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Success Stories

Mulnix Veterinary

When Dr. Michelle Thomas moved to Fort Collins in 1996, as a newly-minted veterinarian from Washington State University, she landed a job as an associate with Mulnix Animal Clinic. Little did she know she would one day own and operate that business.

Dr. Thomas and a couple of partners bought Mulnix Animal Clinic from the retiring founder in April of 2015. Mulnix had about 7-8 employees. She says “I found myself with a business. There was so much I didn’t know. I researched the SBDC’s website, and signed up for the business consulting”.

The Larimer SBDC had the perfect resource for her. Consultant Dr. Robert Coffey is also a veterinarian with strong financial skills, and the previous co-owner of a vet practice.  Dr. Thomas had this to say about his consistent support and help –  “Dr. Coffey has been an invaluable resource! I am sure he shuddered when we first met, at my inexperience. He helped me understand how to read financials and financial ratios.  He helped me use that data to improve the business, and make sure it was profitable. We would meet monthly to make decisions.  He helped with various human resource and pricing issues.  I am so thankful for his experience, mentorship, and friendship.”

In 2017, Dr. Thomas bought out her partners, and became the sole owner of Mulnix. She also received human resources consulting from Tina Todd with SimplyHR, and marketing consulting from Lee Porter.  In 2020, her business surpassed $1M in annual revenue.

In November 2020, Dr. Thomas elected to sell her business to Carevet LLC, who operates about 60 veterinary practices nationally.  She says “my staff, now at 13, is very excited about the change, and so am I.  It’s nice to have a larger team behind me, so I can focus on veterinary medicine. We’re also expanding into a 5500 sq ft facility, from our current 1800 sq ft.”

Dr. Michelle Thomas lives in Fort Collins with her husband and two almost-grown children.

Her advice to local entrepreneurs?   “Visit the SBDC!”

Clay’s Ace Hardware

In 2014, Tim and Julie Kenney purchased Clay’s Ace Hardware, a mainstay of south Fort Collins since the original owners, Jim and Lisa Clay, started the store in 1998. Tim and Julie felt the entrepreneurial call, but did not necessarily want to start their own business, so they began looking for businesses to purchase. Their focus rested on a brand that was recognizable, and an existing business that had a culture built around service to

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Avid Product Development

Consulting businesses are often lonely endeavors, constrained by the experience, capacity, and moxie of the owner. When opportunity knocks – in the guise of new technologies, more customers, or economic expansion – many consultants choke, not willing to do what’s necessary to grow. When Doug Collins, owner of Loveland’s Avid Product Development reached that point, it was the opportunities new 3D Printing technology offered that crystalized the dilemma. “I had a good clientele, a good

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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

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Beau & Belle Littles

The true measure of a successful product is: Does it solve a customer problem? As new, active parents, Paul and Rachelle Baron faced a common problem when trying to take their little one swimming. They wanted a high quality, reusable swim diaper that handled solid waste well, but there was nothing on the market that met their standards. “The problems we saw were that disposables were not good quality, didn’t contain solid waste well, and

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Rodeo News

Siri Steven has a passion for life, a desire to educate, and a work ethic and determination that have made Rodeo News the successful, nationally recognized magazine it is today. “This is the culmination of all of the things I have learned in 40 years.” Good friends, life circumstances, and hard work brought Rodeo News into her life, and she has devoted herself to its success completely. After getting her start working on the publication

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Jimena Peck Photography

Jimena Peck is a native of Argentina, who has built a vibrant photography business. “I do mostly editorial work that helps tell a story. I also do food photography and portraits. My style is clean, simple, and especially features natural light. I sometimes travel to remote sites for the project.” After earning a Journalism degree in Argentina, she moved to Holland and began doing photo shoots for the digital marketing platform of a specialized shopkeepers

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