Minnesota Small Business Success Stories

Read for a list of just a few of the small businesses that do Minnesota proud and that Flagship has had the honor of getting to know more about.


HeadFlyer Brewing

Northeast staple and local gathering place, HeadFlyer Brewing, just celebrated five years of providing versatile beers and an inviting taproom last month. If the definition of being a HeadFlyer is "to boldly step outside your comfort zone, pursue possibility, and take on the unknown", then this brewery 'outflyered' us all. 

HeadFlyer was founded by Neil Miller, Amy Miller, Nate Larson, and Austin Lee in April of 2017 with a vision to create beer that catered to every beer drinkers' needs in a taproom open to all — dogs and families included. That vision came to fruition in the Miller textile building, a 100 year-old building that used to be a potato sack manufacturer. Their 15 barrel facility producing 465 gallons at a time is pumping out new beers every one to two weeks. Those new beers are then enjoyed by patrons at weekly events including: Monday Night Pizza, Twosdays Deals, trivia on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and local food trucks / restaurants delivering throughout the week. Just as their community involvement and customer loyalty have grown, so has their internal and external sales. You can now find their beer almost anywhere in southeast Minnesota.

And for those that already cannot get enough, HeadFlyer recently started offering every craft brewer enthusiasts dream: a rewards program.

Watch our interview with HeadFlyer Brewing



Northface Construction

Josh Swisher started Northface Construction when he was 18 years old in his first Intro to Business class at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. A decade later and he has about 20 full-time employees doing a couple hundred exterior remodeling and restoration projects a year. The reason for this can be attributed to their "customer for life mindset". In an interview we conducted with Josh in October of 2021, what this sustainable business model looks like in practice is keeping quality service at the forefront of everything they do, to reduce risk for the company and create trust with the customer. All of the people that they interact with, whether they hire Northface Construction or not, are promised the "CFLM".

What Josh is aiming for in the next decade it to become THE metro Minneapolis-St. Paul exterior contractor of choice while continuing to source sustainable 'Minnesota Made' materials. 

"Investing locally and creating opportunities for others is one of the biggest things you can do for your [community]."

Josh Swisher, Northface Construction Founder

Watch our interview with Northface Construction


hobby farmer

Hobby Farmer Canning Company

What started as nothing more than a way to preserve a 100 year-old family recipe back in 2008 has turned into an award winning and nationally recognized brand over a decade later. Hobby Farmer Canning Company sells pickled goodies and homemade Switchel — basically liquid gold — at their Flagship store at the Keg and Case Market in St. Paul. Oh and in California, Hawaii, Wisconsin, and restaurants and liquor stores throughout Minnesota. 

The three owners - Jeff Cerise, Todd Novinska, and Chuck Hermes — have made a splash in the beverage marketplace, especially with people looking for alternatives to glutenous, sugary sodas and energy drinks. The innovative team at Hobby Farming Canning Co. have also come up with, not a beer, not a seltzer, not a cider, but Hard Switchel that has all the benefits of regular Switchel — kidney cleansing, pH balancing, inflammation reduction, etc. — plus 5% ABV. So kiss hangovers goodbye!

But don't just take our word for it. They've been Good Food Award finalists for the past three years for practicing the highest standards of quality, sustainability, and social responsibility.

"We've been with [Flagship] for 20 plus years... they got us our PPP money and helped us through these hard times."

Jeff Cerise, Co-owner of Hobby Farmer Canning Company

Watch our interview with Hobby Farmer Canning Co.

hope breakfast

Hope Breakfast Bar

Since 2019,  Hope Breakfast Bar has been serving more than unique takes on breakfast favorites. It is apart of the larger family, Purpose Driven Restaurants, that is dedicated to giving back to its community through charitable donations and advocating for safe working conditions. Owners, Brian and Sarah Ingram combined his vast knowledge and experience in the restaurant industry with her passion for philanthropy to create Give Hope.

" A lot of restaurants weren't inclusive [and] didn't have safe working environments, so we thought, 'Let's get out of the corporate world and create restaurants where we can [provide] all of that.'"

Brian Ingram, Co-owner of Purpose Driven Restaurants

By donating 3% of all sales at Hope Breakfast Bar, Give Hope was able to donate more than 300,000 free meals, 2 millions pounds of food, and gifted $225,000 in relief grants to local families in need so far. With the recent expansions into Saint Louis Park and the Gillette Children's Hospital, those numbers will only be able to go up.

  • 2018 NRN Power List Top 50 Most Influential People in Food Service Today
  • 2019 Eater Awards Best New Restaurant, Finalist Best Design, & Best Brunch
  • 2020 Nations Restaurant News Most Influential Restaurant Executives
  • 2020 CREATE the Future of Food Economy Advisory Board Member
  • 2021 Eater Awards Best Brunch
  • 2021 Minnesota Monthly Best Brunch

The Ingram's ultimate goal for Hope Breakfast Bar? Giving away almost everything they have, so they can tackle unsafe working conditions and food shortages in other countries. This business' success is not measured in total revenue and profits, but instead on their positive impact in the Twin Cities and across the globe.

Watch our interview with Hope Breakfast Bar




From DIY home improvement blog following their fixer upper journey to full-service design and build interior residential company. Morgan and Jamie Molitor blog, construction2style, gained a large following of people who were looking to upgrade their homes — and who were wanting to hire them to do it. So, in 2015, 3 years after the blog's beginning, they launched the design + build side of their company.

Since then, their business has taken off locally and nationwide with features in The Huffington Post, Star Tribune, Zillow, Wayfair, Twin Cities Live, WCCO, and so much more. They've expanded their services to include courses and in-person workshops, an online boutique selling home décor products, marketing strategy development, and the DIY and lifestyle blog that started it all.

Watch our interview with Construction2Style


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