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Aardvark Signs

Some call him Bob. Some call him Rembrandt. But many customers just say: “Hey, Aardvark!” As long as they call, that’s OK with Robert Engle, owner of Aardvark Signs. The one-man operation splashes Rochester with window and wall signage, and ...

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The Mystery Game

When Bruce Whitehill decided to move to Rochester in 1992, he thought he would tide himself over until he found a real job by staging mock-murder mystery games. Such staged events in which participants get to act out and solve ...

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Al’s Monroe Shoe Service

Alfonso Riolo was a teen-ager when he came to the United States from Sicily in 1947, but by then he had been making and repairing shoes for over a decade. “I started when I was 6,” says Riolo, 65, who ...

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Precious Pet Watchers Inc.

An I-can-do-that epiphany hit Elizabeth Hartley while reading the book “Pet-Sitting for Profit.” Using the book as a guide, Hartley launched Precious Pet Watchers Inc. in 1991 as a part-time venture, keeping her day job as an accountant. Today, Precious ...

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Arlene’s Costumes

One of the most attractive aspects of Arlene Stephens’ “one-stop disguise shop” is that almost nobody walks through the door in a foul mood. She has found that people willing to take on the appearance of a gorilla or an ...

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Moonbeans Gallery
and Coffee Saloon

Makeup artist Christine Goff’s business took her out of the shop more often than not. But she was not about to give up her space in the wedge building at the corner of University and Atlantic avenues. With the help ...

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Aqua Designs

Those who have been freed from anxiety over an impending root canal by watching tropical fish glide in submerged serenity through their dentist’s waiting-room fish tank can appreciate Michael LaRocque’s efforts. Owner of Aqua Designs, LaRocque installs, stocks and maintains ...

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Lots of Hots & Fiery Foods

Temporary Insanity Salsa. El Scorcho Loco. Endorphin Rush and Capital Punishment hot sauces. Folks with a taste for just-shy-of-numb spiciness can get a fix from Lots of Hots & Fiery Foods, a Fairport firm catering to “people with pyrogenic palates.” ...

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Personal Home Management Services

Facing overwhelming financial strife can be similar to having a relative who is an embarrassment to the whole family: Nobody wants to talk about it. “Many people need help with a budget but they’re afraid to admit they need help,” ...

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Shoppers Bazaar

A determined entrepreneur since the age of 18, Delbra Barr was starting to burn out. The more Barr had worked at her own businesses over the years, the more aware she had become of the need for networking among tiny ...

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The Conservatory Co.

Like Victor Kiam, who thought so highly of Remington shavers he bought the company, Bonnie Loser liked FCI’s custom-built conservatories. At the time, Loser was working for several engineers on a free-lance basis doing architectural drawing. She noticed an FCI ...

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Predictive Technologies Inc.

William Maslach seems like such a mild-mannered businessman, at first it is not clear why he identifies with the alien creature in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Predator.” But like that bloodthirsty being, Maslach sees the world through infrared images. In fact, that’s ...

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Randy’s Doll Up

Randolph Pittman, owner of Randy’s Doll Up, does not understand some automobile owners. “They’ll buy a new suit and have it cleaned,” he says, “but they’ll buy a new car and never have it cleaned.” And when Pittman says cleaned, ...

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Dyam Design

“We knew starting a small business takes sacrifice, but we figured if we made the move right away, we would never know the difference,” Smith recalls. Ten years later, Dyam Design is flourishing as the technically sophisticated marketing arm of ...

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WorkWise

In 1992, Bonnie Johnson realized she was a job hopper. Then in her early 30s, Johnson over a four-year period had worked for more companies than she now cares to detail in a variety of bookkeeping, accounting, and clerical supervisory ...

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