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Success Stories

Blazin' BBQ Food Truck

Iris Gardner & Angelina Gardner have been co-owners of the Norwich based mobile food vending truck since 2011, Uncle Ds Blazin’ BBQ, a family run business. Uncle D’s Blazin’ BBQ serves up the best and tastiest Southern style barbecue! Slow smoked and perfectly seasoned meats are at the center of the menu. 
Iris Dewayne “Uncle D” Gardner is a Disabled Veteran and a 17+ year Norwich resident. Originally hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, over the past 29 years Uncle D has been actively involved in culinary and fine dining, maintaining various titles/positions, which have included:  C.S. aboard the USS Boston (SSN 703), head chef of offsite catering for one of the local casinos and ultimately Master Cook in numerous restaurants at the local casino.
While working as a Chef, she had also spent her personal time catering backyard BBQ’s and Family Gatherings.  Through these events and experiences, she was able to sharpen her Southern BBQ Skills. 
Angelina M Gardner has... Read More

Grassroots Ice Cream – Artisanal Ice Cream

An SBA Woman-owned Small Business is presented this award for developing a growing business, with evidence of a three-year success in sales and profits, increased jobs, developed an innovative product and demonstrate potential.

Grassroots Ice Cream is an artisan ice cream shop in Granby, CT. They custom make ice cream for several well know area restaurants.  Eliza Florian opened her business in 2013, the first season they bought ice cream from a local vendor.  In the second year she decided to build out a creamery so that they could make their own product instead of buying which expanded the creativity and control.  They had to hire more employees to handle the customer service.  Customer base became more loyal and excited about the product.  Thus began customer excitement and strong sales. 

 Eliza has received SBA counseling assistance through SCORE mentors Charlie Peake and Mark Cutler.  Fast forward to the business now and she’s created nineteen jobs and has... Read More

What’s in a business name? Borinquen is synonymous with the island of Puerto Rico and the name possibly has been in use by both Puerto Ricans and native islanders for more than 500 years. The name reminds many of its Borinquen Bakery customers of the tranquil, refreshing and beauty of a tropical island. Mary Ortiz had a dream of following in her father’s footsteps of owning her own bakery full of baked goods reminiscent of her native Borinquen.  Her father, a successful baker who mastered his skills in Puerto Rico and is also an owner of a bakery in the city of Hartford, guided and taught her at an early age, all he knew about baking and to his surprise 15 years ago she decided to leave his business and not far from Hartford, in a much smaller city named New Britain, in a business strip that had seen better days, Mary decided to open her bakery. Her first years were much like most start-ups, difficult with long hours, but by the fifth year she was operating a business that was... Read More

Stamford Tent - Hosting Premier Tri-State Events!

Stamford Tent & Event Services is the oldest and most experienced tent rental company in the NY-NJ-CT tri-state area and has grown to become the regional leader in tenting and event services. This is a company that truly knows how to throw a party! Stamford Tent & Event Services was founded in 1953 as the Stamford Tent & Equipment Company. In the beginning the company supplied tents, tables, chairs and equipment for carnivals, festivals horseshows and the occasional backyard barbecue or wedding. Today they have evolved into the premiere - full-service tent rental company that provides products and services to the varied event market — event planners, caterers, florists, country clubs, banquet halls, hotels, restaurants, and universities, as well as to private clientele, corporations and government entities.

The company’s Principals are Stephen M. Frost, President & CEO and his brother Timothy Frost, COO, who combined have over 68 years direct experience at... Read More