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Utah’s business landscape is dominated by its thriving tech industry, a vibrant and growing financial sector, and the country’s largest concentration of multi-level marketing firms. But the state is not without its share of quirky, colorful businesses—some that are hyper-local and some whose reach extends across the globe. These four small companies might be right in your backyard—and you probably didn’t even know it.
The Hive Winery
No grapes were harmed in the making of any wine at The Hive Winery. In fact, in the more than three dozen wines created by Jay Yahne at his winery in Layton, you will not find a single grape. Instead, Yahne uses local fresh fruit including plums, peaches, berries and apricots to make sweet wines that are not syrupy and can even complement a main course.
Yahne and his wife, Lori, started The Hive Winery after the economy took a toll on their technical engineering firm, Y2 Geotechnical. Wine making had always been a hobby in Lori’s family, and the Yahnes spent two years doing research, creating recipes and developing techniques that would allow them to start selling their wine in 2011.
The Hive Winery specializes in honey and non-grape wines, also known as meads and melomels. By creating small batches of wine (varying between 50 and 1,500 bottles per batch), Yahne is able to create a wide variety of wine throughout the year.
“Although we do make wine with a lot of different fruits, we have one simple governing guideline for the fruit we use—if we won’t drink it, we won’t make it,” he says. “Fruit wine is recipe-based wine, created using my own recipes. Of the 36 different fruit and honey wines, 31 of those use local fruit.”
Each recipe must find the delicate balance between sweet and dry, and Yahne is pretty sure he’s got the concept down. He’s hoping to get past the misconception that Utah can’t produce quality wines, but it’s been an uphill battle getting the word out about the winery and its products.
Even so, sales are up 16 percent since the first year The Hive Winery opened for business, thanks in part to the company’s popular Stinger Hard Apple Cider. “It’s hard cider the way it was meant to be. Stinger is a lightly carbonated cider, with just the right amount of sweetness to really bring out the flavor of the Utah apple cider it is made from.”
The Yahnes support local suppliers including Cox Honey Land in Cache Valley, Week’s Berries and the Payson Fruit Growers Co-op. They find additional fruits from farms along the Wasatch Front and will introduce cranberry, blueberry and spiced apple wines in the fall.
Not only does Yahne support local farmers, he’s also choosing environmentally responsible ways of producing his product. And his wines will always be grape-free.
“We don’t grow good grapes in Utah,” he says, as he drives up to Willard to pick up more fruit. “But California doesn’t have the right climate for good peaches and pears.”
If you happen to be in Dubai, stop by Atlantis The Palm hotel and resort to check out the 60-acre Aquaventure waterpark. There you’ll find a whitewater river adventure, underwater slides carrying guests through a shark-filled lagoon, and a 12-acre interactive dolphin habitat.
Or if you’re in Turkey, stay at the five-star resort featuring waterfalls, fountains and a private, sandy beach for hotel guests.
Both of these waterpark extravaganzas were created by a small company in Provo. Cloward H20 didn’t start out designing world-class water features, but it is now one of the most sought-out companies creating wet-and-wild fun around the world.
“Every single job is a completely new adventure. We get to do jobs in some of the most terrific places around the world and no two places are ever the same,” says Corry Cloward, company president.
One week Cloward might be in Egypt, and the next, in China. His waterparks include the Jurassic Park rides in Hollywood and Atlanta, and the AquaDuck waterslide featured on the Disney cruise lines—the first water coaster of its kind built on a cruise ship.
Originally, Cloward’s father started the business in 1977 as a waste water treatment system company. In the late ‘80s, he was approached by a man looking for someone to design an interactive dolphin swimming pool experience in Hawaii. With absolutely no knowledge of waterpark creation, Cloward’s father took the job, and it was the company’s first foray into recreational water. He was hooked.
In 1993, ClowardH20 focused exclusively on high-end water adventure designs, working with landscape architects to engineer themed waterparks, fountains, marine exhibits, pools and splash pads. Cloward’s goal is to perfect and control the flow of water, whether it’s a calm reflective pool or a wild, madcap underwater waterslide.