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This year’s most-read stories ranged from a professional matchmaker looking for decent male prospects to a winter coat company trying to ward off counterfeiters:

Matchmaker’s lament: Where are all the good men?

Sofi Papamarko’s service draws twice as many relationship-seeking women as men. She sometimes has to limit new female customers, which puts a damper on her revenue. Where are the guys, and how can she draw them in? (Photo by Kevin Van Paassen for The Globe and Mail) Click here to read more.

B.C. brothers’ sleek, modular homes have Lego appeal

Karoleena builds its modern, green, prefabricated houses quickly. But the company’s founders have so far taken a slow approach to expanding the business. Click here to read more.

Canada Goose knockoffs worry winter-coat competitor

Smaller companies don’t have the resources to fight counterfeit fashion, says Janet Han, founder of Wild North, which sells jackets for $600 to $2,700. (Photo by Glenn Lowson for The Globe and Mail) Click here to read more.

Made-in-Canada undies better than France’s? Sacré bleu!

Natalie Grunberg’s Vancouver company, Panty by Post, delivers high-end underthings through the mail via a subscription program. (Photo by Ben Nelms for The Globe and Mail) Click here to read more.

Baking box turns backyard grill into a pizza oven

‘There are no wires, no plugs and no fuel required,’ says co-owner Lewis Rose, whose company was a semi-finalist for the Small Business Challenge Contest for 2015. (Photo by Kevin Van Paassen for The Globe and Mail) Click here to read more.

Surprising victim of Calgary floods: the cleanup companies

ProStar Cleaning had all the business it could handle after the Calgary flood of 2013. But then insurers changed their payment habits, and ProStar’s cash flow slowed to a trickle. How can they get back in the money? (Photo by Laura Leyshon for The Globe and Mail) Click here to read more.

Canadian doll maker faces tough competition against American Girl

The Maplelea dolls were launched in 2003 and represent Canada’s regions and cultures. Recently, however, American Girl’s manufacturer has joined forces with Indigo Books in its continued foray north of the border. Click here to read more.

School uniforms: Students want sassy, schools want classy

RaphaëlU suits up 50,000 students a year in Quebec, but the company walks a fine line designing uniforms that will please administrators, parents and students. (Photo by Christinne Muschi for The Globe and Mail) Click here to read more.

Cheese made from cashews shreds the competition

Ontario ‘cheese’ factory, concrete delivery service and underwater fishing camera named most promising startups in The Globe’s annual small-business contest. Above, Kent Majeau and his wife Renee are co-owners of City MiniMix Concrete, which supplies small batches of wet cement to independent contractors and do-it-yourself home renovators in Edmonton. (Photo by Jason Franson for The Globe and Mail) Click here to read more.

Demand is frothy for foot-pedal washing machine

After many treks to the basement to do laundry, young designer Yi Jiang came up with a little green machine that doesn’t need electricity. (Photo by Kevin Van Paassen for The Globe and Mail) Click here to read more.

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