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Success Stories

Green Ride

Ray Schofield and Bob Flynn created Green Ride in 2009 to bring an easy, local transportation option to the Fort Collins community. After leaving Shamrock in October 2008, where the two worked together, they began looking for a way to get involved in the community and deciding from a regulatory standpoint whether to be a taxi service, shuttle service, or something else. “We were looking to see where the gaps in transportation were.”

In just under a year, Ray and Bob hired 14 people, had one week of training, launched the website, and started as drivers to get Green Ride off and running. Green Ride started offering transit to and from Denver International Airport (DIA) in May 2009. “We offered service every other hour to start. Within the first month we had moved to hourly service.” Now Green Ride has 62 employees and 21 routes each direction to DIA with 200 daily rides to and from the airport. Green Ride also offers service to Laramie and Cheyenne every four hours.

With hi-tech corporate backgrounds and experience working for Fortune 500 companies such as Hewlett Packard, Agilent and Honeywell, Ray and Bob felt their work did not get them involved in the community. “Transportation touches everything. We get to work in the community and be involved. We have a sense of responsibility to the community and a passion to help people get where they need to be in an easy manner. It really connects us to the community and to people.” There is a great culture with the employees and customers at Green Ride. It is a culture of family with energy and curiosity. “We have a great mix of staff and great energy.”

Ray and Bob met Andrea Grant at a SBDC event in January 2009. At the time they were looking for funding and the SBDC became a key resource. “We have had help from many people at the SBDC. We talked about the business plan and SBDC staff reviewed the business plan to secure our loan. It is great to have this resource out there.” The business plan for Green Ride has led to much success for the company and won an award from Montfort College of Business in Greely.

Ray and Bob credit the SBDC for providing them the opportunity to meet great people to discuss their business with people who are local to Fort Collins. “Little conversations here and there developed into a great network of support.” A passion for helping people, an understanding of the playing field, and using local resources like the SBDC has helped Green Ride succeed and become a flourishing business in Fort Collins.

Green Ride takes the uncertainty away from travel to make the experience carefree and fun. “We really care about our customers and respect them and their time. We have a fantastic team. Green Ride’s biggest success has been putting 60 people to work in this economy. That is so rewarding.”

Babette’s Feast Catering & Bakery

What’s a CPA working as a health-care administrator to do for a second career? Follow his passion. What’s a nurse practitioner to do in her off hours? Dream up cake creations. Rudy Burns’s passion is to feed people, and his wife, Angi, has a creative side. While living in Arkansas, Rudy attended the Arkansas Culinary School in Little Rock. They consulted with a Small Business Development Center, where they were counseled to stay away from

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Branch Out Cider

The idea for Branch Out Cider, a community orchard that produces apple wine from neighborhood trees, began with one special apple tree. When Aaron Fodge and Matt Fater sat down to discuss their business and share their story, they were quick to point out the lush, flowering apple tree in their neighborhood that started it all. “The tree was loaded, so we made cider with it!” That was the first year. The next year they

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Equine Veterinary Services

Stephanie Brault’s passion is working with horses. Providing them with the highest quality veterinary care has been her profession since 1988. After more than 10 years of working in academic veterinary medicine at the University of California Davis and most recently at Colorado State University, Stephanie purchased a private veterinary business in July of this year. While Stephanie is an expert in the field of veterinary medicine, she had no business experience prior to purchasing

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Spidertrax Off-Road

Thom Kingston helped start Loveland-based Spidertrax Off-Road not in a garage like some startups but in a fully equipped shop at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In 1999, Kingston and his former partner and co-founder, Eddie Casanueva, initially snuck into the school after-hours to develop and manufacture parts for the off-road industry until they got official approval and could work during the daytime. “We were manufacturing all of our parts, using the tools of

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Ragamuffin Organizing & Cleaning

Not all entrepreneurs start with goals of grandiose riches; in the case of Kami Bowker, owner of Ragamuffin Organizing & Cleaning, she just wanted to be able to make her $300 per month car payment. Just three years later, her cleaning business has grown so rapidly, she has chosen to invest the unexpected growth in her vision of a Christian women’s respite ministry. Originally from Burlington, Colorado, Kami moved to Fort Collins for beauty school

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Pateros Creek Brewery

When Steve Jones of Pateros Creek Brewery began the journey to turn his passion for brewing beer into a business, he may not have predicted just how long that trip might take. Much like a raft trip down Pateros Creek – an early name for the Cache la Poudre River – the route from concept to selling beer had a few obstacles in store. After trade marking a business name and announcing it, another local

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