Helping small businesses in Kalamazoo.

Success Stories

Dough Chicks

Kara’s and Denise’s adventures began with baking breads and confections for teachers, friends, and neighbors. Soon, the DoughChicks’ label attached itself to the mom-daughter duo.

Denise and Kara have been baking together since Kara was a child. They are both passionate about including healthy ingredients in snack and breakfast foods. Making those snacks not just healthy, but also delicious is a bonus!

Kara is on the autism spectrum. Her neurodiversity brings the strength of perseverance and a strong work ethic. After graduating from high school, Kara attended culinary arts school, where she cultivated her passion for food. Denise embraces the challenges of life’s curve balls and loves to learn new things. Kara’s tenacity and Denise’s adaptability make them a dream duo in the kitchen.

The DoughChicks are avid runners and cyclists. They found that they especially needed extra energy during cycling adventures. This led to the development of KaraComet, a soy-free, gluten-free energy bar. Always on the go, Kara and Denise wanted to develop a healthy breakfast that was also quick and easy. Their gluten-free granola contains extra protein and fiber to combat low blood sugar and their (gluten-free) pancake mix, breakfast cookies, and cashew/seed snack are a sweet and salty perfection.

The DoughChicks are passionate about fitness and nutrition and love to provide products that are gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free.

-Source: Can-Do Kitchen

The WMed Innovation Center is a perfect environment for innovation to grow and become a successful commercial enterprise.

—Client

WMU Business Connection logo

Whether you are seeking a research partner or want to enlist the help of student groups in developing business plans, or just looking for ways to engage with WMU, the Business Connection office can find the resource to help move your business forward.

—Mentor

A loan (from Local Initiatives Support Corporation) helped expand our cafe to triple our seating, add a kids space, increase much needed staff work areas, and make other improvements to the space.

—Krystal

MEL logo

The Michigan eLibrary (MeL) is the State of Michigan’s digital library. It has excellent resources available to Michigan residents at no cost.

—Owner

Western Michigan University’s Starting Gate helped me take an idea and transform it into a much more attainable reality. Whether providing talks with investors and business owners or accountability, the ultimate goal is helping your business succeed.

—Peter Shutt

Kalamazoo County Land Bank logo

The Kalamazoo Land Bank did robust community engagement around the vision and gave us something to work with that was solidly desired by people in the neighborhood. Having a vision meant we had to protect it. That’s something I thank the Land Bank for. It was difficult. It didn’t make anything faster or easier, but we got a better project in the end as a result of it.

—Matt Hollander

Buy Local logo

Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo is a hard working grassroots group focused on the greater Kalamazoo community and its small businesses. Their events and networking opportunities are the best!

—Cheri Bales

SBDC logo

Michigan SBDC is a great company providing top notch service to local businesses all over Michigan. The consultants are professional and the student workers contribute with excellent work!

—Martin Herman Sorensen

Score Kalamazoo logos

If you have any questions about starting, growing, or anything business related SCORE Kalamazoo/SW Michigan is a great resource.

—Taylor Kallio

The Fetzer Center has anything you could ever want for any occasion. The facilities are beautiful, the food is great and the staff is excellent! I have hosted an event and been to an event at the Fetzer and both experiences have been excellent. Mary does a marvelous job!

—Diane Holmes

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