Before the leaves fall

A gorgeous fall day in the Garden City. The beauty of Missoula doesn't fade with the color of the leaves.

Photo by Nelson Kenter,

Featured Businesses

Make it Missoula is excited to spotlight a series of interviews and profiles on Missoula-based businesses. Look below for the latest profiles. For all of them check out the archive.


Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late: Key Indicators for Roof Inspection

This blog is designed to arm homeowners with the essential knowledge ne... more

Missoula-Based Soap Manufacturer, Botanie Soap, Set To Expand

Botanie Soap, a Missoula-based soap manufacturer, plans to expand thei... more

4 Elements That Makes Montana a Prime State to Start a Business

If Montana is on your list of possible places to incorporate your start... more

Targeted New Economic District Expected To Improve Infrastructure At Wye West of Missoula

Industrial development is the key to economic growth in any region. However, it involves many processes, including planning and development, procurement, designing, and construction. ... more

COVID-19 Update in Downtown Missoula

As our country and our community quiets itself in an effort to “reduce the curve”, we are all concerned about how this worldwide pandemic will play out, both globally and locally. We are reminded to slow do... more

How Missoula Locals Are Taking Advantage of Online Business

It’s hard to find something unaffected by the internet. But few sectors have changed quite as much as retail.... more

Customers For Life Are Often Made, Rather Than Found

By MARK RIFFEY - On their worst day, what can you do to make your customer's situation better, less frustrating, and memorable in a positive way?... more

Learning From Our History: Keeping Missoula Workplaces Safe

As local business owners and employees, there are things we can all do to continue making Missoula safe for all workers.... more

Employers: REGISTER NOW for Western Montana’s Largest Career Fair

Skills and talent available! Employers - Register Now for Western Montana’s Largest Career Fair, Thursday, April 28 from 3:00-6:00 p.m.... more

The Old Homestead (VIDEO)

By BOB ZIMORINO-Lately the world has been a stressful place and I wanted to do something nice with a feel good message. The Old Homestead gave me every opportunity musically.... more

DIRECTV Partners with Easter Seals-Goodwill to Collect Donations and Electronic Waste

Here's a FREE and EASY way keep your non-hazardous computer/electronics out of the Landfill: Dropoff On March 28 from 10 am-4pm at DIRECT TV.... more

Employers Can Reserve Space Now for Missoula Career Fair

ATTENTION EMPLOYERS: Employer registration is under way now for the Missoula Job Service Career Fair, April 21, at the Hilton Garden Inn. Sign-up Now!... more

DIRECTV’s Local Transformation Offers New Job Opportunities to Missoulians

This is a great time to work for DIRECTV. We have one of the best call center environments in the industry and we're expanding our Missoula call center.... more

Missoula’s PartnersCreative Named One of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work 2014

Missoula-based marketing agency PartnersCreative has been selected one of Outside magazine’s Best Places to Work 2014.... more

Testing the Waters–Ensuring the Water You Drink is Healthy

Hard water is the leading water problem in America and, and Missoula and Western Montana are no exception. Here are few things to know about hard water and what to do about it:... more

Hard Water Problems in Missoula

Hard water is the leading water problem in America and, and Missoula and Western Montana are no exception. Here are few things to know about hard water and what to do about it:... more

Earning Return Business, Part Two

By MARK RIFFEY - Not long ago I heard someone say “Excuses are a lie wrapped in a reason.” Training is a critical component to building a team that brings clients back repeatedly.... more

Wayne and Kathleen Newton Set Up Shop in Lakeside

By JUSTIN FRANZ-Kat’s Korner is one of several new shops and restaurants that have popped up in the small community of Lakeside and Wayne Newton, 72, said it’s no surprise the town is growing.... more

Earning Return Business

By MARK RIFFEY - When you make client service decisions, do you weigh the cost of losing the client?The incremental cost of service is usually tiny compared to losing the client.... more

Consistency is Critical to Repeat and Word-of-Mouth Business

By MARK RIFFEY - What inconsistencies can you address to increase repeat and word of mouth business?... more

Busy Business Owners Have No Time

By MARK RIFFEY - The average CEO says they only spend about 25% of their day doing what they feel is meaningful work. Does that sound like your typical work day?... more

Help Them Produce Their Best Work

By MARK RIFFEY - No matter what business you’re in and what summer does to your workload – summer is a great time to implement improvements that help your staff produce their best work.... more

New High Tech Company Opens in Missoula

Metals US, a Montana-based company with a sustainable metals processing technology, today announced that it will be headquartered in Missoula, Mont. The technology company offers cost effective and sustainab... more

Cabela’s Prepares for Grand Opening of Missoula Store

Cabela’s Incorporated, the World’s Foremost Outfitter® of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, will celebrate the grand opening of its Missoula Cabela’s Outpost store Thurs., June 12.... more

4th Annual Winter BrewFest Comes to Caras Park Friday, Feb 21

The Missoula Downtown Association and KettleHouse Brewing Co. will host the 4th annual Winter BrewFest on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 from 5-10 pm in Caras Park.... more

How Do You Create The Right Surprises? Baby Steps

By MARK RIFFEY - One of the best ways to figure out ways to transform your customers' experience is to walk through the process of doing business with you in little, tiny steps: Baby Steps.... more

Melanie Brock Joins Missoula Economic Partnership Staff

FYI - Seasoned leader will work with Missoula’s entrepreneurs, Partnership investors and government partners to help the Missoula community thrive.... more

Governor Bullock’s Main Street Montana Project Launches Surveys

Montanans are encouraged to take in-depth county surveys in an effort to to build an economic development business plan for Montana. CLICK ON SURVEY.... more

Are They Proud Of Their Work? It Will Show

By MARK RIFFEY. Just because it is "grunt work" doesn't mean it isn't valuable. Your employees' work and personality at 2:00 am is the face of your business to many customers.... more

Avail-TVN Named One of Fastest Growing Tech Companies in North America

By MYERS REECE - Avail-TVN, a company with Flathead roots and a primary office in Kalispell, recently was named the sixth-fastest growing tech company in North America. ... more

ALCOM to Open Manufacturing Facility in Bonner

F.Y.I. - One of America’s fastest-growing and most respected brands of aluminum trailers will soon be made in Missoula County. ... more

Why They Don’t Answer Your Calls Or Read Your Email?

By MARK RIFFEY. Do your customers and prospects let your calls go to voicemail? Do they open your emails? It's time to get relevant and engage them in THEIR context with you – not as total strangers.... more

The Scariest, Most Painful Business Conversation

By MARK RIFFEY. The most painful (and scary) conversations I have with small business owners are about marketing.Commonly it involves how another company "stole" their business with "more aggressive" marketing.... more

Missoula-Based Legal Atlas a Top Three Finalist for International Award

It was announced this morning that Legal Atlas, a Missoula-based startup, is one of the top three finalists for the international Innovating Justice Award.... more

Press Release: Flathead Lake Brewing Company Temporarily Closes

On Oct. 6, a flood caused extensive damage to the Flathead Lake Brewing Company and Sapore. When the building reopens, both businesses will merge into one entity.... more

Press Release: Missoula-Based Legal Atlas Contends for International Award

The Innovating Justice Forum in The Hague, Netherlands has nominated Missoula-based Legal Atlas for its innovative ideas award. The public can vote thru October 8.... more

Business is Personal: What’s a Core Story?

By MARK RIFFEY - One of the more common things you'll see from a business that's differentiating themselves using things other than price is their use of a unique selling proposition (USP), and a "core story" t... more

The Most Expensive Advertising Ever

By MARK RIFFEY. Are you wasting those carefully planned advertising investments? The most expensive investment we can make is one that's wasted.... more

Firm Ground: Black Coffee Makes Its Mark in Missoula

By DILLON KATO - Black Coffee Roasting Company, started in 2010 by Matt McQuilkin and Jim Chapman, has been carving a niche in Missoula's gourmet coffee world.... more

Local Vitamin Manufacturer Reaches Global Markets

By JON TWEETEN - In an inconspicuous building on Third Street, Nutritional Laboratories International makes supplements and vitamins that are sold all over the world.... more

Missoula Restaurant Owners & Chefs: Bob Zimorino of Red Pies Over Montana

In the latest installment of the Missoula Restaurant Chefs & Owners series, Bob Zimorino of Zimorino's Red Pies Over Montana answers Make it Missoula's questions.... more

Flathead Valley Distilleries Getting National Attention

By MOLLY PRIDDY. Like some of the best things in Montana, the Flathead Valley’s distilleries started with humble roots and grew through hard work.... more

View Marketing as an Investment, Not an Expense

By MARK RIFFEY.When something is viewed as an expense, your instinct is to reduce it to the smallest possible amount. Doing this to your marketing is not unlike choking yourself.... more

Simple Advice for Acquiring and Retaining Customers

By MARK RIFFEY. Some of the simplest advice I give is the most powerful: "Do at least one thing today to get, or keep, a client."... more

Let Your Customers Turn On the Lamp

By MARK RIFFEY -What's the first thing you do when deciding which lamp to buy? YOU TURN ON THE LAMPS. Give your customers the opportunity to see your products in a place that makes it easy for them to buy.... more

Starting a New Business – What’s Your Plan?

By MARK RIFFEY - Let's talk about business startups. Before you order those business cards, buy those supplies, determine your costs and set your need to research your market.... more

Chimps, bikinis, cold beer, fast cars… I love the Super Bowl!

By SEAN BENTON - The Super Bowl is bigger than the game of football... I’m talking about the commercials.... more

What Does a New Business Owner Do First?

By MARK RIFFEY - Let's talk about business startups. The overwhelming load at startup can freeze you in your tracks.... more

Why Much of the Internet is Blacked Out Today

By MARK RIFFEY - What is Intellectual Property? And what's it got to do with much of the Internet being blacked out this week? Mark Riffey of the Flathead Beacon explains.... more

A Letter from Georgia

By MARK RIFFEY - We almost didn't open it, thinking it was junk mail. Why would the University of Georgia send us mail way out here in Montana?... more

Business in Montana: Here’s Your Sign

By MARK RIFFEY - To connect with customers, you need to follow the signs. Some signs you must seek out, while many are buried in your existing business data.... more

Best Bars in Missoula for Getting a Free Birthday Drink

By RYAN NEWHOUSE - I’ve put together a list of the best bars in Missoula for celebrating a birthday, based on extensive research, phone calls, and personal past experience.... more

What’s With the Funny Square Bar Codes? (i.e. What are QR Codes?)

By MARK RIFFEY. You may have seen those odd-looking square bar codes in newspapers and magazines, on product boxes, etc. What are they? Read on. . .... more

Differentiation in Business: Promotion Tips to Prevent Generic Marketing

By MARK RIFFEY. One of the things you have to be careful about is making your business too generic. Lesson: Business is Personal.... more

Business Profile: Muzeview Research (Part Three)

By JEFF MANGAN - Read the third part of Jeff's interview with Paul Gladen and Todd Taylor of Muzeview in Missoula, Montana.... more

Business Profile: Muzeview Research (Part Two)

By JEFF MANGAN - Read the second part of Jeff's interview with Paul Gladen and Todd Taylor of Muzeview in Missoula, Montana.... more

Business Profile: Muzeview Research (Part One)

Jeff Mangan, Managing Partner at Fatmoose Media, LP and the founder of, interviews Paul Gladen and Todd Taylor of Muzeview in Missoula, Montana.... more

Beer Brings Jobs to Montana and Great Microbreweries to Its Citizens

By RYAN NEWHOUSE. If our country was termed the United States of Beer, Montana would rightly be its capital. ... more

Missoula Restaurant Owners & Chefs:
Curtis Strohl and Nate Jerrell – Mercantile Deli

By BOB ZIMORINO. Chefs and Owners: Curtis Strohl and Nate Jerrell of Mercantile Deli. I met Nathan and Curtis through my nephew Alex. They worked together at Bravo Catering and the two of them decided to strik... more

Road Trippin’ to Missoula

By MARGARET HORTON. I’ll be taking off for Missoula soon. As a frequent visitor I know that flights from our area run a couple of times a day, but my favorite way to travel……and the way I travel most ofte... more

Seeley Lake Brew Fest and Tamarack Festival: A Weekend of Fun and Suds

By RYAN NEWHOUSE. This weekend kegs will be tapped and poured at the annual Seeley Lake Brew Fest and Tamarack Festival. The event kicks off on Friday October 7 at 7:00 p.m. with festivities throughout the week... more

Missoula Restaurant Owners & Chefs:
Bill Worden – The Shack Cafe

By BOB ZIMORINO. Chefs and Owners: Bill Worden of The Shack Cafe. I have known Bill Worden for over thirty years. We have eaten in each other’s restaurants, always been respectful and usually shared a laugh o... more

Loopy – for Loopy Knit / Crochet in Missoula

By MARGARET HORTON .As the season shifts, so does my creativity. I want to hold a pair of wooden needles and listen to their faint clicking while I knit, purl and attempt to learn the variety of stitches I have... more

Kate and John Bike for Food and Beer

By RYAN NEWHOUSE. John and Kate Suscovich launched a 24,000-mile journey by bike three and half months ago in New York. The goal was to raise awareness about living active lifestyles and making educated food ch... more

Missoula Restaurant Owners & Chefs:
Justin Philbrick – Red Robin and Jakers

By BOB ZIMORINO. Chefs and Owners: Justin Philbrick of Red Robin and Jakers. I met Justin Philbrick at the Red Robin Restaurant in Southgate Mall. I found him to be articulate and engaging, two qualities every ... more

Missoula Makes Room for Draught Works Brewery

By RYAN NEWHOUSE. Inching ever more closely to an expected late-September opening, owners of Draught Works Brewery, Jeff Grant and Paul Marshall, are ready to quench Missoulians’ never-ending thirst for good ... more

Big Dipper Ice Cream: Great Cones…Oh Boy!

By MARGARET HORTON. I’m always on the lookout for great ice cream. It’s no surprise then, that I discovered Big Dipper during a visit to Missoula a few years ago. Now when we drive into town, I let who ever... more

Missoula Restaurant Owners & Chefs:
Tom Hilley – Sean Kelly’s and Stone of Accord

By BOB ZIMORINO. Chefs and Owners: Tom Hilley of Sean Kelly's and Stone of Accord. I met Tom Hilley as a real estate agent before I knew him as a restaurant owner. This interview was our first in depth conversa... more

Missoula Musician David Boone

By MARGARET HORTON. During the past couple of years visiting Missoula I’ve been fortunate to have been introduced to the talent of Missoula-based songwriter and musician, David Boone. I quickly purchased a co... more

Missoula Restaurant Owners & Chefs:
Raul Gomez – Fiesta En Jalisco

By BOB ZIMORINO. Chefs and Owners: Raul Gomez of Fiesta En Jalisco. I met Raul at their original N. Reserve Street location at Deano’s. He was always a genial host and I do love their food. They have since mo... more

Dolce — as in Caffe Dolce

By MARGARET HORTON.I spent a few minutes trying to get a feel for the use of the Italian word dolce. In reference to food it speaks of something sweet and agreeable to the palate.... more

Missoula Restaurant Owners & Chefs:
Will & Kiira Bauerle – Bob’s Pizza, Pretzel Place and Freemo’s

By BOB ZIMORINO. Chefs and Owners: I am seated with Will and his wife Kiira for my first husband/wife interview for the series. They are the managing partners for the Missoula based restaurant chain.... more

Business Profile: Blue Marble Biomaterials

By JEFF MANGAN. Blue Marble Biomaterials is a renewable chemical company based right here in Missoula. They take plant material and go through a process of feeding it to bacteria. The bacteria in-turn manufactu... more

Missoula Restaurant Owners & Chefs:
Tim France – Worden’s Market & Deli

By BOB ZIMORINO. Chefs and Owners: Tim France of Worden's Market & Deli. I first met Tim France thirty years ago and since he tells of our first meeting better than I do, here is his version:... more

Missoula Restaurant Owners & Chefs:
Tim Leegan – The Mustard Seed

By BOB ZIMORINO. Chefs and Owners: Tim Leegan of the Mustard Seed. I remember years ago when Tim Leegan came to work for the Mustard Seed. Over the years Tim and I have become friendly but this is my first in d... more

Maiden Missoula Product Review: Flexsolate Gym in a Bag

By LEAH LEWIS. Maiden Missoula Product Review: FLEXSOLATE FITNESS IN A BAG. If you are one of the many affected by general laziness, gym phobia, running anxiety or what have you there is a company in Missoula... more

Missoula Restaurant Owners & Chefs:
John Powers – The Ranch Club

By BOB ZIMORINO. I met John Powers in a meeting room off of the main dining room of the Ranch Club. The restaurant was built as part of the club house and as the new owners, John and his wife Colleen made their... more

Maiden Missoula Product Review: Dazzle Expressions

By LEAH LEWIS What's a young, hip, crafty, stylish mama supposed to do with her talents when her days revolve around a couple of busy kiddos? Well, if you are the cute-as-a-button Renee Wyman, you take your ... more

Missoula Restaurant Owners & Chefs:
Mike Ramos – Paul’s Pancake Parlor

By BOB ZIMORINO. Missoula Restaurant Owners & Chefs: Mike Ramos and Paul's Pancake Parlor. Mike bought the restaurant from his Mom, Ellie and it has remained consistently one of Missoula’s top spots for foo... more

Maiden Missoula Product Review: Eventyr Woodworking

By LEAH LEWIS. Maiden Missoula Product Review: JEWELRY ORGANIZER. I am so lucky to know so many awesome crafty gals who make very cool jewelry. I have a few favorite pieces that have been made for me or gifte... more

Maiden Missoula Product Review: Big Dipper Ice Cream

By LEAH LEWIS. Maiden Missoula Product Review: BIG DIPPER ICE CREAM. If summer ever decides to stick around Missoula for more than a few hours, you know the first place everyone in town will run to is Big Dip... more

Maiden Missoula Product Review: Happy Hoppers

By LEAH LEWIS. Maiden Missoula Product Review: Happy Hoppers! What's a Happy Hoppers you ask? It's a slip-cover for your Growler that protects your brew from light to avoid ‘skunk beer syndrome’. ... more

Natural Creations: Spectacular Summer Grilling Sauces

By LEAH LEWIS Summertime. We grill. Our dining room table becomes a drop-off for swimsuits and soccer balls and we move all kitchen and eating activities outside. I have harbored a not-so-secret crush o... more

The Clay Studio of Missoula

By LEAH LEWIS. Maiden Missoula Product Review: The Clay Studio of Missoula.... more

Zoo Town Cutie Booties

By LEAH LEWIS. Maiden Missoula Product Review: Hand-knit baby booties by Montana Magpies. ... more

Farmer’s Markets . . . Missoula Style

By LEAH LEWIS. Maiden-Missoula Product Review: Missoula Farmer's Market. If you live in Missoula or are planning on visiting this summer one thing you are surely looking forward to is the opening of the Farme... more

The Smell of Home, in Missoula Candles

By LEAH LEWIS. Maiden-Missoula Product Review: Last Best Candles. As my grass is still more brown, there is a thirty percent chance of snow showers, and the fact that my pedicure is woeful at best, I think I... more

Maiden Missoula: Barney Jette Jewelry

By LEAH LEWIS. One thing the Maiden is very fond of is jewelry! Who doesn't love a little sparkle? The most coveted (yet affordable) jewlery comes from an unassuming little shop on Higgins in Downtown Missou... more

From Rags to Retreads

By LEAH LEWIS. Maiden Missoula--a Product review of Made-In-Missoula products. Keeping Missoula green is as easy as shopping! Thankfully, several local artists and a local business called RETREAD are bringing... more

Maiden Missoula: Why Drive to Butte for Pasties?

By LEAH LEWIS. Maiden Missoula--a Product review of Made-In-Missoula products. Even though Missoula does St. Patty's totally right there are some things that Butte just does better. Like pasties...or do they... more

Maiden Missoula: This One’s for the Dogs (and Cats!)

By LEAH LEWIS. An ALL NEW blog that reviews Maiden Missoula (MADE-IN-MISSOULA) products--by a Missoula favorite--Leah Lewis! This week's product review: GO FETCH'S NATURAL DOG COOKIES.... more

Ten Spoon Winery

Blog by Andy Sponseller and Connie Poten. Soon after we planted our first grape vines, launching the dream of a green vineyard and winery in Montana’s Rockies, excellent friend and author Deirdre McNamer g... more