22 of 50
BACKNEXT
Houston, TX
Houston, TX
Bryan Caswell
Reef

I grew up in Houston, but spent nine years training and working as a chef in New York City, Bangkok, Barcelona, and Hong Kong. When I returned to open Reef in 2007, I was blown away by the revitalization of the downtown area, which reinvigorated the city.

It's a big small town -- people here are incredibly personable. They make loyal customers, and they appreciate hometown heroes as much as homegrown heroes. A friend of mine has bumper sticker that says, "It's alright that you're not from Texas, as long as you got here as soon as you could."

Because of lack of zoning in major areas, people are much more open to some guy or gal opening a business in a little hallway on a shoestring. You don't have to have a multi-million dollar budget. As a small business owner, I don't have to compete with corporate America low-cutting: in Houston we're not set up that way. Walking around the city, you could come upon a cafe in the middle of a residential street.

The recession hit us like everybody else, but not nearly as bad as in New York and LA and Chicago. At Reef, we're up 25 in sales since last year. -Megan Erickson

See complete data for Houston, TX

NEXT: Huntsville, AL

Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Oct 20 2009 | 9:39 AM ET
Best launch spots: See all 50 Growing economies, great workers, stable housing markets -- these metro areas have what entrepreneurs need to thrive. More
Tax havensWant to keep more of your profits? Check out these 5 states, where taxes are low -- and in some cases, nonexistent. More
5 deadly spots Every restaurateur knows about Cursed Locations. Here's a look at 4 trying to break the streak -- and one that failed. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.