Entrepreneurs in Action

R/Farm Distilling Co. family owners

R/Farm Distilling Co. Goes Against the Grain to Create Opportunity in Rural MO

The Rosier family has farmed on the same land in Holt County, Missouri, for nearly a century, Dylan Rosier shares, and now he and his brothers are doing their part to make sure the farm is still thriving for the fifth generation. Starting with Dylan’s great-grandfather in the 1930s, the Rosiers...

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Brian Whorley of Paytient

How Mid-Missouri’s Paytient Is Transforming How We Pay for Health Care

Founder of Paytient Brian Whorley, inspired by his time at Boone County Hospital in Columbia, Missouri, created a system that’s helping over a million Americans better manage health care costs, reduce financial anxiety and get the treatments they need.  “​​I wanted to reduce costs as a barrier to care,” Brian...

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Ashley Raetz with her daughters, Riley and Oaklee, and her husband

‘Well, S***’ Sign-Maker Revitalizes Cole Camp’s Small Business Scene

What started as a side hustle to pay for daycare has turned into a profitable sign-making, home decor and apparel business for Ashley Raetz. The central Missouri entrepreneur started RiOak Design – named after her two daughters, Riley and Oaklee – 12 years ago at her kitchen table and has...

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Parker Bond (left) and Travis Tyson (right), co-owners of Spectrum Record Lounge

How 2 Music Lovers Opened Cape Girardeau’s First Record Store & Lounge

Spectrum Record Lounge is becoming a community cornerstone in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, as the city’s first and only record store, combining the owners’ love of music and meeting for a drink in one retro spot. “It's a nice symbiotic relationship between the record store and the bar,” says Travis Tyson,...

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Shirley Washington's Sway-Oh product

SCORE Turns Entrepreneur’s Late-Night Eureka Moment into Thriving Skewer Business

Shirley Washington’s middle-of-the-night inspiration – mixed with a splash of assistance from SCORE St. Louis – has led to a recipe for success for her skewer-serving business. Shirley Washington of Sway-Oh The St. Louis-based entrepreneur launched Sway-Oh and its debut product line – Skewer Food Server – in 2019 after...

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onya McCrea of East Hills Cleaners

St. Joseph Entrepreneur Innovates to Grow Her Dry-Cleaning Business in a Struggling Industry

There are nearly half as many dry cleaning locations now than there were at the turn of the century, but Tonya McCrea found a way to reach new heights with her business East Hills Cleaners, which offers dry cleaning and laundry; she’s even expanded to two locations. “I have a...

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Wes Smith (left) and Roy Scott (right), cofounders of Healthy Hip Hop

Empowering Kids through Healthy Hip Hop: A Journey from Music to Tech Entrepreneurship

The journey of Kansas City startup Healthy Hip Hop began with a personal revelation for its founder, Roy Scott, who, after reflecting on the impact of mainstream hip-hop, envisioned a platform that could offer a healthier alternative for young listeners. Roy grew up in Kansas City immersed in hip-hop culture....

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Susan and Brittni Blaser, founders of Casa Di Vite in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

Vacant Old Building Inspires New Entrepreneurs’ 3 Dream Businesses

When Susan Blaser, 61, noticed a 4,800-square-foot historic stone building for sale in downtown Excelsior Springs, Missouri, she immediately saw potential for a business … well to be accurate, three businesses. Although the space had been vacant for over 30 years, Susan thought the former funeral home would be perfect...

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Rebecca Brown of Assist America Home Care Services

Frustration with the Status Quo Sparks MO Entrepreneur’s Health Care Business

Disillusionment can be a great fertilizer, helping new ideas grow. Just ask Rebecca Brown. Her West Plains, Missouri, small business, Assist America Home Care Services, grew out of frustration and a desire to do the right thing — and to do it better. Learn how this entrepreneur used industry knowledge...

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Tyrean "Heru" Lewis and a coworker pose for a photo next to a cart of watermelons.

Heru Urban Farming Is Cultivating Something Big in St. Louis Neighborhoods

Tyrean “Heru” Lewis' journey into urban farming began with a simple yet profound realization – the scarcity of fresh, sustainable produce in his own community. Tyrean, a former physical education teacher, recalls his days as a vegan in 2017 when he struggled to find fresh produce. “Over 850,000 people in the St....

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