Motors Brewing Company, Cincinnati, OH


Before prohibition, Cincinnati Ohio was a leading beer producing city. Its rich heritage of brewing dates back to 200 years ago when many German, British and French immigrants brought their lager, porter and ale style brews to the Queen City.


Keith Spurling, being a local to Cincinnati all his life, found himself out with friends one fateful night in 2017. While the group was deciding on what to drink that evening, their choices gave them room for pause. Between the berry seltzer, that was on tap, and other fruit inspired fizzling fermented concoctions, nothing that the place served seemed especially appealing. This is when they were forced to ask the server, “Do you just have regular beer?” This was the point in Keith’s life where the gears in his entrepreneurial brain started moving and turning. 


In February of 2018 Keith had opened Motors Brewing company, with its signature offering being the American Ale. This recipe is based on a pre-prohibition recipe that Keith had perfected, but he wasn’t prepared for the amount of popularity that would come with the brew. Within two years, Motors Brewing Company was able to secure a distribution contract with Kroger that continues to expand today. At first, however, Keith had no other option than to turn some of that business away. Thankfully, after securing a local production partnership, Motors Brewing Company was able to ramp up production and meet the increased demand for this new American Ale that consumers were just not able to get enough of. 


The success of Motors Brewing Company is one for the record book, as they opened, seemingly, behind the eight ball. With fierce local brewing competition in the Cincinnati area and without the benefit of providing consumers with an open tap room, Keith only had the American Ale recipe, his outgoing and friendly personality and an entrepreneurial drive to turn his passion into a success. 


Although Keith wasn’t initially prepared for the success that Motors Brewing Company was now enjoying, he embraced it and was soon offering six pack cans in addition to the kegs provided for tap rails. Currently Motors Brewing is self distributing to local venues throughout Cincinnati and Keith remains as hands-on as ever. 


This is definitely not the end of the story for Motors Brewing Company as Keith continues to roll out additional Marketplace Recipes, increase production and work on creating additional brewed recipes to further the success of his brand. I don’t know about you, but this weekend I’m going to be on the lookout for a Motors Brewing Company American Ale Tap Handle and I suggest that if you’re a resident of Cincinnati, want a taste of the brewing heritage of the Queen city or simply would like to enjoy a great tasting ale, you do the same. 

Many different smells, sounds and tastes can bring back the nostalgia of past memories, but few experiences bring back the fondness we’ve encountered in our younger years like the old-time candy we sought after as children. Whether it’s Satellite Wafers, Yum Yum Cones, Cow Tails or French Chews, these tasty familiar treats never fail to take us back to a simpler time, even if only for a moment. Just ask Gregory Wilcher, the small business owner and operator of Hickory Dickory Dock Retro Candy & More! 


Gregory, a Dayton, KY local, has made it his mission to be a one stop shop for all things Retro Candy Related, but becoming the local Cincinnati, OH go-to old-time candy store wasn’t always a major goal for him. In 2015, Gregory was running a successful photography studio in Seymour, IN. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, Gregory wanted to take advantage of some extra space available in the photography studio and decided to open a candy shop. After six months of research into historical candies, distributorships and available varieties of retro treats Gregory opened Hickory Dickory Dock Retro Candy & More! 


At the time of opening, Hickory Dickory Dock had an inventory of 25 varieties of glass bottle soda and 75 varieties of retro candy. However, as the candy business quickly began to take off, sales of retro candy soon overtook what Gregory was generating from his photography studio. After making the move to Dayton, KY, in Greater Cincinnati, OH, Hickory Dickory Dock now sells over 125 varieties of glass bottle soda, 300 varieties of retro candy from the early 1800’s through the 1990’s, 40 varieties of hand-made candies and 24 varieties of hand dipped ice cream. 


As a former Officer of the United States Navy, Small Business Owner Gregory Wilcher now enjoys operating Hickory Dickory Dock Retro Candy more than any other previous employment or deployment. Gregory continues to remain hands on and tells his customers, “If there’s a candy you’re looking for, and it’s still made, we can find it!” Gregory ships his retro candy all over the United States and has been featured at  many candy show’s including the Chicago Candy Show. 


If you happen to be traveling down to Dayton, KY, stop in and say hi to Gregory at Hickory Dickory Dock Retro Candy & More! Also, be sure to keep an eye out for special promotions like gift baskets, Holiday Bundles and Candy Grams! 


Are you ever in the mood for a sweet treat? I suppose that’s a rhetorical question as we all are from time to time. However, if you’re ever in the mood for a sweet treat that combines mouth watering confections, a presentation that would make Gordon Ramsey jump for joy and a razzmatazz Dixieland theme, then allow us to introduce you to Sweet Jazz Treats, nestled right here in Newport, KY. 


In early 2016, Small Business Owner Jasmine Davis was contemplating how to fuse together her passions for baking, art and instruments into an enterprise that she could be passionate about and, almost as equally important, that she would ultimately be successful in. On March 9th 2016 Jasmine left a secure corporate position in the healthcare industry and stepped out in Faith to pursue her goals of entrepreneurship. 


Success did not exactly come easy for Jasmine after leaving the corporate world, however. If she had it all to do over again Jasmine says, “I definitely would have taken my time and saved more money before doing it.” As is the case with many Small Business Owners deciding to follow their passions of working for themselves, there rarely seems to be the perfect time to do it. Although, either by happenstance or consistent planning, those driven business owners who decide to take the plunge WILL succeed, especially when they maintain a commitment to customer service, a can-do attitude, a little bit of luck and also, in the case of Jasmine Davis, putting her full faith and trust in the Lord. 


Life happens to us all and Jasmine’s story is no different. However, she was way too driven to allow the concerns of personal life to stand in her way. When she opened a kiosk at Kenwood Mall her baked goods were an instant success, which led to even more business. Jasmine spring-boarded from that momentum into Bridal Shows, catering and even exclusively having her delectable cupcakes featured at four Kroger locations, all of which sold out within a very short time frame. 


Jasmine specializes in one tier to four tier wedding cakes with servings from 24 to 218. Jasmine also offers one to four tier custom cakes, of varying designs, as well as sheet cakes. Sweet Jazz Treat’s Cheesecake Dessert Jars are as delicious as they are appetizing and their scrumptious cookies are baked with cake mix instead of cookie mix, so that they are soft, rich and melt in your mouth. 


But let’s not allow anyone to fool you, the real delicacy at Sweet Jazz Treats and also the treat that Jasmine fields endless requests for are her Muffin Sized Cupcakes. As large as a softball, presented with the syrupy drippings of your favorite condiment and with a flavor combination that is both rich and welcome, these Muffin Sized Cupcakes will soon be Cincinnati’s favorite cupcake. 


So what’s next for Jasmine and Sweet Jazz Treats? Jasmine would like to continue expanding her business and passionately working to provide her customers with the sweet delicacies they’ve come to adore. Jasmine’s business model has proven to be successful as she maintains her values, her drive and her passion for these sweet treats. She’s always available for her customers and always aims to please, so if you’re in Newport, KY or passing through, make it a point to swing by Sweet Jazz Treats and grab a cupcake or two…or ten. 

Many businesses, now more than ever before, are starting to recognize the value in allowing employees to work remotely. Working remotely is now the new norm due to the recent Coronavirus pandemic. While some businesses would never consider remote work as an option, they have been forced into it. Five industry leaders have found ways to offer their employees sure success as they work remotely.

  • Good Technology: This tends to be at the heart of efficiently working from home. Employees need access to great technology, which should include (1) use of a too that has the capacity for continuous communication (2) setting expectations of the best ways to communicate (email, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMetting or some other none communication platform), whichever you use, set up the expectations of how to effectively use the platform that you choose to communicate.
  • The Right Home Environment – the workspace that you designate at home should enable you to be productive. This is critical if you are working from home since there are more opportunities for distractions. The right workspace will be different for everyone. It might be a bedroom, home office, kitchen table, basement, or even a designated outdoor space with WIFI.
  • Remote meetings – The on-site groups used to be the ones that ran the conversation, remote workers were not often heard or were completely overlooked. Establish meeting etiquette so that everyone is heard. Doing so will make a big difference in the human connection. Make sure you enable video interaction and are courteous. Arrive at the meeting on time, pay attention, and be present.
  • Be responsive: This is especially important within a remote or virtual setting if you can’t see all of the other employees. Employees should keep in mind their availability and everyone’s status should be kept up-to-date.
  • Balancing work and caregivers: Since schools have closed and daycare’s are limiting the number of children they will accept into the school, many parents have to split his and her time between work and caregiving. If you are still working from home then this can be another added stress on top of everything else. If your time is limited or you require a flexible schedule to do your duties as mother or father, this should be discussed upfront and expectations should be managed. Employers should be understanding, as this will help ensure that they honor their commitment to the company.

While some of these things seem foreign to you, they are not to those who have been working remotely prior to COVID-19. These are the things that have proven to work and come directly from those employees who have recognized what works and what doesn’t work for their remote workers. If you don’t currently have a remote working process in place then perhaps this is a good start. You can try it out and if things need to be tweaked then you can surely tweak them as needed. Do what works for you to ensure productivity.