Skip Navigation

Southern Oregon University




Dan Shulters

Dan's Shoe Repair

The Shulters family has been providing shoe repair and shoe repair training since 1947! They have operated successful businesses in West Riverside, CA, Forest Grove, OR, Corvallis, OR, and now in Ashland, OR. Hal and Helen Shulters also operated a vocational shoe repair school from 1974 to 1998. So, what does that tell you? They know shoes! Dan Shulter, his daughter Nicole, his son Cory and their associates David, Crystal and Daniel are pleased to offer you the finest in shoe repair along with leather and shoe care products. And, as Dan will tell you, "They're a shoe store!" Most people come to Dan's for repair not knowing that they can also purchase high quality shoes, boots, as well as custom made shoes and boots. Dan was first introduced to the SOU SBDC when he attended Ashland Chamber of Commerce Greeters, which meets every Friday morning at 8:15. He sought SBDC counseling because he wanted to work proactively on his business. Dan said that the SBDC counseling sessions, workshops, and training have provided business education, a sounding board, good suggestions and validation.Dan's Shoe Repair successfully delivers high quality products and great customer service and is especially proud of the fact that Dan's Shoe Repair provides employment for three local families. Stop in and visit!   





Yvonne Fried 

Prospect House 

Prospect House  is the Adult Foster Care Home in Ashland Oregon where elders feel at home and their families feel at peace. Yvonne Fried, owner and founder, first heard of the SOU Small Business Development Center from a poster located on the Ashland campus. Yvonne and her husband were able to receive valuable guidance and support from the SOU SBDC for their business startup. They attended many of the workshops offered including Smart Start, Business Plan Workshop, Profit Mastery, and Veterans Small Business Management. They also took advantage of the no-fee, one-on-one business counseling in order to gain a better understanding of employee relations. Yvonne and her six employees care for their residents as they would their own family with respect to each unique situation. Their large interdisciplinary team consists of a resident physician, home health and hospice nurses, physical and occupational therapists, social workers and volunteers. Prospect House is designed with the resident and visiting family in mind. Twenty-eight skylights bathe the interior space with natural light and the exterior is surrounded by redwood decks. There are beautiful garden views from every room and opportunity for residents to care for their own garden space. Prospect House is located on .6 acres of land in the hills overlooking Ashland Oregon, just two blocks from Southern Oregon University.








Susan Zastopil and Darci Baize 

Be Cherished LLC. 

Be Cherished Salon and Day SPA,  is committed to providing personal care, services, and beauty products that reflect responsibility and integrity on an individual, environmental, and professional level. Located in downtown Ashland, Be Cherishedopened its doors in September 2010, and continues to fulfill that mission. Owner, Susan Zastopil, and Business Manager, Darci Baize, went to the SOU SBDC for business counseling on several levels prior to opening the doors. The SBDC assisted Susan and Darci to write and review their business plan including the financial projections, that led to funding thoughPeoples' Bank and SOREDI. Be Cherished now employees six staff members and is open Tuesday through Saturday. They offer a variety of salon treatments including beautiful hair color, highlights with hair cuts and styling that will fit your individual life style. Clients are able to savor the salon experience while enjoying restorative and rejuvenating facials or therapeutic massage using all organic AVEDA products and expert waxing. Clients may also indulge in a variety of manicure & pedicure treatments. Be Cherished is committed to sustainability in both their products and facility. The salon resonates with Aveda's mission and philosophy.  They believe it is important to care for the world we live in, using our natural resources with responsibility and integrity.  



Grant Boost Resources For Entrepreneurs 

Dominic Hernandez remembers the long hours and hard work that went into the early days of his salsa company. His friends encouraged him to think about marketing the salsa that had always been a hit at pot lucks. Hernandez reached out to the small business development center and found out about the Self-Employment Assistance program."Giving somebody the opportunity to start their own business, as opposed to looking for jobs that may not be there, may never be there, is a good thing," said smal business development center director Jack Vitacco.Now the program is receiving a boost thanks to a federal grant of more than $300,000. The money doesn't go to the businesses themselves, but instead to programs that can help businesses get up and running."Instead of going out and looking for a job everyday and trying to find a job, they spend their time and their energy and their resources on actually developing their own business," said Vitacco.Hernandez went from being unemployed to selling a business and working full time. He said the resources are out there for those looking to make a jump."They have programs there and people are there to help from beginning to end," said Hernandez.



Cheryl Rose

Soccer Post - America's Soccer Store 

When it comes to soccer, Cheryl Rose, the owner ofSoccer Post, really knows the field! Southern Oregon soccer activities and clubs have grown tremendously and Cheryl recognized the need for a high quality, customer oriented store where individuals and clubs can find what they need to play their best. Soccer Post has the largest selection of cleats, uniforms, and accessories in southern Oregon and is quickly becoming the place to go for all things soccer. 

Cheryl began the process of becoming a business owner by coming to the SOU SBDC for assistance and attending the Smart Start workshop which helps prospective business owners by providing facts and insights into starting and operating a small business. Once she determined that the business was feasible and what it would take to start, she met with an SOU SBDC counselor. In a series of counseling sessions, Cheryl developed the business plan and financial forecasts which helped to secure the funding necessary to open and operate the business. Cheryl credits the SBDC with helping her to understand the business process and especially how to develop and understand the financial picture which is critical before investing in a new venture. 

Soccer Post is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm, and Sundays 11 am to 4 pm. There are 3 part-time customer service people and one full-time staff ready to answer your questions and take care of your needs.




Theresa Delaney and Mike Dimon

Portal Brewing Company

Theresa Delaney and Mike Dimon first came to the SOU Small Business Development Center in April 2012 to gain knowledge about starting a business.  They promptly attended the 3-hour "Smart Start Your Business" workshop which gives prospective business owners the essential knowledge to get started.  Shortly after, they attended the "Business Plan Development" workshop and began crafting their business plan. 

Their objective was to open a tap room on March 17, 2013 (St. Patrick's Day)!  They achieved that goal and it has been non-stop ever since.  In less than 1 year, Theresa and Mike went from concept stage to operating a thriving business that is now ready for further expansion. 

With the assistance of SBDC business advisor, Rob Cain, they were able to evaluate the feasibility of their idea and then develop the business plan and financial plan that secured the financing they needed to open their business.  Theresa and Mike continue to work with the SBDC as they work through their future planning.

Portal Brewing is located at 100 E. 6th Street, in Medford.  They specialize in a wide variety of handcrafted beers which they pour on-site (growlers are also available). Homemade food is served and made fresh to order.

Visit Theresa and Mike for a great brew pub experience in historic downtown Medford!


Melissa Jones-Hanscom

Figgy's Food Truck

Having had careers in general contracting, management, and food service, Melissa Jones-Hanscom decided it was time to combine her creative and management skills with her passion for excellent food.  In 2011, Melissa launched Figgy's Food Truck.

Melissa and Ruthie Painter, long-time SBDC business advisor and food service expert, crafted an excellent business plan and financial strategy that resulted in securing the financing to start her business.  Now, after 1 1/2 years, Figgy's has grown successfully and sustainably.

You can find Figgy's Food Truck on the corner of Riverside and 8th in Medford, across the street from the SOU SBDC office.  Figgy's shares the space with several other food trucks with the vision of creating a mobile food court with 6-10 vendors with different food and a common eating area (as seen in major cities like Portland).  All of the food is prepared fresh, on-site, and made from local and sustainable ingredients.


Dianna Moore & Donn Knokey

e-Shelf, LLC.

As a new startup company, the SBDC helped us improve every aspect of our business, from creating a business plan, fine tuning our financials, to helping locate the "right" market. 

It is reassuring to know that there are people like Jack [Vitacco] and Russ [Kennedy] giving their expert knowledge and time to help a new business grow.  E-Shelf has changed from a concept to a profitable business with their guidance.


Heather Wells

Middleford Yarn Co.

We came to the SOU Small Business Development Center not knowing how we were going to purchase our store.  If it wasn't for Rob saying plain and simple this is how it's done, we wouldn't have continued the process.  He broke it down to what changes needed to be made and we finally had that duh! moment.  It is so nice to have the SBDC as a local brain trust who we can rely upon whenever a bump comes along and know there are resources out there to help.  We are looking forward to continue to work with the SBDC as we develop our business plan.



   Hawkins Business Card


Brian Hawkins

Brian J. Hawkins, Architect, PC

Rick Leibowitz brought a wealth of hands-on experience to our Small Business Management class, with great examples of how to apply the ideas and principles taught in class.  The curriculum was loaded with practical tools and exercises, and he provided a tremendous amount of encouragement to me and the other students.  He challenged us to do better.

I really appreciate the advice and guidance Rick provided in our F2F meetings, which he used to tune the class work specifically to the needs of my business.

I look forward to working with Rick and the other staff members at the SOU SBDC in the future.  I am very grateful that the staff recruited me for the Small Business Management Course.  It's been a great investment of my time.  I am sure that there will be other classes offered which have the potential to give my business a boost.



Taffy Shahbozian

Organic Intervention

I would like to thank Jack, Ruthie, and Brigitte for their dedicated service to me and many other small business owners, who without their professional mentoring their businesses would have simply remained a dream.

I especially appreciate the positive attitudes and patience as my plan changed over the course of the year.  Each step of the way my needs and questions were answered.Thank you for finding the scholarships and making it all work.  Honestly, without you I could not have done it.  I plan to continue to gleam from the rich source of information as it is offered.



Debby Hartnell

Debby's Diner

The SOU SBDC has an excellent team of advisors.  Rob Cain helped us develop the business plan needed to finance our new building.  After moving to our new location, we went from 7 to 25 employees!  We continued working with Rob to create an employee manual that helped us organize and manage the new additions to our team.




Nathan Willard

SoundScape: Mobile Hearing Aid Specialists

I knew how to do my job, but lacked the training on how to start a business.  Right off the bat, the SOU SBDC provided me with the tools and guidance to run my business.  Many people think to themselves that they're too busy to attend workshops or meet with an advisor.  But, the reality is these invaluable services are necessary to become better organized and ultimately make it easier to run a business.




Shari and Matthew Botermans

American Leak Detection of Oregon

The SBDC Next Level program did wonders for our business.  The advisors pulled us out of our day-to-day operations and made us look at the big picture of where we wanted our business to go and how to get there.  They showed us how to work "on" our business, not just "in" our business as owners.  The program helped us grow our revenue by 21% so far this year (2012).  It's an awesome program for any small business.




Betsy Lewis

Art Event Productions

Betsy Lewis has always had a passion for art. Although her background is in law and education, she has been drawn to artists her entire life. In 2008 she decided to face the risks and daunting tasks of starting her own business assisting artists with the "business side" of art. Betsy began to build her business intuitively, but eventually decided it would be good to get some outside help as well.

She attended orientation groups and met with Ruthie Painter, Small Business Development Center business adviser.   More




Cascade Peak Spirits


Diane Paulson and David Eliasen

Cascade Peak Spirits

In 2004, Diane Paulson met David Eliasen over vodka martinis and they discovered that they shared a passion for spirits. They also fell in love and got married. In 2006, they decided that they would like to make their own vodka. They visited distilleries and micro-distilleries all over Oregon trying to learn everything they could about how to make spirits. The next step for Diane and David was learning how to create a business. They contacted the Small Business Development Center for assistance.  More

Carlos Delgado


Carlos Delgado Architect LLC

Architect, Carlos Delgado, came to the Rogue Valley in 1997 while working for a commercial architecture firm in San Francisco. He decided to stay in Ashland and start his own company. He applied his passion for saving the environment to looking at potential ways to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings to zero.  Carlos had overlooked the business aspect of architecture in college. A friend recommended that he go to the SBDC to gain a better understanding about the functions, goals and day-to-day operations of running a small business.  More

 David L. Kruger    

David L. Kruger

Cuisine De Jour LLC

Customers are continuously wowed by the style of international cuisine Chef David Kruger learned while working at Donald Trump's private estate, The Mar-A-Lago Club.  David returned to the Rogue Valley and, with the help of his parents, started  Cuisine De Jour. General Manager, Don Kruger admits that the level of success they are now enjoying wasn't always there. They had to learn the other side of the business -- not just how to prepare the amazing food.  The Small Business Development Center was able to help.  More

 Nikola Moore


Nikola and William Moore

Roscoes' BBQ

Back in 2006, what would one day become Roscoe's BBQ was a successful stand at the city farmer's market. Nikola started to consider the option of upgrading her farmer's market operation into a full-scale restaurant and bar. With the help of the SOU Small Business Development Center, Nikola learned about the various licenses she would have to procure and the hurdles she would have to jump in order to open her restaurant's doors. Roscoe's is now one of the most popular destinations for quality food and music in southern Oregon, and its popularity only continues to expand.  More


 Mike Green


Mike Green


Mike Green had a vision for software that could allow tourists to navigate detailed 3D models of cities they planned to visit. As a first-time CEO, Mike was learning as he went through the process of setting up his company. Although Mike felt that there is value to learning through experience, he also felt that there are more appropriate times to rely on trial and error than when you are starting a business -- especially for the first time.  More