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Business briefs — July 23


Barrel venture on TV

The Oak Barrel Co., a Wooster-area maker of hand-crafted furniture made from reclaimed oak barrels and other materials, will see one of its products featured beginning this month on the DIY network’s I Want That Show.

The episode that includes the company’s Oak Barrel Ice Box is to begin running tonight, pending any network changes.

Oak Barrel’s founder Chris Deffenbaugh contracts with local Amish craftsmen and others to help create his products, including the lined oak barrel coolers. A hinged opening is on the side of the barrel, which can rest on an optional wrought iron stand or solid oak stand. Deffenbaugh and his father, Richard, a retired architect, supervise the operation.

Deffenbaugh began the venture by going to art fairs in central Ohio. Now, his business has dozens of products, including stools, tables, a coat rack, a bench and a chair. The company’s website is www.the


Goodyear endows scholarships

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has created two endowed scholarship funds at Kent State University’s College of Business Administration in honor of its former chairman and chief executive officer, Charles J. Pilliod, who retired in 1983.

The Charles J. Pilliod Endowed Scholarships will be awarded each fall to two full-time students enrolled in the business college.

Pilliod was a strong supporter of Kent State and its College of Business Administration during his 42-year career at Goodyear. He helped create the Goodyear Executive Professorship, which began in 1973 and has funded 20 professorships.

A native of Cuyahoga Falls, Pilliod joined Goodyear in 1941 as a production trainee.


FDA crackdown

The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on more than a dozen companies that market illegal treatments for diabetes, ranging from bogus dietary supplements to prescription drugs sold online without a prescription.

All of the products aim to cash in on the country’s diabetes epidemic, which affects nearly 26 million Americans. Regulators worry that consumers who buy such unapproved products could put off getting legitimate medical care, which could exacerbate heart disease, kidney failure and other deadly complications.

The FDA sent warning letters to 15 companies, both in the U.S. and abroad, ordering them to stop selling diabetes treatments that violate U.S. drug laws.

Three of the products targeted are marketed as “natural” supplements, but contain unlisted pharmaceutical ingredients. For example, Diexi, which is sold as a traditional Indian “herbal formula,” actually contains metformin, the most common prescription drug used to treat diabetes. The product is sold by Amrutam Life Care, of Surat, India.


Apple’s growth stalls

Apple’s latest quarterly report confirms the iPhone maker’s growth has stalled along with its pace of innovation.

The results announced Tuesday mark the second straight quarter that Apple Inc.’s earnings have fallen from the previous year after a decade of steadily rising profits. The company earned $6.9 billion, or $7.47 per share, in its fiscal third quarter, a 22 percent drop from $8.8 billion, or $9.32 per share.

Despite the erosion, Apple fared slightly better than analysts had anticipated.

Wendy’s exceeds forecast

Wendy’s reported a quarterly net income that came in above Wall Street expectations and said it’s selling 425 of its restaurants to franchisees, a move that’s expected to help boost its profit margins.

Fast-food companies often own only a small percentage of their restaurants. This helps keep their operating costs in check and gives them a more stable stream of income that’s tilted toward royalty fees and rent, rather than sales at restaurants.

Wendy’s also raised its dividend by 25 percent to 5 cents per share.


Starbucks to join yogurt craze

Starbucks wants a taste of the Greek yogurt craze.

The Seattle-based coffee chain says it’s teaming up with French food and drink company Danone to sell Greek yogurt parfaits. The ready-to-eat cups will arrive in its U.S. cafes in the spring of 2014, eventually replacing the yogurt cups the chain currently sells.

They’ll be called “Evolution Fresh inspired by Dannon” and roll out to grocery stores in 2015.

Financial terms of the multiyear deal weren’t disclosed.

Compiled from staff, wire reports


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