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Hungry for a quick pizza lunch, the dynamic duo who had already co-founded and sold Wetzel's Pretzels couldn't find a restaurant that served it. Rick and Elise Wetzel visited Chipotle instead. “That was the gaping hole,” says Elise. “I looked at Rick and said, ‘We're going to open a pizza restaurant aren't we?' He said, ‘Yes we are.'” Now at 300 units and after a three-year growth spurt of 176 percent in sales and 121 percent in locations, they're looking toward a cool thousand—eventually.

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Serving delicious, slurpable noodles in two Manhattan restaurants is one thing. Bringing them to the masses via a franchised chain is another. Ivan Orkin, known as Ivan Ramen from Netflix's ‘Chef's Table,' will try to make it work with backing from the new Corlex Capital.

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Tell me about your upbringing. I grew up in the Newark area of New Jersey. My mother was a serial entrepreneur, so I used to vow not to be an entrepreneur because I saw a lot of her projects fail and I was afraid of that instability. I went to Montclair State, I studied dance. I acted and danced professionally for years, and then I became pregnant with my son, he's now 8. I wanted to do something more stable. I wanted to be able to provide for him. I was a great starving artist, but I was starving. I decided it was go back to school or start a business. I took a little poll. They said, Oh, don't start a business, they fail.

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Cal Ripken Jr. fielded dozens and dozens of questions during the past year as part of his marketing partnership with Roy Rogers, including these: Who's the hardest pitcher you've ever faced? How do you hit a 100-mile-an-hour fastball? Should Pete Rose be allowed in the Hall of Fame?

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In a $200-million take-private deal completed in September, Focus Brands added Jamba Juice to its collection of concepts that already included Cinnabon, Auntie Anne's, Moe's Southwest Grill and others. For Marie Perry, the acquisition marked the culmination of more than two years' worth of work to reinvigorate a Jamba Juice brand she says hadn't evolved with changing consumer preferences.

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In a shirt the same color as a New York City cab, the guy working behind the counter at The Halal Guys near Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle takes less than a second to recommend the combo platter for a first-timer trying to decide which of the Middle Eastern menu items to order.

Third-year law students at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta filed into Mort Aronson's class on a late Wednesday afternoon, as they have every fall semester for the past 24 years. “How ya doing,” the 83-year-old Aronson will say to this student or that. “Hangin' tough,” each replies with a grin.

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Nick Swinmurn built his fortune at Zappos, the online shoe store he founded and that later sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion. But now the California-based startup wiz—who was once told no one would ever buy shoes without first trying them on—is turning his attention to the physical world of the fitness industry.

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After nearly 50 years in the Sonic brand, Ricky Davis runs stores that exceed the company average in sales volume, even in small towns. One way he keeps customers coming: Make sure the juice is running down their elbows.

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Wellness brands are going well beyond the ‘just eat celery and water' campaigns of yore. From a cheeky Waxing the City promotion to a ‘Let's Tingle' pitch at Modern Acupuncture, the idea is less judgment and more emotion.