With the help of friends and family, Mary Keehn started making goat cheese in her kitchen and selling it to local restaurants at a time when goat cheese wasn't popular in the U.S. Today, Cypress Grove is known for its innovative range of artisanal cheeses — many invented by Keehn — and has an annual revenue estimated at $10 Million.
Having worked in the translation industry, Liz Elting felt there was a need for a language services company that could deliver projects quickly and accurately. With her friend Phil Shawe, she started TransPerfect — a business that now has over 1,600 full-time employees and an annual revenue of $250 Million for 2010.
At a trade show in Japan, Robert Croak noticed colored bracelets he thought would make a great fashion accessory so he brought them back to the U.S. Calling them Silly Bandz, sales soon took off going from 100 packs a week to a couple of million worldwide in about six months.
After sampling the local fare, former Maine lobster fisherman Luke Holden realized he could make a better, less expensive lobster roll than those he found in New York. He decided to open a small restaurant with Ben Conniff, and in a little over a year, Luke's Lobster has grown to five locations and a lunch truck — all with lines that often run out the door.