Success Stories

Guitars for sale line the wall at the Manchester Music Mill

In 2005 Lacerda merged his lifelong passion for music, his business background, and his work ethic into a now successful business, Manchester Music Mill.  As is often the case, the path to success was not straight, and while Lacerda seemingly veered off course, the full journey prepared him for success.

 Lacerda’s first love was the guitar, so after high school graduation when he enlisted in the National Guard, he sought a position playing guitar for the 215th Army band out of Fall River.  However, they already had a guitar player, but were looking for a Tuba player.  Lacerda quickly mastered the tuba and was accepted into the Band.  He went on to serve six years of active duty and two years inactive.

 Lacerda put his GI Bill benefits towards a degree from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in Civil Engineering and then landed a job in Virginia where he earned his professional Engineering License. His boss noticed Lacerda had a knack not only for engineering,... Read More

Blake's Turkey Potpie

Chris Licata, President & CEO of Concord-based Blake’s All Natural Foods was named the New Hampshire Small Business Person of the Year for 2014. This notable award, given by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) annually, recognizes top small business leaders in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Blake’s All Natural Foods is a fourth generation family company best known for its made from scratch, all natural and organic comfort food classics as well as its commitment to bringing convenient and healthy dinner options to families across the U.S. Chris Licata joined the family business in 2006 and under his direction, Blake’s has struck the balance of remaining true to the core values that have guided the brand for decades while excelling in new sales channels. Since joining the company in 2006, Blake’s has gone from a New England-only brand to national recognition, selling products to more than 6,000 retailers in 46 states and... Read More

Team O’Neil Rally School of Dalton honored as the SBA 2013 New Hampshire Veteran Owned Business of the Year

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced they honored Team O’Neil Rally School of Dalton with the SBA 2013 New Hampshire Veteran Owned Business Award. Owner Tim O’Neil, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and five-time US and North American Rally Racing Champion was one of America’s brightest rally stars. At the height of his career with Volkswagen and Mitsubishi, O’Neil withdrew from the competition to follow his passion to teach.

He opened Team O’Neil Rally School in Dalton, New Hampshire, a car control and rally training facility. For the past 18 years business owner Tim O’Neil has trained thousands of everyday drivers, plus professional rally drivers, US government and private security personnel, in advanced car control, rally and winter driving techniques.

O’Neil got his hands dirty early in life at his family’s logging business in Whitefield, New Hampshire. In1977, he joined the United States Air Force and became a Fuel Systems Technician, maintaining F-111s... Read More

Garland Mill Timberframes selected as 2013 Jeffrey Butland Family Owned Business of the Year

Garland Mill Timberframes of Lancaster, New Hampshire was recently named the 2013 Jeffrey Butland Family Owned Business Award winner by SBA New Hampshire. This award recognizes a business that has been passed on to the next generation, demonstrating long term staying power, economic growth, and commitment to their community. 

Garland Mill Timberframes is a design/build company that provides high quality craftsmanship and materials along with state-of-the-art building methods.   The heart of the operation is the Garland Mill, an 1856 water-powered sawmill that powers the mill and generates surplus energy that is returned to the grid.  Brothers Tom and Harry Southworth were the first generation business owners, operating the business since 1974.   They grew their company as they grew their families, hoping one day to pass the company and its high standards and quality on to their children. 

Their sons, Benjamin Southworth and Dana Southworth, left for college and career... Read More