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Success Stories

Aurora AutoPros

The Aurora AutoPros mission guides owners Edgar and Reneé Leon’s daily operations:  to provide the highest quality mechanical repair solutions in a professional, honest, and transparent manner.  They keep their environment clean, educate car owners and are family-friendly.  Their customers value AutoPros’ personalized service given by ASE certified technicians.  As a TechNet Professional Repair Shop, AutoPros’ customers receive a nationwide 36-month/36,000-mile warranty on all repairs that also includes roadside assistance for all invoices of $25 or more.

With just two bays at the start on April 1, 2013, over the last seven years, they’ve added four full-time employees and two more bays, working on 150 cars per month on average.  They also started a towing business, Regal Towing, LLC, in 2019.  With a lot of questions at the beginning, they could lean on the expertise and support of the Aurora-South Metro SBDC.  Reneé Leon explains, “The SBDC staff was fantastic about following up and answering questions—from understanding financial statements to marketing.  The consultants’ passion for helping grow small businesses is evident in how they present ideas and look for helpful opportunities.”

The Leons realize that people are keeping their vehicles longer, so they build on their customer relationships, receiving glowing reviews and referrals.  They hold their competitive edge in several ways.  Aurora AutoPros keeps up with ever-changing advancements in automotive technology by updating their equipment.  They are members of the ASA (Automotive Service Association).  They offer six-month no-interest financing to those who qualify.  Most importantly, they maintain high-quality repairs and quick turnaround with their fleet accounts and individual customers.

Their goal is to add another technician and eventually purchase a building.  Aurora AutoPros is an active member of the Aurora Chamber, and they serve on the 7-20 Memorial Foundation.

During the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Leons have adapted to COVID-19 by keeping family, health and community as top priorities.  Automotive repair was deemed an essential business, and Aurora AutoPros is grateful to be able to support the community by providing access to reliable transportation.  They immediately updated their procedures to ensure safety to both customers and workforce.  In addition to their practice of wearing gloves, they disinfect keys and fobs, use disposable floor mats, steering wheel and seat covers, and disinfect each vehicle.  They’ve eliminated many face-to-face interactions by using text and email, sending digital inspections with videos and photos, accepting payment on the website, and more.  They added pickup and delivery service to those who need it, especially during the pandemic for first responders, medical professionals, and other essential businesses and their employees.

Pictured: (lft-rt) Owner Edgar Leon with employee Jose

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Dry Dock Brewing Company

The award-winning Dry Dock Brewing Company is Aurora’s first microbrewery. Established in October 2005, Dry Dock is co-owned and operated by Kevin DeLange and Michelle Reding. The brewery began with just two employees in a 900 square-foot space with less than 20 seats in the back of Kevin and Michelle’s homebrew supply shop, The Brew Hut. They brewed less than 500 barrels of beer in 2006. How-ever, Dry Dock has enjoyed tremendous success and growth

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Cranelli’s Italian Restaurant

In the restaurant world a successful business often begins with family. When Cranelli’s Italian Restaurant, a new hotspot in Lone Tree, opened, the whole family pitched in to help owners Jim and Lasinda Crane make their dreams come true. Hours after the ink was dry on the restaurant lease, the couple began updating the décor and kitchen with the help of friends and family. Lasinda’s father David, a retired electrician, helped build a bar and

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Yumbana, LLC

To be declared a U.S.A. Taste Champion by the American Masters of Taste national judging panel, especially when the category is “Gluten Free” baked goods, is quite an accomplishment. Yumbana was selected as a winning product line in 2017 and, since its beginning in 2011, has been committed to making products that don’t require self-discipline to eat and enjoy. ‘Yum’ is in the name and comes from the owner Christopher Lehn’s first creation, a YUMmy

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Vintage Theatre Productions

Starting out 15 years ago in a basement as a touring theatre group for small audiences, Vintage Theatre has grown from that “tiny” beginning to currently reaching over 20,000 patrons each production season. “It has been amazing to see the growth,” beams Cr aig Bond, Founder. Since moving to Aurora in 2012 into an existing black box theater, Vintage immediately added a second more intimate theatre to augment the season’s offerings. Creating a greater draw

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Leatherneck Precision Machine

Leatherneck Precision Machine is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that specializes in precision machined components for the aerospace, defense, medical, dental, injection molding and other commercial industries that need precision machined parts for their product lines.  Sometimes people’s lives depend on special machine parts, such as aircraft structures, automobiles, and human-rated spacecrafts, and Leatherneck is an AS9100D- and ISO9001-certified company able to do that technical work.  He also has SDVOSB and SDVBE certifications (for small

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Grandma’s Rockin’ Rolls

It was Laura Neilson’s grandmother who spent hours teaching her children and grandchildren how to bake – while sharing life lessons and family stories. Grandma and her sister-in-law sold cinnamon rolls ‘in town’ to help supplement the farming income. Can you image the commute on horseback during the depression in a Minnesota winter?! Laura had been making Grandma’s rolls and giving them as gifts and holiday treats for over 30 years. But as Laura’s career

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