This C-store chain is known for its fresh-from-the-cow dairy products as well as its dedication to its employees and the communities it serves. Long before eat-local supporters began sprouting up across the country, Lochmead Dairy of Junction City, Ore. was selling fresh milk and dairy products directly to consumers. After managing the Lochmead Dairy farm for 25 years, Gladys and Howard Gibson opened the first Dari Mart convenience store in 1965.

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This organization has achieved significant growth since its inception, establishing itself as an industry leader. Builders Carpet Design Center was founded in 1990 in Saint Michael, Minn. With a 55-employee staff and 50-person contract installation team, the organization has been able to achieve significant growth in the last two decades, establishing itself as a regional leader in the floor-covering world in and around the Twin Cities. 

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This third-generation, family-owned supermarket chain has always been dedicated to serving the need of its local communities. Breaux Mart Supermarkets is a family-owned grocery chain that, since its inception, has been wholly dedicated to meeting the needs of those living in and around its community. Based in Louisiana, the organization has five stores in total, including one in New Orleans’ Garden District and four that operate just outside the city in the towns of Metairie, River Ridge, Chalmette, and Gretna. 

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This family owned business pioneered direct retail in the plumbing supply industry and continues to raise the bar in service. Increased competition from big-box and Internet retailers sends many family-owned brick-and-mortar stores into a panic, but the team at Best Plumbing Tile & Stone of Somers, NY welcomes the challenge.

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This retailer continues to dominate the fashion scene at one of the East Coast’s most popular summer tourist destinations. The latest cultural flashpoint for those in the know is MTV’s newest reality show “Jersey Shore,” which has fascinated some, entertained many, and aggravated others with its over-the-top portrayal of stereotypical New Jersey Shore residents. But Jeff Davidson, who’s been coming to the shore since 1974 when his father purchased the iconic B&B Department Store, said the show presented an opportunity for the chain.

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With an emphasis on service and customer retention, this organization is using the economic downturn as a tool. Sam Ross founded Fantastic Sams in 1974 in Memphis, Tenn., and for the last 35 years, the organization has continued to grow. Today, with 1,350 full-service salons operating in the US and Canada under the Fantastic Sams name, the corporation staffs a team of 14,000 individuals and has 800 franchise owners dispersed throughout 25 regional areas. 

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This family-owned c-store chain continues to treat each person that walks through its doors like family, even after nearly 80 years. With a name like Fleming Oil Company, one would assume the business would be built around, well, oil. But to only focus on the company’s distribution of oil and kerosene to residential, mobile home, commercial, and industrial markets would be akin to looking at the night sky and saying, “Look, there’s a star.”

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An extensive history in e-commerce and a low-price guarantee keep this discount furniture retailer strong in a shaky market. Furniture retailers often struggle with having to buy inordinate amounts of inventory, estimate what products will move, and, when they run into a slow time, liquidate the leftovers at extremely low prices. These are problems One Way Furniture has avoided since its founding in 2001 due to a direct manufacturer business platform that cuts out the middle man.

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