Southside St. Joseph is often described as a community within the community. This close-knit area is home to a lot of hidden gems. From historic landmarks, locally owned businesses, beautiful architecture, and more, there’s always something new to discover. Read about two new businesses committed to Southside and follow the Discover Southside page to learn more about Southside. 


Couple Finds Opportunity for Growth in the Southside


It was a no-brainer for Olympic Weightlifters, John Harris and his wife Michelle to move closer to family and plant their roots in the southside of St. Joseph.

After sustaining an injury from a 15+ year professional career in Olympic Weightlifting, John decided to go back to school and start a HVAC business in Kansas City. When Michelle was laid off due to the start of the pandemic, the couple decided to sell John’s share of the HVAC business and start their own in St. Joseph. Michelle started working as an independent contractor in sales, marketing and appointment setting in a call center like setting.

“People liked the results they were getting and wanted to work with me personally, which slowly transitioned from contracting to creating our own company, J&M Business Services, LLC. My husband and I make great partners. He is more of the strategic, back-end partner while I’m running the day-to-day operations,” said Michelle.

At first their main focus was to grow their HVAC business. A couple years later John needed a double hip replacement which meant shutting down their heating and cooling business and deciding to concentrate on J&M Business Services full time. After only 6 weeks, they were able to double their business. They currently employ four team members and are looking to hire more.

New quilting business opens in Southside St. Joseph

Vince and Angie Rutter opened Build-a-Quilt this spring on King Hill Avenue in the Southside of St. Joseph. Angie had been making quilt tops for about 15 years and found herself driving quite far to have her quilts finished on a longarm machine. They purchased their own Innova longarm quilting machine, and Vince learned the process of running the equipment himself. Working together, they have designed and finished hundreds of quilts. Seeing a need to provide this service for others, they opened Build-a-Quilt to the public in March of this year.

In addition to selling fabrics and providing longarm finishing, Build-a-Quilt also offers classes and consulting services. Annie can help design a quilt based on a customer’s own fabrics or ideas, and customers can create the piece themselves or have Annie and Vince handle all aspects of creating the quilt. For more information on Build-a-Quilt, you can visit their website or follow them on Facebook.