The 10 Coolest New Businesses In America

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This year we’ve brought you San Francisco, New York (and Brooklyn), the Twin Cities, Boston, DC, and Denver, but we’ve searched high and low in all corners of the country for the most innovative new businesses that opened within the last five years or so.

There’s a gym that generates electricity, a brewery that only brews sour beer, and a museum filled entirely of Instagram photos.

Kurt’s Cuts Barbershop

1459 Ogden St., Denver, Colorado

What it is: A single-chair barbershop that serves just one client at a time.

Why it’s cool: Located in an old Victorian building just seven blocks from the State Capitol, the exclusive Kurt’s Cuts doles out service that will make you feel like the only client in the store — which makes sense, as Kurt’s serves just one client at a time. Kurt Luetjen has more than 19 years of experience as a barber, garnering a loyal customer base that raves about his personal service and reasonable prices.




Wherever you are in New York City

What it is: On-demand, affordable in-home stylists.

Why it’s cool: GLAMSQUAD lets you schedule blowouts and hair styling appointments that take place in your own home or office. When you book your appointment, a trained stylist comes to you equipped with all the tools and products needed to give you a great blowout, up-do, or other style. GLAMSQUAD also books make-up artists to give you a polished look for day or night. Services start at $50.



Online, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts

What it is: A website that helps you get essentially anything custom-designed for you.

Why it’s cool: CustomMade connects makers with people who want custom-designed goods — anything from furniture to jewelry, and even motorcycles. Unlike Etsy, CustomMade hand picks its creators to ensure the quality of the products. It’s also getting ready to launch a mobile app so you can take a photo of a product, send it to CustomMade, and ask for one of its professionals to create something similar.



Yelp user Mark H.

12469 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California

What it is: A chocolate shop and cafe that gets back to basics.

Why it’s cool: ChocoVivo owner Patricia Tsai thinks of chocolate, she thinks of the way it was originally made by the Aztecs and Mayans — in near-pure cacao bean-form, with no additives, preservatives, or processing. Tsai takes a similar approach with her own chocolate, using minimal processing and no milk powder or soy lecithin. ChocoVivo products are available in the form of chocolate bars, nibs, powders, or butters, or can be enjoyed at her Los Angeles-area shop. Try the chocolate flight to get the full experience.

Black Seed Bagels


Yelp user Bradley H.

170 Elizabeth St., New York, New York

What it is: A gourmand’s bagelry.

Why it’s cool: Black Seed takes one of New York’s most beloved establishments — the bagel shop — and puts a high-end twist on it. Their Soho shop produces quality, Montreal-style bagels that you can top with shmears like tobiko caviar cream cheese or almond butter, in addition to their beet-cured lox. Black Seed recently also started serving bagel breakfast sandwiches with baked eggs, Mile End bacon, and avocado.

Arctic Fire Clothing


Arctic Fire Clothing

Online, based in Anchorage, Alaska

What it is: Heated shorts that keep you warm while working out in the snow.

Why it’s cool: After years of suffering through cold winter training, Arctic Fire founder Jeanette Duenow had tried everything to keep her rear end warm — including sewing extra layers into her leggings or stuffing hand warmers down her pants. Eventually, she came up with the concept of heated shorts, the perfect base layer for any athlete who trains in extreme temperatures.

A Gathering of Stitches


A Gathering of Stitches

54 Cove St., Portland, Maine

What it is: A community space for textile crafting.

Why it’s cool: A Gathering of Stitches is a place for those who love working with fabric, yarn, and thread to gather and share resources, tools, and ideas. The open space houses communal equipment for textile work, including quilting machines, screen printing gear, and cutting tables. Visitors can also sign up for workshops to learn new skills — they offer classes in everything from dying fabric to making clothes.

Bard Coffee


Yelp user Steff D.

185 Middle St., Portland, Maine

What it is: A small-batch coffee shop where every cup comes with a story.

Why it’s cool: Not only will you enjoy a healthy selection of small-batch single-origin brews at Bard, but the baristas are more than happy to share each batch’s backstory, as well as their vast knowledge of brewing styles. Bard also hosts monthly latte pouring competitions, with proceeds from each event benefiting a local charity. This shop isn’t just for coffee drinkers, but also for those who truly love the geeky ins and outs of coffee preparation.

Beer Bar/The Bar-X


Yelp user Hang W.

161 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, Utah

What it is: SLC’s premiere joint craft beer bar and speakeasy-type cocktail lounge.

Why it’s cool: “Modern Family” actor Ty Burrell and a few partners bought and reopened the Prohibition-era Bar-X in 2011 so that locals could have a place to get quality classic cocktails. This year, right next door, Burrell and renowned chef Viet Pham opened the aptly named Beer Bar — the craft beer-loving little brother to the Bar-X where, in addition to 30+ beers on tap, customers can get home- and locally-made sausages, buns, Belgian-style fries, and strudel.



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