Business & Development

Business Be Good

A quick check-in with a few featured businesses

In 2023, The Chronicle featured over 50 local businesses and organizations in our coverage  – and we hope to continue featuring entrepreneurs’ unique stories next year. Some of the highlighted businesses and organizations provided The Chronicle with updates since their time in the limelight:

Busy Bee Cafe: “It’s been a good year; it’s been fun taking this over and keeping the old traditions, all while bringing in new ones. We’ve been trying to keep the standard up for the previous regulars, but we’ve definitely tried a few things,” said Meg Holiday, Busy Bee Cafe owner. “It’s been very heartwarming to see the community come out and support this business, the old mixed in with the new.”

Connected Lane County (CLC): According to executive director Heidi Larwick, in just six months at Booth-Kelly, CLC formed a Youth Advisory Board, which is a paid opportunity for youth, and hosted drop-in hours each week for “tutoring, college application support, laundry, showers, food, job searching, financial education, resume support, etc.” CLC also “engaged 134 partners and funders and served 1,083 youth.” In 2024, CLC plans to “increase the number of youth served to 4,000,” among other goals.

Main Street Sweets: “This year was really encouraging; it was our first full year being in business, and we had so much support from all our neighbors and from the City of Springfield. It was really cool to see all the reasons why people get desserts from us – like birthday parties and weddings – and just seeing how a cupcake can cheer somebody up. It’s just butter and sugar, but it can change someone’s day around,” said Carrie Boehmm, Main Street Sweets owner. “We’re really looking forward to next year and seeing how we can grow.”

Town Interiors: “Town Interiors is doing fabulous. I have a few new projects, including: a design agency’s office refresh in Eugene and a design collaboration on a fast-casual dining restaurant, which will be a national ‘roll-out,’” said Kate Heerspink, owner and lead designer of Town Interiors. “Slotted for 2024, I already have a brewery and event center on the books! I am also working on a large-scale government project in Alaska – so large it won’t be complete until 2027!”

Willamalane: “Willamalane offered four different Halloween events and saw 5,600 participants,” public information officer Whitney Hoshaw wrote. “In 2023, Willamalane also saw over 18,000 program and activity registrations, opened all 11 Kids Club sites for after-school programs, sold 5,500 1PASSes, and introduced a brand new adult athletics program. It was a busy year over here!”

Vibrant Dog: Its second product launched in October: an Herbal Dewormer for Cats and Dogs. “It’s a digestive support product that supports the removal of foreign organisms from the animal’s digestive tract,” said Joshua Whitley, Vibrant Dog founder and owner. It was developed with the assistance of a canine neuropathology, who Whitley called “the secret sauce.” He recently gave this product to a veterinarian for a dog with Giardia, and “there was a significant reduction in the amount of Giardia that her dog had – and that’s a really tough thing to get rid of once a dog has it.”

— Amanda Lurey and Pierre Weil



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