by Nate Otto Troy Henikoff was a college student in 1984 when he wrote his first program, a piece of software to help his grandfather’s steel warehouse manage their inventory. That summer project led Troy to start his own software consulting business a couple years[…]