Kansas small businesses earn honors

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Some of the state's top small businesses were honored Tuesday evening in a ceremony at the Statehouse.

The Kansas Small Business Development Center handed out its existing, emerging and exporting business awards. Of the thousands of businesses they assist each year, 17 were chosen for honors.

Three businesses from northeast Kansas were among the honorees --- B&P Propane in Holton, Brickhouse Antiques in Topeka and Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Emporia.

The SBDCs based at the state's universities and community colleges offer resources for success, which Brickhouse owners Tom and Mary Norskov say were essential when they decided to purchase their store.

"Really, I don't know how anybody can start a business without their assistance. They're just super to work with," Tom said. "(They were there) from day one, and they're there every day. If I needed some help with something, all I gotta do is call."

B&P owners Carly and Brett Fletcher say they were honored to be included among those recognized.

"We really enjoy being able to this service to our community because we're servicing our friends, our neighbors and our family. We can raise our families there," Carly said.

Amber Haag, who took over Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy three years ago, shared the sentiment.

"I'm kinda humbled to be one of the honorees. It just means a great deal to us," Haag said. "You know, all of these businesses, including us, work very hard at what we do every day and it's just - it's an honor to be here."

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins spoke at the event, which was emceed by 13 NEWS' Melissa Brunner. Attendees also could view displays offering information about each of the honorees.

Complete list of winners:
Don & Vicky Brunkhardt
DV Enterprises, LLC, Liberal [landscaping and mowing]
Existing Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Seward County Community College and Area Technical School

Duck Salt, Greensburg [meat seasoning]
Emerging Businesses of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Seward County Community College and Area Technical School
Matthew Deighton, owner

Colby Glass & Sign Co., Inc., Colby [glass and sign installation]
Existing Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Fort Hays State University
Rod Rodenbeck, owner

Sake2me Sushi Rolls, LLC, Hays [sushi restaurant]
Emerging Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Fort Hays State University
Michael Huskey and Stacie Rupp, owners

Eric Fisher Academy, Inc., [hair academy, hair salons, salon curriculum]
Existing Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Wichita State University
Eric and Mary Fisher, owners

Sleeptopia, Wichita [sleep apnea testing]
Emerging Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Wichita State University
Kevin Kunz, owner

B&P, Inc., Holton [propane]
Existing Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Washburn University
Brett & Carly Fletcher, owners

Brickhouse Antiques, Topeka [antique retailer]
Emerging Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Washburn University
Tom & Mary Norskov, owners

Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, Emporia [pharmacy]
Existing Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Emporia State University
Amber Haag, owner

Chisholm Trail Outfitters, LLC, Hillsboro [recreation retailer]
Emerging Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Emporia State University
Craig Dodd, owner

The Gun Guys, Ottawa [recreation retailer, shooting range]
Existing Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at the University of Kansas
Tim VanLeiden, owner

Kids Calendar, Lawrence [online searchable events calendar]
Emerging Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at the University of Kansas
Beth McKeon, owner

CTe Learning, Olathe [educational software products]
Existing Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Johnson County Community College
Steve Waddell, owner

Athletic Testing Solutions, Overland Park [mobile heart screening clinics]
Emerging Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Johnson County Community College
David Kuluva and Eric Schroeder, owners

Custom Storefronts, Inc., Olathe [store design and fixtures manufacturer]
Exporting Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Johnson County Community College
Jon Roberts, owner

Progressive Products, Inc., Pittsburg [fabricated pipe and pip fitting manufacturing]
Existing Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Pittsburg State University
Todd Allison, owner

Sleep Inn & Suites, Fort Scott [hotel]
Emerging Business of the Year
Kansas SBDC at Pittsburg State University
Bill Michaud, owner