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Success Stories

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

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

Aetheria Relaxation Spa

In 2002, at age 30, Elizabeth McCarthy experienced what she calls a mid-life crisis. “I wanted to be in control of my own success or failure,” she said.  This Alabama native thought of herself as a “natural-born entrepreneur” and decided to take time off from her corporate life to consider all her possibilities.

At that time, she had a few friends who were working as massage therapists. She thought that her self-described Zen personality might be a good fit for massage therapy so she decided to give it a try and enrolled in the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy in Westport, CT.

After becoming certified in 2003, Elizabeth gravitated toward working at the newly opened Aetheria Relaxation Spa  in New Canaan, CT, early in 2004—she liked Aetheria’s mission “to deliver exceptional service and promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle through the use of organic skin and body care products,” as initiated by the spa’s founder, Katy Ingulli.

“Our philosophies were... Read More

Lovely Cakes

Renata Papadopoulos is the owner of Lovely Cakes, a full service specialty cake company located in Stratford, Connecticut.  Originally from Brazil, Renata now resides in Norwalk, Connecticut.  Operating for over 10 years, Lovely Cakes services banquet halls, restaurants and private clients, creating beautiful custom cakes for all occasions – especially weddings. 


In 2005, Renata decided to start her own business when her desire to bake was reignited by creating birthday cakes for her three children. She attended the French Culinary Institute to perfect her baking and decorating skills, but realized she would need more assistance if she wanted to build a successful business. In 2013, Renata first sought the help from the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC).


Already utilizing a rented commercial kitchen facility, Renata dreamed of owning a facility that she could use both for her baking and to supplement her income stream by renting space to... Read More