Sunday, November 23, 2003

Tristate business notebook

Optometrist joins Buten's Eyewear

A downtown optician has added an optometrist to its staff and now can provide eye exams for adults and children.

Dr. Beth Munzel is now at Buten's Eyewear Etcetera. Store owner Mark Buten said Munzel's services will be a convenience to clients and a complement to what his business already offers.

Munzel graduated from the University of Dayton and received her doctorate in optometry from the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

Buten's Eyewear Etcetera is in the Westin Hotel on Fountain Square, 21 E. Fifth St. Information: 721-1848.

Mobile units serve packaging needs

After a 30-year career in making and distributing packaging materials, Jack Findlay is taking those products directly to customers.

Findlay has launched Packaging OutPost Inc., a mobile operation that provides on-site packaging and first-step parcel forwarding services. The company will work with businesses, organizations and individuals.

"Our purpose is to be available anywhere, to package products, documents and personal items, to complete shipping requirements and to expedite packages to parcel delivery companies," Findlay said. "Our distinctive trucks are shipping rooms on wheels."

OutPost services are available in the Greater Cincinnati area 24 hours a day Monday through Friday, and by appointment on Saturday. The business operates from Findlay's Mason home. Information: 405-3488.

Web services firm takes global name

A company that specializes in helping clients with their Web-related business needs has a new name.

WP Technologies is now World Portal Technologies, owner Ben Wade said.

"With clients in places like Colombia, Israel and South Africa, this new name fits us better," he said. "Our focus is to create and customize business Web hosting solutions to suit our clients' specific needs. No job is too big."

World Portal also has created a new logo and new Web site design. In addition to its search engine submission and Web hosting services, the East Price Hill company provides Web site design, merchant services and Web marketing. It is offering free domain name registration with the purchase of any Web hosting package.

Information: 921-4001 or

Pottery outlet expands its reach

Another business name change springs from the expansion of its product line.

Covington-based Potteries by JP now features more than the work of its owner, Jeff Prather, hence its new name: Potteries of Northern Kentucky.

"In order to accommodate the growth of the company, we started to invite other potters to show their work in the shop," Prather said. "The potters whom we show in the shop are members of the Clay Alliance of Cincinnati, which contains the best potters in the area."

Potteries of Northern Kentucky also offers lessons and sells supplies, as well as finished ceramics. The shop is at 612 Philadelphia St. in Covington's MainStrasse district. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Information: (859) 291-5456.

Angie's List ranks among Inc. 500

Angie's List, which maintains consumer recommendation databases in the Greater Cincinnati area along with 14 other U.S. markets, has again been named one of the country's entrepreneurial growth leaders by Inc. magazine. The magazine's Inc. 500 ratings for 2003 were released recently.

"We are proud to see our business continue to grow, despite the difficulties in our economy," said Angie Hicks, the company's founder and chief marketing officer.

The Indianapolis-based company was ranked 295th, up from 443rd in 2002. Rankings are calculated based on a company's sales growth over the previous five years. Hicks said Angie's List has grown by 605 percent since 1998, posting $3.8 million in revenues for 2002.

Information: 621-5478.

Web coupon outfit adds Cincinnati

Cincinnati is the newest market for an Internet-based company that brings new customers to area businesses.

Ken Blank has opened an office in Colerain Township.

By auctioning "first time guest only" gift certificates and distributing coupons via its Web site, the company encourages new customers to try a restaurant, hotel or other business for the first time at a savings.

"Because businesses do not pay to advertise on our site and the new customers save money on their first visit, it is truly a win-win relationship that we establish," Blank said. is based in Pompano Beach, Fla., and has offices in Orlando and in Las Vegas.

Information: 519-0895 or

E-mail or fax 564-6991 with openings, expansions and other news about neighborhood businesses.

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Tristate business notebook
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