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Albany County Businesses Win SBA Small Business Excellence Awards

Release Date: 
Monday, May 8, 2017
Release Number: 
17-28
Contact: 
Rachael Stanton 315-471-9393 ext. 244

ALBANY, N.Y. – Six local small businesses were recognized during National Small Business Week at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 19th Annual Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon in Albany on Tuesday, May 2nd.  Small businesses are selected for the Excellence Awards based on their company’s longevity, innovation, sales growth, increased employment, ability to overcome adversity or community contributions.

Berkshire Bank honored 3T Fitness, LLC based in Albany with a 2017 Small Business Excellence Award. 3T Fitness, LLC opened its first Capital Region location in November 2016. Since then, owner Trey Jasenski has added 25 employees; a mix of part-time trainers and staff. 3T Fitness is part of a rapidly growing franchise, Retro Fitness, with more than 150 locations nationwide. The Albany gym offers state-of-the-art facilities, and an open space workout area. The fitness company differentiates itself by offering high-end equipment, cardio machines, ellipticals, a cardio movie theater, and a smoothie bar.

NY Small Business Development Center Albany honored JNB Specialty Foods, owned by Barry Moore and Jason Moore and based in Albany, with a 2017 Small Business Excellence Award. After 35 years of service in the US Navy and with the United States Post Office, Barry Moore was not quite ready to retire. Making an amazing bruschetta that was loved by all who tried it; his family suggested that he go into business selling it. Barry teamed up with his son, a phenomenal chef, and his brother who had a strong business sense, to launch JNB Specialty Foods. Their products include a variety of salsas, bruschetta and incredible cranberry chutney. The products can be found in 140-plus retail locations, at farmers markets, expos and their online store.

KeyBank, N.A. honored JR Albany, LLC & JR Crossgates, LLC based in Albany with a 2017 Small Business Excellence Award. E5 Hospitality Management, LLC, owned by Lou Chicatelli manages three Johnny Rockets locations; JR Middletown, JR Crossgates and JR Albany all owned by Lou Chicatelli. Known as the “Original Hamburger”, Johnny Rockets is an international restaurant franchise offering high-quality, innovative menu items. JR Albany is opening a location in the Times Union Center. A franchise first, this location will be jointly branded. The new brand, Handcrafted Draft House & Sports Bar is a concept created by Mr. Chicatelli and will offer a full bar and unique menu items to provide a blended experience for the guest.

NYBDC honored Remarkable Liquids, LLC, owned by Maria Brand and based in Guilderland Center, with a 2017 Small Business Excellence Award. Remarkable Liquids, LLC has quickly become New York State’s premier distributor of the greatest craft beer, cider and mead the world has to offer. The company was founded primarily by Spencer Noakes, Matthew Hartman, Jeremy Irving and Maria Brand who have 35 years of combined beer distribution experience. Since making their first delivery in 2012, Remarkable Liquids has seen meteoric growth in sales and employees. In September of 2016, Inc. Magazine named Remarkable Liquids the 36th fastest growing private company in the country, the highest ranking for a local company since the list was expanded to 5,000 in 2007.

M&T Bank honored The RAD Soap Company, owned by Max Kerber, Susan Kerber, and Zak Kerber and based in Menands, with a 2017 Small Business Excellence Award. It all began in a small kitchen fueled by a mother’s love as Sue Kerber searched for something natural to relieve her son’s eczema. In early 2009, Sue turned her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for blending natural ingredients into The RAD Soap Co. Through a unique, top secret proprietary process for creating their handcrafted batches of soap, RAD’s products are ready for delivery within 24 hours. This fast turn-around time allows them to deliver the freshest all-natural body care products to their customers. Due to their popularity, RAD recently opened a retail location in Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany.

The Capital Region Chamber honored ThermoAura, Inc., owned by Rutvik J. Mehta, Ganpati Ramanath, and Theodorian Borca-Tasciuc and based in Colonie, with a 2017 Small Business Excellence Award. ThermoAura, Inc. is a nanotechnology and clean energy business headquartered in Colonie, New York. The company designs, produces, and markets high-performance nanoenabled thermoelectric materials. Their current primary products are bulk thermoelectric nanocrystals, which not only outperform other state-of-the-art thermoelectrics, but can also be produced in industrial-scale quantities at costs competitive with conventional materials, thus paving the way for widespread adoption. The ThermoAura materials are used in applications such as solid-state coolers and generators where heat can be converted to energy.

“The 19th Annual Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon gives us the opportunity to celebrate our business community leaders for their small business successes,” said Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA Syracuse district director. “Entrepreneurs find success not by avoiding failure but by dreaming the impossible and taking chances. From Main Street stores to cyber merchants and all the companies in between, small businesses keep our economy innovative and vibrant.”

 

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3T Fitness, LLC photo caption from left to right: James Conroy, NYBDC, Jamison Flora, Berkshire Bank, Trey Jasenski, 3T Fitness, LLC, and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA.

JNB Specialty Foods photo caption from left to right: James Conroy, NYBDC, Jason Moore, JNB Specialty Foods, Barry Moore, JNB Specialty Foods, Kate Baker, NY SBDC Albany, and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA.

JR Albany, LLC & JR Crossgates, LLC photo caption from left to right: James Conroy, NYBDC, Jennifer Regelski, KeyBank, NA, Lou Chicatelli, JR Albany, LLC & JR Crossgates, LLC, Denise Fissell, KeyBank, NA, Adrianne Barody, KeyBank, NA, and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA.

Remarkable Liquids, LLC photo caption from left to right: James Conroy, NYBDC, Andrew Linehan, NYBDC, Maria Brand, Remarkable Liquids, LLC, Spencer Noakes, Remarkable Liquids, LLC, and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA.

The RAD Soap Company photo caption from left to right: James Conroy, NYBDC, Max Kerber, The RAD Soap Company, Susan Kerber, The RAD Soap Company, Zak Kerber, The RAD Soap Company, Laura Siracuse, M&T Bank, and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA.

ThermoAura, Inc. photo caption from left to right: James Conroy, NYBDC, Theodorian Borca-Tasciuc, ThermoAura, Inc., Rutvik J. Mehta, ThermoAura, Inc., John Skrobela, Capital Region Chamber, and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA.