September Small Business Spotlight: Top Businesses of the Month

©Kennedy's Kakes

We here at GOBankingRates want to help get our nation’s small businesses back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic. To do that, we’re highlighting readers’ favorite small businesses around the country, and shining a spotlight on what makes them special to their customers and their towns.

Have a Small Business That You’d Like To See Highlighted? Nominate Them Here

Every month, as part of our Small Business Spotlight series, we’re featuring the top-nominated small businesses from around the U.S. Congrats to our September winners!

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Grumps-Garage

Grumps-Garage in Lake Elsinore, California, is the only shop worldwide that focuses on 1928-1956 Americana. In addition to being filled with all kinds of collectibles from the era, Grumps is also a full Ford parts shop and has a replica 1952 gas station that serves as a live music venue.

Owner Mark Carrillo said that in order to be a successful entrepreneur, “don’t make it about money. In this era, you must have your heart and soul invested. And hopefully, you have a fantastic support staff.”

Make Your Money Work Better for You

Read: Small-Business Ideas for a Post-Pandemic World

Janet Sales Heavenly Cakes & Pies

Janet Sales Heavenly Cakes & Pies is located in Athens, Alabama. Owner Janet Sales says that it is her mission is to serve her employees, community and God by preparing baked goods with exceptional quality and consistency.

Sales started her business after a video featuring one of her pies went viral: “I was posting my food and cakes on Facebook and people started asking if they could purchase my desserts. I sold a pie to a lady [and] she ate all the pie, except a slice. She made a video singing, ‘Janet Sales Heavenly Cakes and Pies.’ At the end, she said, ‘Patti LaBelle doesn’t have anything on Janet Sales and you better get one, you hear!’ The orders started coming.”

From New York to California: A Spotlight on Beloved Small Businesses Across All 50 States

Kennedy’s Kakes

Kennedy’s Kakes owner Adrian C. Jones creates custom cakes that feature unique designs and quality ingredients.

“The most rewarding aspect of being a business owner is being able to sit back and see your dream come true,” said Jones, who is based in Columbus, Ohio. “Actually watching the business evolve is such a wonderful thing. So much hard work goes into the business, and to see everything come to fruition is so awesome.”

Make Your Money Work Better for You

Read: Top Advice for Your Small Business From Other Owners

Melmo’s Dog Treats

Melmo’s Dog Treats is a woman-owned, all-natural, handmade, locally sourced dog biscuit business based in Philadelphia.

“I was running an organic pizza shop so I understood the importance of high-quality ingredients,” said owner Melissa Morales. “Most of my customers had dogs, so I started looking for an affordable organic treat and found they were expensive, ingredients were confusing and the dogs didn’t like them. [I] started doing research and four years later, I’m in 25 stores with five signature flavors and the sixth one in analysis now! [I’m also] currently working on a cat treat and a CBD treat.”

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Last updated: Sept. 29, 2021 

About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 

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