Success Stories

As you walk inside the 55,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art Charlton facility which opened up in July of 2017, an outline of the red barn from where it all started in Brimfield, Massachusetts is etched into the ground at the center of the building.  

The etching serves as a reminder of their humble beginnings – and that the genesis of Tree House was always about crafting the freshest and best-tasting beer.  Co-founders Nate Lanier, Damien Goudreau, Dean Rohan, and a group of friends would get together to play music and taste-test small batches of brewmaster Nate’s creations – which today have become international beer fan favorites.  

What were the key ingredients that helped Tree House grow operations and scale their manufacturing successfully?

Back in 2011, they started with just a 20-gallon brewing system and later increased to a 5 barrel (31 gallons = 1 barrel) a year later.  As demand kept picking up, they continued expanding operations to an 11,000 sq. ft.... Read More

By Norman Eng, Public Information Officer

A Women's History Month Success Story

(Image courtesy of: Vision's Sown: An Ancient Baking Company)


In 2002, Tonya Johnson’s 15-month old son was diagnosed with recurring anemia, suffering from acute malnutrition and multiple food allergies.  Tonya had to learn a new way to care for her son, and discovered that introducing nutrient dense, allergen friendly and easy to digest foods to his diet –helped stabilize his fragile health condition.  After developing special recipes that helped her son to recover – Tonya and her mother started Vision's Sown, An Ancient Vegan Baking Company. 

While looking for ways to grow her business, Tonya began researching small business assistance programs and came across the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program.  Attracted by the business resources offered, Tonya set out to apply in the fall of 2005; however, the mother-daughter team’s initial 8(a) application did... Read More

By Oreste Varela, SBA Springfield Branch Manager

A Western Massachusetts Success Story

(Image courtesy of: Berkshire Brewing Company) 


Gary Bogoff was a general contractor and cabinet maker prior to launching Berkshire Brewing Company in 1994.  What started out as a hobby in 1991, took Gary and his co-founders on a journey that they could not possibly imagine.   

A key skill Gary developed as a contractor and cabinet maker was to ask lots of questions.  During the genesis of his business, it was the local business assistance network that answered his questions about the possibilities of owning his beer company.  He started with the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce who were very helpful and referred him to the Franklin County Community Development Corporation for more advice.  The business support community next connected him to the Western Regional Office of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center.  The assistance from all... Read More

Betsy Hill

By Guest Contributor: Lisa Achoki, Center for Women & Enterprise; Edited by Norman Eng, SBA Massachusetts

Veteran entrepreneurs are increasingly contributing to business creation and growth to the American economy after service. Active duty and reserve service often instills important skills and leadership abilities that are directly relevant to business ownership.  A profile of Veteran’s Business Ownership by SBA’s Office of Advocacy [1] reported that the share of women business owners have increased among both veterans and non-veterans, but at a much greater rate for female veterans.  In 2012, only 4.4 percent of veteran business owners were women – up from 2.5 percent in 2008, almost doubling in numbers.

Betsy Hill had no prior business experience before launching Neighborhoods Café.  A Boston University alumnus, Betsy was a member of the Reserved Officers’ Training Course (ROTC) while in college, and was deployed to Turkey as part of the US Air Force upon her... Read More