Success Stories

From its 1952 opening until a 2015 Christmas Eve fire burned its building nearly to the ground, Serpe & Son’s Bakery famously won hearts in its Wilmington, Del., hometown and beyond with its family recipes and old-world-style commitment to quality. Serpe’s legendary breads, rolls, tomato pie and baked desserts are longtime staples at Delaware Valley family tables, as well as restaurants, social clubs, and community events like Wilmington’s annual St. Anthony’s Italian Festival. Over the years, Serpe’s following grew until Christmas Eve orders, alone, from the single-storefront business totaled nearly 1,000.

So, on Christmas Eve 2015, it was “business as usual” for Serpe’s, as long lines of the bakery’s devotees spilled out its door and onto the sidewalk outside. The brisk pace inside the shop was buoyed by the holiday spirit as customers hustled in and out, laden with fresh baked goods destined for holiday celebrations across the region. As another busy year for Serpe’s... Read More

Camden, Del. Announcement Named First Kent County Businesses Joining Byway Small Biz Effort; Debuted Byway’s ‘Byway Buck’ Program; and Unveiled New ‘Tubman Byway’s’ Route Markers

On Friday, July 31, 2015, U.S. Small Business Administration officials; State of Delaware representatives; and local leaders announced the first Kent County, Del., businesses joining the ‘Tubman Byway Initiative’;

debuted the ‘Byway Buck’ voucher, redeemable for discounts and other offers at Byway-affiliated businesses; and unveiled road signage slated to mark Delaware’s stretch of the historic ‘Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway,’ identifying its route through the First State.  The ‘Tubman Byway’ is a roadway route marking some of Harriet Tubman’s documented movements ferrying fugitive slaves from bondage along Maryland’s eastern shore to freedom in the North during the pre-Civil-War era. The ‘Tubman Byway Initiative’ is a pilot program joining Byway-adjacent small businesses... Read More

Delmar’s Crystal Steel Employs 350, Counts as Its Work New Jersey’s “Empty Sky” 9/11 Memorial; NYC’s Liberty National Golf Club Building; and D.C.’s U.S. Diplomacy Center, & Credits It’s Start to SBA Help

 Thanks to one engineer’s vision, a single-shop Delaware metalwork business once threatened with closure is, today, turning out award-winning work for high-profile projects all across the eastern United States– all from its modest facility down a long rural road deep in southern Delaware’s farm country.

And from its new fabrication shop in Hatfield, PA.

And from its new fabrication shop in Memphis, TN.

And from its new fabrication shop in Manila, Philippines. It all started in 1992 with engineer William Lo’s dream of business ownership and a Wall Street Journal ad – “Business for Sale” – advertising a Delmar based  steel fabrication facility for sale. And it could have ended there, too. It was impossible for Lo to secure the conventional bank... Read More

Michele Reynolds, President, Shelley & Sons Electrical Contracting and Blue Hen Utility Services, Inc.

17-years in business has taught Michele and Michael Reynolds one thing—small business isn’t easy. But 17 years of surviving their Newark, Del., electrical contracting firm’s ups and downs has also taught them that they are up for the challenge. So, when Michele earned a seat in the U.S. Small Business Administration/SCORE ‘We-Think’ Program – a 12-month think-tank-style business building class for female entrepreneurs whose businesses have a proven track record and growth potential – she eagerly signed on.

And that’s when Michele’s small business learning curve took her business in a whole new direction.

For Michele, her traditional electrical contracting firm, ‘Shelly Sons Electrical Contracting,’ had always marked the end of her entrepreneurial rainbow. But now, reeling in the Great Recession’s wake with nearly a dozen Shelly Sons’ jobs at stake, Michele would learn that Shelly Sons was, for her, just the beginning. Nearly two decades of Michele’s own electrical... Read More