Montana Community

Friday Five: January 11, 2018

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurship, the high tech sector, and everything else that makes Montana a great place!

Great Northern Brewing Company, Whitefish

1. Montana Ranked 2nd in the Nation for Number of Craft Breweries

According to a recent study by C + R Research, Montana is ranked second nationwide when it comes to the number of breweries, with about 9.6 per capita. The research was done by using data from the Montana Brewers Association.

In a story from the Missoula Current, the executive director of the Montana Brewers Association said the state’s breweries have doubled from 2012 to 2018, to about 80 now. And Montana is the nation’s second-leading producer of malt.

“Not only does that mean that visitors come to our state, it also means that our industry can attract some of the best,” said Matt Leow, the Montana Brewers Association executive director in the online article. “We can attract great brewers from elsewhere because they want to live in Montana and join this great quality of life as well, and I think that also contributes to the quality of beer that we’re producing here.”

Click here to read the full story from the Missoula Current.

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Q + A: Cat’s Corner Studio

Cathryn Reitler, owner of Cat’s Corner Studio

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, and every business plays a critical role in keeping Montana’s towns vibrant. The Treasure State consistently ranks in top five in reports from the Kauffman Foundation in rates of business ownership and business sustainability.

In our Q and A series, we’ll introduce you to some of Montana’s brightest and best entrepreneurs from all corners of the state. These businesses are involved in a variety of industries including hospitality, retail, and food.

Join us we travel to eastern Montana and meet Cathryn McIntyre (Reitler) from Glasgow!

1. What is the name of your business? 

Cat’s Corner Studio Cat’s (also known as Cathryn McIntyre)

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Telecommuting from Paradise: Lara Birkes

Lara Birkes decided it was finally time to put a roof over her head.

After coming to Missoula from Missouri to attend college at the University of Montana, then working for former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus in Washington D.C., working overseas in Morocco and Switzerland, and then finally coming to the U.S. and California, Birkes was done moving. She found her little piece of paradise in the Paradise Valley and began telecommuting.

Lara Birkes - Telecommuting from Paradise

“I love it because I’ve spent many years on airplanes and in offices,” she said. “This is a very refreshing change for me to be able to have a rewarding position and live in a place I love.”

Now as a telecommuter, Birkes wouldn’t trade her piece of heaven for an office.

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Friday Five: December 21, 2018

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurship, the high tech sector, and everything else that makes Montana a great place!

DePuy Spring Creek near Livingston

1. Billings Ranked No. 1 City in Montana by Money Magazine

According to an announcement from MONEY Magazine, Billings is the best city to live in Montana.

The ranking considers everything from the cost of buying a home to median household income. Specific to Billings, the magazine notes access to city conveniences amidst the natural landscape. They also noted attractions like Yellowstone National Park.

You can read the full article here.

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Friday Five: December 7, 2018

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurship, the high tech sector, and everything else that makes Montana a great place!

Yurt dinner, Big Sky

1. Montana Made: Shelter Designs of Missoula

Are you looking for a non-traditional home in Montana? Consider a yurt from Shelter Designs of Missoula.

Yurts, which are portable, year-round tents traditionally used as dwellings in Central Asia, have been popping up around the U.S. for years. In Montana, yurts have become common occurrences at ski lodges or as another option besides cabins.  The owners of Shelter Designs, Vince Godby and Hays Daniel, began building yurts 10 years ago.

”We’ve definitely seen yurts go from being on the fringe and misunderstood,” Daniel said in a KPAX TV article. “Maybe you saw one at a ski area and are not really sure about it. And now [yurts are] more towards the mainstream of being accepted.”

Click here to watch more about Shelter Designs.

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Friday Five: November 16, 2018

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurship, the high tech sector, and everything else that makes Montana a great place!
Cross country trails, Stillwater Mountain Lodge, Whitefish

1.Bozeman Photonics Company to Receive $100K EPA Grant

Bridger Photonics in Bozeman will receive a $100,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fund the development of technology that will facilitate the discovery of leaks in oil and gas wells.

The $100,000 to Bridger Photonics is part of $1.7 million that the EPA is awarding to 16 small businesses. The award comes from the EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which encourages the development of technologies that support the EPA’s mission.

Click here to read more.

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Friday Five: November 9, 2018

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurship, the high tech sector, and everything else that makes Montana a great place!

Skiing at Big Sky Resort1. Bozeman Rental Company Helps Launch Outings

Are you looking to take an outdoor adventure to Montana, but you don’t have the necessary equipment to explore Big Sky Country? Consider checking out Bozeman’s newest company, Hatch Adventures.

Hatch Adventures is a rental company that can prepare you for any outdoor adventure in the Treasure State. The company rents out vehicles prepared for an outdoor adventure like camping and include items like chairs, tables, coolers, and cooking gear. All the renter has to pick up is food and water. Vehicles can also be fitted for winter camping trips. Users can also rent rafts to check out Montana’s pristine waterways.

For more information on Hatch Adventures, check out the Helena Independent Record article here.

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Friday Five: November 2, 2018

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurship, the high tech sector, and everything else that makes Montana a great place!

First Snow in Montana1. Helena’s Sage & Oats Trading Post: Celebrating Culture with a Montana Flavor that Tantalizes the Senses

If you’re looking for a store with a variety of gifts and goods that celebrate all cultures, consider checking out Sage & Oats Trading Post in Helena.

The business is owned by Major and Michelle Robinson. Major is Native American and a registered member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. Michelle is Scotch Irish and from Florida. The store is described in a Helena Independent Record story as being laid out to allow shoppers to flow in any direction to find items from Native American artisans, Made in Montana vendors, imports from Scotland, Ireland, and more.

According to the article, the business was 10 years in the making and born from a desire to combine their talents and share a love of travel and culture. The name, Sage & Oats, is a combination of their heritage.

Click here to read more about this Helena treasure!

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Daughter of Montana Entrepreneurs Forges Path in Hospitality World

Hillary Folkvord grew up in a family of Montana entrepreneurs.

Hillary Folkvord, daughter in a family of Montana entrepreneurs

Hillary Folkvord

“One of my first businesses, when I was 5, was selling vegetables outside my parents’ deli,” Folkvord said. “When we were 10 we started a business called Wheat Bouquets. My claim to fame was Martha Stewart bought 10 bouquets.”

Folkvord’s entrepreneurial spirit has continued to grow as the manager of two boutique hotels in Gallatin County.

While Folkvord’s parents have grown the Wheat Montana farms to fame, the eldest Folkvord and her sister, Haylee, have embraced the hospitality industry. Their most recent project was the RSVP Motel in Bozeman which includes a cafe called The Farmer’s’ Daughter. Folkvord said it’s in a new area of town that they’re banking on being developed as the city continues to grow.

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Friday Five: October 5, 2018

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurship, the high tech sector, and everything else that makes Montana great!

S’mores at Triple Creek Ranch in Darby

1. Downtown Digs: ClassPass to Occupy First Interstate Building, Grow to 175 Employees

One of Missoula’s newest high tech companies to roll into town is ClassPass.

Earlier this week, ClassPass announced its move into the First Interstate Bank building next year. ClassPass selected Missoula last year for its third North American office after vetting 900 U.S. cities in 25 states. The local office opened in January. What began as a plan to hire 50 employees has since grown to 100 with a plan to expand to 175 employees.

“Here we are, less than a year later with over 100 employees in town, and it’s exceeding our expectations,” said Bryan Mitchell, head of talent acquisition at ClassPass in a Missoula Current story. “It wasn’t just about getting us here. It’s the continued support [Gov. Steve Bullock] has given us once we were here.”

Click here to read more about ClassPass.

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