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Rain Maker

Think money doesn't grow on trees? Just ask Rainforest Cafe.

This story appears in the November 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The company: Based in Hopkins, Minnesota, Rainforest Cafe Inc. owns and operates a chain of rainforest-themed combination restaurants and retail shops.

The markets: The company has more than doubled its number of locations in the past year. It has eight restaurants around the world, from Walt Disney World in Florida to Picadilly Square in London. Each has an adjacent shop selling rainforest-related toys and clothing. The restaurants feature a rainforest-type atmosphere, complete with rainstorms, tropical fish and live parrots. The company's founder first developed a mock version in his home, with waterfalls, hanging vines and all, then used the model to convince investors of the restaurant's potential.

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