Year in review: Take a look at our 11 business features from 2018

Each month, Community Impact Newspaper features a local business. Take a look at the businesses we featured in Sugar Land and Missouri City in 2018.


BlendIn Coffee Club

After spending nearly a decade studying biochemistry, Pearland resident Weihong Zhang abandoned his career working in the pharmacology department at the Baylor College of Medicine Medical Center to pursue his real passion: specialty coffee.


Feather & Nest Interiors

Principal designer Jen Hayes prefers to focus on envisioning on what is possible instead of focusing on the face value of things.

When looking for a storefront for her interior design firm Feather & Nest Interiors in 2016, Hayes chose a place many others would have discounted. She was looking for a home base to conduct design consultations and to sell home decor products.


Scoop Pilates and Personal Training

Owners Tracey and Phillip Griffin opened their fitness studio Scoop Pilates and Personal Training in Missouri City in May 2010, and the husband-and-wife team has been using their own professional training and experiences to help others establish healthy lifestyles.


Study Dorm

Missouri City resident Shahin Nanji started her tutoring business in 2012, teaching her students in a 70-square-foot office space on Sugar Creek Boulevard. It was capable of fitting two students at maximum.

An electrical engineer, Nanji had no previous experience running a business but wanted to pursue her passion for teaching—starting at the Lenotre Culinary Institute in Houston as an adjunct faculty member, instructing math and computer science skills related to cooking and business management.


Wu’s Fine Violins devotes decades to the craft of violin-making

Owner Xiao Hua “Joshua” Wu opened Wu’s Fine Violins in 1999—crafting, restoring, appraising, renting and selling stringed instruments from his shop in Sugar Land. Although customers may purchase violas, cellos and basses from the store, Wu is most well-known for his handcrafted violins.

Originally from the Zhejiang province of China, Wu began playing the violin at age 13 when he acquired an old, battered instrument from a neighbor.


Missouri City studio promotes mindfulness and exercise

Missouri City resident Valerie Lerner has visited multiple cities across the U.S. and internationally to fulfill her yoga instructor’s certification requirements. Her efforts have helped her successfully operate her own studio, Afterglow Hot Yoga, in the Sienna Plantation community.


Deep Roots TX Floral Studio

Note: this business has since closed.

Mother-daughter duo Tricia and Alex Zody, owner and lead designer, respectively, started the business in 2016. The studio has a flower bar at the front where Alex teaches classes on how to design flower arrangements.


Ally & Belle supports community, other small businesses

Missouri City resident Lauren Culpepper met the daunting task of launching her own business with determination, opening her boutique, Ally & Belle, in July 2017 at the Township Square center.

The store sells apparel and novelty and gift items, including beauty products, stationery, accessories and home decor pieces. Culpepper purchases her  inventory primarily from small-business owners like herself or those devoted to a charitable cause.


Fire It Up Pottery & Art Studio

At Fire It Up Pottery & Art Studio customers can explore their creative side with glasswork, clay and paint. Business owner Lottie Cantu has more than 40 years of pottery experience and opened the 2,300-square-foot studio in April 2015, helping many complete their do-it-yourself art projects.


Hutton’s Jewelry and Gifts

After owning jewelry stores in New Mexico and Hawaii, Kent and Cay Hutton decided to put down roots in November 2017 and open Hutton’s Jewelry and Gifts in Sugar Land. Kent opened his first store in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1976 and worked with Cay during the holidays.

“She came in and helped me gift wrap,” Kent said. “We got married a couple of months later, and we’ve been partners ever since then.”


Texas Doggie Daycare

Before opening Texas Doggie Daycare in Missouri City in October 2017, owner Greg Boerner ran a software company for restaurants and retail stores.

Being a dog whisperer, Boerner finds training dogs to be second nature, according to Patti, his wife and Texas Doggie Daycare co-owner.
By Beth Marshall
Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. Originally hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016, she became editor of the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition in October 2017.


Here are the latest coronavirus case count updates in Fort Bend County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fort Bend County sees 3,384 new coronavirus cases Jan. 15-21, up 498 from week prior

There were an average of 483.43 COVID-19 cases reported a day last week in Fort Bend County.

The Texas Department of Transportation plans to install a center, raised median on 5.8 miles of FM 1092 from Hwy. 59 to Hwy. 6. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Department of Transportation to add median on FM 1092 in Missouri City

In an effort to improve the movement of traffic and reduce collisions along FM 1092 in Missouri City, the Texas Department of Transportation plans to add a median to separate the six lanes of traffic and limit left turns.

Dr. Jacquelyn Johnson-Minter, director of Fort Bend County Health & Human Services, said Jan. 21 that it has been frustrating that the supply of vaccines thus far has been unable to meet the demand. (Morgan Theophil/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATED: Fort Bend County COVID-19 vaccine preregistration list hits capacity

Fort Bend County is prepared to receive and administer hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccinations, County Judge KP George said during a press conference Jan. 21. To do so, however, the county must receive the vaccines in the first place.

One local health system leader said he expects everyone, including those under age 65, will have access to the vaccine within the next 90 days. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston-area health system leaders talk progress, hurdles during COVID-19

Officials from CHI St. Luke’s Health and UTMB Health said community members must remain vigilant as case counts climb but that they expect the current surge to peak by early February.

During a North Houston Association meeting Jan. 20, Jazz Hamilton—first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services Group for CBRE—discussed how the future of retail will likely be shaped by the conveniences to which consumers have become accustomed amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pandemic-induced retail conveniences are here to stay, official says

According to Jazz Hamilton, first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services group for CBRE, between January and November of 2020, consumers spent almost $550 billion online—a 33% increase from 2019.

In the Sugar Land and Missouri City area, a number of seats will be on the ballot, including ones on Sugar Land City Council and the Fort Bend ISD board of trustees. (Community Impact staff)
Filing period open for Sugar Land City Council, Fort Bend ISD board of trustees elections

See which races are on the May 1 ballot and who has filed to run so far.

Fort Bend ISD is beginning the process of finding a new superintendent after Charles Dupre announced his intent to resign by December 2021. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Fort Bend ISD board to begin hunt for new superintendent by hiring search firm

The board is expected meet Feb. 8 to deliberate and Feb. 17 to interview search firms.

In addition to vaccine hubs, there are also smaller community vaccine providers throughout Texas, such as pharmacies, that may also have the vaccine available. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
EXPLAINED: When, where and how Texans can receive the COVID-19 vaccine

As Texas is still in the early stages of rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, many Texans are still unsure about where, when and how they can get inoculated.

The barbecue eatery is the second Killen's Restaurant Group venture to launch in The Woodlands area. (Courtesy Killen's Barbecue)
Killen's Barbecue opens in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Hoover Oaks Memory Care and Assisted Living will be located at 1722 Eldridge Road in Sugar Land. (Courtesy Hoover Oaks Memory Care and Assisted Living)
New memory care and assisted-living facility coming to Sugar Land in spring 2021

Hoover Oaks Memory Care and Assisted Living will provide 24-hour assistance to 16 residents.

Feeding Texas hosted a Jan. 19 webinar to discuss legislative highlights for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Screenshot courtesy Feeding Texas)
Food insecurity in Texas' 87th Legislature: Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas to propose legislation addressing hunger

Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas hosted a webinar Jan. 19 to discuss increasing funding and accessibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the 87th legislative session.