We’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs. Here are some of their

Success Stories

dry-dock

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 in a very short time. As of 2015, the brewery was producing almost 20,000 barrels of beer each year! It is the largest brewery in Colorado that is only distributing in-state. At the “South Dock,” there’s a cozy bar with casual seating, a jovial atmosphere and a staff eager to serve. Patrons flock to the bar to taste new and frequently-changing brews. Behind a glass wall lives the brewery’s small production facility, and also on the premises is The Brew Hut, a supply house for homebrewers and wine makers.

With the assistance of an SBDC consultant, Dry Dock secured a $4.5 million dollar SBA 504 loan in 2012. These funds allowed Dry Dock to produce a larger volume of beer to distribute much more widely.

“Working with any government agency can be daunting, so it has been great to have a partner to help us through regulations and training, or just to point us in the right direction if we have questions,” said Kevin.

Dry Dock Brewery may be “landlocked” at South Chambers Road and East Hampden Avenue, but this small microbrewery has the wind at its back and clear sailing ahead in Aurora. In 2013, Dry Dock opened a 30,000 square-foot production facility, “North Dock,” on I-70 and Tower Road where it began canning its Home Fleet beers. In 2014, Dry Dock opened the Canoe Room tasting room at the facility. With the addi-tion of the production facility, the company grew to 24 full-time and 22 part-time employees. The company projects brewing 26,000–32,000 barrels of beer in 2016.

Dry Dock has partnered with their local community, the City of Aurora, in various activities. This hometown business delights in being a part of city events such as Punkin’ Chunkin’. They are quick to lend a hand to local not-for-profit or civic groups in need of support. In 2015, Dry Dock hosted the Colorado Chapter of the American Planning Association to discuss how they worked with the City of Aurora and the Aurora-South Metro SBDC to overcome obstacles of starting a small brewery.

Since Dry Dock opened in 2005, the brewery has won 22 Great American Beer Festival medals, making it the most medaled Colorado craft brewery at the competition in the last decade. Dry Dock has also won at least one medal in every World Beer Cup it has entered (five medals total) and 40 awards at the Colorado State Fair.

“Dry Dock has grown tremendously over the past 10 years, and the Aurora-South Metro SBDC has been with us every step of the way,” commented Kevin.

grandmas
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

Read More »
Trunk Nouveau | Squadron

Trunk Nouveau /t^nk/ ‘nju:’veo/ noun: A curated monthly showing and sale from an independent maker who offers handcrafted wares. Trunk Nouveau in Aurora started with a remarkable dream: a busy aviation studio, industrial in nature, doused in the smell of engine oil and creativity. In the back is a room with steam trunks and suitcases filled with forgotten treasures–the kind that people hold on to, handcrafted and meaningful. A trunk showroom at Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace

Read More »
vintage
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

Read More »
grade-power
GradePower Learning

Robert and Olga Mead, the owners of GradePower Learning, started out with a vision to help build children’s confidence and self-esteem. They found an opportunity to do that not only through tutoring students, but also in teaching them how to learn. The LEADING EDGETM Strategic Planning Series was the perfect tool for Olga to test her business model. She graduated from LEADING EDGETM in 2015 and continued on as a client at the Aurora-South Metro

Read More »
petersen
Petersen Custom Glass

After 15 years in the glass industry, Kris and Valerie Petersen opened Petersen Custom Glass, LLC in 2014. Kris has extensive experience designing and installing custom glass products. His specific areas of expertise include high-end frameless shower enclosures, ADA accessible showers and other custom glass projects. With his leadership skills gained from the military and her executive skills, Petersen Custom Glass has become a successful local business in Parker, CO, serving a 25-mile radius in

Read More »
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

Read More »