Utah Small Business Marketplace Innovators

Utahns redefining how business works in a changing world.


Joe Maughan of 9th & 9th Jewelers. Photo by Steven Vargo.

As we present our annual holiday shopping guide and December issue we focus on marketplace innovators, and those who defy the laws of business and market trends.

For every ten business launches in the US, five will go out of business in the first year, and eight out of ten will fail within the first five years.

Small business starts are at an all-time low, but there are always businesses and innovators who truly find a new way and somehow manage to show all of us who are making our own attempts to create something special how to do it right.

We have decided to make the five we are including span from restaurants to jewelry to new media and ice cream.

And for everyone who we have Included, there are at least four more in their area who could be mentioned. We leave that for you to offer in the comments below.

Sandwich shops have been failing all over Utah. Remember Quiznos? Blimpie? Gandolfo’s. I remember them all having many more locations ten years ago, but many have gone under.

Due to this trend one might assume that another sandwich shop would be a bad idea. These facts didn’t scare away Even Stevens to open up two locations in their first year, then four more their second year and with sixteen locations today. Sara Day is the highly innovative marketer who created the concept of, “A sandwich shop with a cause.” and using local talent Trent Call to design their murals and branding. As well as donating a sandwich for every sandwich purchased.

In another example we see across the national marketplace, ice cream shops are being replaced by frozen yogurt shops all over the country. Investors might then assume that ice cream shops have  lost their cool. Then up pops a new ice cream shop called Howdy Homemade, and it’s proven that all that was really required true innovation in product quality.

This month we examine marketplace innovators. Both new media podcasters who have found a nice, delivery high-quality content over smart phones, as well as old business ideas offering a new spin, which defies the common perceptions about what should work and what should fail. Meet the minds behind the innovation in our first four articles. (to be published online in the next two weeks, but better to simply pick up our current issue of Utah Stories Magazine, or order your subscription today).



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