Today we celebrate America’s favorite summer food, best enjoyed at the ball park or on the grill on a hot summer day. Authorize.Net merchant, NorthStar Bison, makers of high quality, 100% grass-fed beef and bison hot dogs shares its story and business advice.

We spoke with Sean Graese about his family’s ranch.

How did NorthStar Bison get its start?

NorthStar Bison is family owned and operated and was birthed in September 1994 with the purchase of two young bison to fulfill a life-long dream of both of my parents. Shortly after, in January of 1995, we added six bred cows which contributed to the growth of the herd reaching 14. During that time, the decision to market the meat directly was made. In pursuit of learning how to raise and produce the highest quality of meat, we realized that 100% grass-fed bison was the best all around; good for land, good for the animals and good for people. This became our motto. We were determined to make quality products and excellent customer service our primary commitment to our customers.

The meat offerings have expanded to include bison, beef, lamb, pastured poultry and pork, elk, ostrich and venison. Our market includes retail and wholesale customers ranging from restaurants to grocery outlets and ranch stores.

How has NorthStar Bison achieved success?

Authorize.Net enables us to accept payments on our website www.northstarbison.com so we can offer our high quality meat and products to customers around the country. But the website offers even more than online ordering. Our family is passionate about health. My parents were both power lifters and my mom was a dietician before starting the ranch. They wanted to consume and offer high-quality, red meat protein, so healthy, even trained professional athletes could enjoy its health benefits. Our website, social media and newsletter offer education, articles, interviews and even recipes for a healthy lifestyle, from the health benefits of nutrient-rich, grass-fed meat to the benefits of CLA and Omega 3. We believe in taking the best care of our animals to produce nutrient enriched food to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

What would be your advice to other small businesses out there?

We truly believe in the quote, “Worry about being better, bigger will take care of itself. Think one customer at a time and take care of each one the best way you can.” – Gary Comer, founder of Land’s End.

Satisfying our customers' requests is our number one priority. Because of this, the growth of our business has been through the word of mouth of our happy customers.

To learn more visit: www.northstarbison.com

Have a great small business tip or want your business to be featured with your small business advice? Submit your story.

Wendy Mignot has been an artist all her life. She met her husband and they began a gypsy lifestyle of sailing adventures in the Caribbean, Virgin Islands, Aruba, St, Bart’s, Bahamas, Panama and Central America. Wendy’s one-of-a-kind jewelry became a trademark and reflection of her adventures at sea, with each design reflecting family, culture and heritage. Her trademark Fine Pearls and Leather Jewelry® are a collection that includes the finest Tahitian, South Sea and Freshwater cultured pearls.

Ten years ago, she and her husband settled along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in beautiful Seaside, Florida, and opened her storefront shop, La Vie Est Belle. Her designs put a twist on the once traditional strand of pearls, with each one-of-a-kind piece handcrafted and strung on soft, hand-rolled leather and tied with precision and care. Everything Wendy uses to create her jewelry comes from the ocean and surrounding terrain and is uniquely beautiful, elegant and practical in nature. Since then, the business has grown into an International boutique with vintage pieces worn by Steven Tyler, Pierce Brosnan, Orlando Bloom, Luke Bryan, Alice Cooper, Kix Brooks, Colt Ford, Florida Georgia Line, The Bangles and many more.

To help the business grow, they wanted their patrons to be able to shop anytime and from anywhere in a new eBoutique website: WendyMignot.com. They contacted Fluent Business Solutions, an IT Management firm based in Pembroke Pines, Florida, to modernize the entire business with a focus on using technology to increase revenue growth, productivity and to scale the business globally. “Wendy Mignot wanted to expand online and needed a highly scalable, secure solution that exceeded industry standards at a competitive cost,” said David Cochrane, President of Fluent Business Solutions.

For over ten years, Fluent has helped hundreds of clients select best in class software and solutions to improve their business. “We started using Authorize.Net ourselves eight years ago when our clients wanted to pay with credit cards.  Authorize.Net made that easy.” For other clients, Fluent has used the Authorize.Net API to build custom integrations or chosen from hundreds of pre-integrated solutions that support Authorize.Net. “We recommend Authorize.Net because of their seamless integration, reliability, scalability and performance.”

By using smart technology and the best payment solution to meet their needs, Fluent delivered a comprehensive solution for Wendy Mignot Fine Pearls and Leather Jewelry. “We’re thrilled with the success of our new eBoutique,” said Wendy. “Since its launch in fall 2014, we’ve fulfilled thousands of online orders and look forward to expanding globally later this summer.”