Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 7/11/14

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Bead Boutique, Pirch, Husman’s, Zingerman’s, and Junior’s.

From Celeste Smith: Taking a small business from a storefront to online: A look back one year later

“For designer Amanda Carroll, her aha moment came a year ago in July, when she suddenly saw her decade-plus-old business, Bead Boutique, the way a customer might.”

From the Chicago Tribune: Pirch: Would you like a shower with that oven?

“There are appliance stores. And then there is Pirch, where at its new showroom in Oakbrook Center you can sidle up to a cafe for a free cappuccino, enjoy the smells and samples that chefs cook up in working kitchens, or reserve a time to take a shower — yes, take a shower — in the Sanctuary, a eucalyptus-scented room with steam showers and a granite bathtub that is filled by a spigot that pours dramatically from the ceiling. Offering such heightened store experiences is becoming increasingly paramount for retailers seeking to give shoppers a reason to get off the couch, off the Internet and into their stores for something beyond the lowest price, industry analysts say.”

From Samantha Hoelscher: Husman’s: 95 years in Cincy potato chip business

“Now, Cincinnati-based Husman’s Snack Foods Co. is celebrating with new store displays and giveaways – marking 95 years of satisfying generations of loyal snackers.”

From Jennifer Conlin: At Zingerman’s, Pastrami and Partnership to Go

“From its beginnings in Ann Arbor, Mich., a deli has grown into a circle of businesses, all celebrating employee involvement.”

From Laura Shunk: Cheesecake Boss: Alan Rosen Recounts Three Generations of Junior’s History

“Sixty-four years ago, Junior’s (386 Flatbush Avenue Extension, Brooklyn, 718-852-5257) owner Alan Rosen’s grandfather Harry decided he was going to open a restaurant that served great cheesecake. So he went to a number of restaurants lauded for their baked goods, bought cakes, and took them to his baker, Eigel Peterson, to experiment. The pair tinkered with crust and consistency, eventually settling on a recipe that’s still used at Junior’s today, four decades after the Voice first declared it the best cheesecake in the city. ‘We’re not just a restaurant, we’re an institution,’ Rosen says. ‘I take that responsibility quite seriously.'”

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