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Meet the Seller Community members honored in the Square 50

At Square, we power and celebrate all things entrepreneurial. That is why Square 50 was created.

Fifty businesses across the globe were selected and honored with being named the Square 50. First-party data and insights identified these businesses as leaders in each of the Square 50 categories: The Inspiring Innovators, The Growth Generators, The Future-Facing, The Experience Experts, The Stellar Stores, The Online Obsessed, The Merch Mavens, The Social Savvy, The Community Connoisseurs, and The Green Gurus. (Details about each category can be found on the Square 50 website.)

 

As a Square 50 honoree, these sellers will receive access to our alpha and beta programs to preview upcoming hardware and software. Winners of the Voter’s Choice, the top-voted businesses in each category, will receive one free piece of Square hardware. Continue reading to find out which businesses won the Voter’s Choice.

 

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Shout out to Seller Community Members in the Square 50! 

 

We were thrilled to discover that 18 businesses in the Square 50 are already members of the Seller Community. Among them, three are Super Sellers, and one serves as a mentor in the Seller Community Mentorship Program.

The Square 50 Community Members: 🎉

 

 

@broadstreet

 

@Gerardlevy7 @JTPets  @Kawada

 

@Laya

 

@MonsterPho @Nappily360 @NBY1

 

@PlanoTX

 

@Redbaycoffee @roryAK @sisilapaillette

 

@Sister65

 

@SRGDC @stedesco @VeganShack
@Village2021 @Tamyra_Paunchy @timeberhillwine  

 


A check-in with some Voter's Choice winners and a special honoree

 

Read on to hear from a few Square 50 — who are members of the Community — about the impact of Square 50, tips for other business owners, and their plans for 2024.

 

 

Brett Marenco, Girdwood Brewing Company | Girdwood, USA

Square 50 Category + Voter’s Choice Winner: The Merch Mavens

 

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How do you feel about winning Voter’s Choice in the Merch Mavens category? 

 

We are thrilled! The Girdwood Brewing Company team works hard to develop merchandise that reflects the sweet mountain town vibe our brewery and hometown are known for. There's nothing more humbling than walking through airports in other states and seeing people wearing your hat and sweatshirt. In those moments we think, "Wow, we built something that others think is cool." 

 

What advice would you give to a new business owner in your industry (or one who is trying to incorporate selling merch)?

 

First, pick a name that sells itself. Girdwood is a destination tourist town in Alaska. It was a no-brainer to name our brewery after the town since the name "Girdwood" is already associated with a chill ski town. Second, hire a professional to design your logo and make it easily printable in full color and one color. It can't be too detailed or it won't be recognizable on materials like leather patches. Lastly, buy merch for your customers, not yourself. Merch you love might not fit within your customer demographic and flop. Know your customer demographic and buy for them.

 

What's one thing you'd like to achieve for your business in 2024?

 

Events! In 2024 Alaska's brewery laws are changing. For the first time, breweries will be able to stay open until 9 p.m. and hold four live events a year. We are stoked about these changes! We hope to partner with some amazing locals to sponsor some fun events.

 

About Girdwood Brewing Co. @roryAK

Located in beautiful Girdwood, Alaska, Girdwood Brewing Company offers fresh, local beer (and non-alcoholic options) from its rustic timber-framed taproom and outdoor beer garden.

https://girdwoodbrewing.com/ 


Rachel Konte, Red Bay Coffee | San Francisco, USA

Square 50 Category + Voter’s Choice Winner: The Future-Facing 

 

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How do you feel about winning Voter’s Choice in the Future-Facing category?

 

We are honored and super excited. Not only by winning but also by having our community vote for us. That is special.

 

What advice would you give to a new business owner in your industry (or one who is trying to be more future-facing)?

 

As any business grows, one must be agile and adapt to changes within the business and in the environment around you. Keeping up with new technologies and implementing tools that can make the company run more efficiently is something we recommend, even when it feels easier to just continue the old way. Always look for new opportunities to improve your practices — that’s what we learned.

 

What's one thing you'd like to achieve for your business in 2024?

 

Stability and harvesting the fruit from all the hard work we have put into 2023. We see an opportunity to go national and maybe international in 2024.

 

About Red Bay Coffee, @Redbaycoffee

Red Bay Coffee Roasters is a San Francisco-founded coffee company that holds a commitment to ensure coffee production is not only high quality and sustainable, but a vehicle for diversity, inclusion, social and economic restoration, entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability.

https://www.redbaycoffee.com/


Maryam Henderson-Uloho, SisterHearts | Arabi, USA

Square 50 Category + Voter’s Choice Winner: Community Connoisseurs

 

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How do you feel about winning Voter’s Choice in the Community Connoisseurs category?

 

This feels amazing. We love the description of this award as it truly represents everything SisterHearts is doing. It is an honor to be listed among other community beacons driving conversations, equity, diversity, and equality forward. 

 

What advice would you give to a new business owner in your industry (or one who is trying to be more community-focused)?

 

Be the best representation your community needs. I have been the most connected to my community when I am myself: transparent, honest, vulnerable, and open. I want to lift the voices of those who have been silenced and shine a favorable light on those with no visibility in our society. 

 

What's one thing you'd like to achieve for your business in 2024? 

 

It's what we are already achieving that will continue over into 2024. Implement and provide the programming to decarcerate a population of formerly and still incarcerated individuals and reduce recidivism, one former felon at a time. We are making history with our decarceration concept, which has been recognized on a federal level. One of our goals for the new year is to implement decarceration programs in more facilities.

 

About SisterHearts, @Sister65

SisterHearts is a supportive community network of compassionate people and organizations working toward dismantling a failing prison system that too often contributes to recidivism.

https://www.sisterhearts.org/

 


John Alexander, JT Pets | Hamilton, Canada

Super Seller + Square 50 Category: The Future-Facing

 

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How do you feel about being one of the Square 50?

 

Both humbled and exhilarated, personally. Starting JTPets.ca from the ground up, while juggling a full-time job, has been a journey filled with challenges and growth. This recognition validates the countless hours, the dedication, and the passion I've poured into my business. I'm truly grateful for this honor and see it as a motivation to continue innovating and serving my community better.

 

What is one new technology that you have implemented to the benefit of your business?

 

One transformative technology we've integrated into our business ops is ChatGPT. It has revolutionized the way we analyze our financials, optimize our website content, and engage with our customers. It’s been instrumental in our business growth and customer satisfaction.

 

What's one thing you'd like to achieve for your business in 2024?

 

Significantly expand our online presence and take on the challenge of national shipping. After years of catering to our beloved local community, we believe it's time to share our curated selection of pet products and our commitment to quality with the entire nation. Streamlining logistics for national shipping will certainly pose its challenges, but it's a leap I'm excited to take. 

 

About JT Pets, @JTPets

JT Pets is a family-run natural pet food and supply business that offers the best products for animal nutrition, medical health, and overall well-being. They are also a member of the Super Seller program .

https://www.jtpets.ca/ 


Voter’s Choice winners: Your top-voted businesses

 

The entire Seller Community would like to extend a big congratulations to our 10 Voter’s Choice winners! These 10 sellers will receive one free piece of Square hardware and the glory of being a top-voted business. 

 

The Inspiring Innovators — building for the long term with ingenuity

Makers' Base, Japan 

 

The Growth Generators — only getting bigger and better through the years

Fishbowl, Australia 

 

The Future-Facing — harnessing advanced technology to streamline and automate

Red Bay Coffee, United States, @Redbaycoffee

 

The Experience Experts — leveling up operations and serving up the best customer experiences

Uppercutz, United States

 

The Stellar Stores — elevating in-person experiences and offering immaculate vibes

Saint Aymes, United Kingdom

 

The Online Obsessed — taking the online experience to a whole new, on-point level

Broad Street Oyster Company, United States

 

The Merch Mavens — designing merch so hype it’s its own revenue stream

Girdwood Brewing Company, United States, @roryAK

 

The Social Savvy — making social their superpower to promote and grow

Oyamazaki Coffee Roasters, Japan

 

The Community Connoisseurs — making waves and giving back to their communities

SisterHearts Boutique & Thrift Store, United States, @Sister65

 

The Green Gurus — putting the planet first and prioritizing sustainability

Cafe polestar, Japan



Join us in the comments below to congratulate our Square 50 honorees and share the magic your business is making in your industry.


Hailey is the Seller Community Marketing Manager at Square. She promotes the Seller Community and also partners with Square teams to bring awareness of new programs, products, and features.

 

This article is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. For guidance or advice specific to your business, you should consult with a qualified legal professional.

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