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Success Stories

Photo of Debra Dudley

Brief description of the business: Oscarware is a family-owned manufacturing business, founded in 1989 by Debra and Reg Dudley. Sensing the anything-can-be-grilled trend, they invented a new product they called “grill topper” making it possible to cook a variety of meals on an outdoor grill.

The original grill topper product transformed the traditional backyard barbeque menu from hamburgers and hotdogs to delicate fish, fresh vegetables and pizza. Grillers got creative with non-traditional foods starting new grilling trends. The company has continued to develop new topper products now offering a complete line of both disposable and gourmet porcelain coated steel toppers, woks and griddles.

All products are made in Bonnieville, a city of less than 300 people in central Kentucky.  Oscarware is the leading manufacturer of both disposable and porcelain coated steel toppers in the U.S. 

Oscarware has grown to 32 employees and distributes product across the U.S. The... Read More

Photo of Doug Schutte

Brief description of the business:  It’s a restaurant. It’s a live theatre venue. It’s a music site. It’s a comedy spot. The Bards Town is all of those rolled into one. A play on words with William Shakespeare and the Bard Theater, this unique business has a 90-seat restaurant and 65-seat lounge on the first floor. The second floor, home to The Bard's Town Theatre, offers new works from playwrights as well as theatre, poetry, and musical acts.

The business opens every Wednesday through Sunday at 5:00 pm, serving up food, new theatre works, whether a world premier or a successful show from New York or Chicago yet to be seen in Louisville, or a comedy, literary or music event.   

Founded in 2010 by Doug Schutte, Scot Atkinson and Jon DeSalvo, with a menu developed with assistance from famous local chef Joe Gadansky, this quirky business has a theme that incorporates all things Shakespearian. That is understandable, given the background of the founders. In his youth,... Read More

Photo of Desmond Conley

Brief description of the business: Perhaps no industry was more devastated from the effects of the Great Recession from 2008 – 2012 than the home building and remodeling business. So what did Desmond Conley decide to do? He started G.I.D. Remodeling & Services, LLC in 2012. The company offers remodeling services for residential and commercial properties in the region.

Desmond had a career in graphic design and received an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Art from the Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville, KY. This work allowed Desmond to develop an admiration for carpentry and remodeling, so he decided to go back to the community college for an Associate’s Degree in Construction Technology.    

SBA Assistance: G.I.D. stands for “Getting It Done,” and Desmond has gotten it done and enjoyed success since 2012. However, when he met with Hugh Shwab, a SCORE counselor with the Louisville Chapter, his business attained a whole new level of success.... Read More

Photo of Rhonda and Tim Hatfield

Brief description of the business:  Rhonda Hatfield is the personification of the serial entrepreneur. In February 2004, she and her husband Tim opened Little Scholars, Inc. childcare center in Louisville, KY. Rhonda had a vision to offer premier childcare services in an area of Louisville that had not been offered in that area of the city. The center was so successful that a second location was opened less than a mile away in 2007, and that business also flourished. 

In 2013, Rhonda sold the business and began searching for her next entrepreneurial voyage. She settled on a spa concept that evolved in 2014 into Blue Halo Med Spa, a day spa that offers a customized spa program, including an extensive array of wellness services, for its patrons.

SBA Assistance:Rhonda Hatfield used the Louisville SBDC office for budgeting, management and marketing assistance multiple times starting in 2003, and she continues to use the SBDC for assistance to this day. She obtained an SBA... Read More