From tiny seeds do mighty ventures grow

You may not recognize the name Ken Grossman, but you undoubtedly have seen the fruits—or is it nectars?—of his labor.

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has produced award-winning beers for more than a quarter century. It all started with a home brewery, and now you’ll find Sierra Nevada beers in stores and bars far and wide. Grossman and his staff not only have been brewery pioneers, they have blazed trails in ecologically friendly operations.

Oh, one more thing: This success story is Butte County’s own.

And it’s not an isolated instance.

The North State—particularly Chico—is a breeding ground for entrepreneurial enterprises. Chico State and profession-oriented Butte College yield innovative graduates while creating an environment that attracts other free thinkers. Their workplaces may not be as conspicuous as Grossman’s brewery, but their reach is just as wide—if not wider.

In our Entrepreneur Issue, the Chico News & Review profiles a handful of these flourishing businesspeople, plus a public-sector director trying to make her city even more nurturing.

From toenails to TB
John Strisower’s high-tech quest to harness the healing power of light

Wheeling and dealing
Bernie Knaus finds cars for buyers in 16 countries—as well as in his adopted hometown

DIY Webmaster
Improvement Direct’s Chris Friedland takes on Home Depot

Pumped up
Iris Connections’ Jack Coots works to revolutionize water-district management

Head of the class
Former Chico State student Robert Strazzarino is changing people’s schedules

Mother nurture
Martha Wescoat-Andes, Chico’s economic development manager, works to make conditions just right for budding entrepreneurs