Success Stories

Anjolie Ayurveda Brings Skincare Products from the Himalayan Mountains

NEW YORK, NY--- Several years ago Cary Gabeler embarked on a journey in India and discovered Ayurveda:  an ancient medicinal practice native to the area, whose holistic approach to healing would inspire her toward her business venture with her daughter Meryl.  Cary and Meryl’s love of the Ayurvedic practice combined with luxurious aromatic scents and soaps is the foundation that began Anjolie Ayurveda, their small business based in Hastings-On-Hudson, which imports handmade skincare products from their women owned and operated facility in India.

Like many entrepreneurs, and even with Cary’s previous business owner experience, they had to overcome a few challenges.

“When we started out, it was challenging because it was just the two of us, so you’re doing everything on your own from the very start, which can be overwhelming,” said Meryl.

Shortly after launching Anjolie... Read More

Ayala Donchin’s Evelyn’s Kitchen defines delicious with culinary creations


NEW YORK, NY--- Ayala Donchin’s path to to becoming one of East Harlem’s community gems started at a young age.  At the age of 11, in an effort to raise money to attend summer camp, she launched “Ayala’s Magnificent Mousse and Cheesecakes,” delivering treats in her community to secure the funds.


Ayala would later gain experience by waitressing with catering and fine dining establishments through college and graduate school. In 2006, Ayala’s godmother, and namesake for her business, was diagnosed with lung cancer prompting Ayala to step away from work to spend a transformational 18 months as one of her godmother’s primary caretakers.


Evelyn had a love for desserts and once told Ayala that, “No one makes a good blondie,” referring to the classic brown sugar sweet dessert bar that would soon help cultivate Ayala’s baking reputation. Seeing this as a... Read More

Center Line Studios disaster planning and preparedness helps business grow


NEW YORK, NY--- One of the most challenging events that a small business owner can face is dealing with a natural disaster.  Center Line Studios owners Shelley and Roger Gray have seen a few disasters with over 25 years in business, and their continued partnership with the Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, has helped them overcome these challenges and continue to grow as a small business.


Center Line Studios is located in New Windsor, New York and is a theatrical scene shop that specializes in building scenery for Broadway shows, operas, and television.  Founded in 1986 by Shelley and Roger Gray, Center Line Studios has grown to support productions such as Hamlet, West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, War Horse, Godspell, and performances at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. With... Read More

Blue Duck Bakery Café Partners with SBA to Scale Towards Success

NEW YORK, NY--- Although the Blue Duck Bakery Café opened its first location in Southampton 14 years ago, the small business journey of husband and wife business owners Keith and Nancy Kouris started much earlier.  As successful small business owners, Keith and Nancy learned that by getting the right training, knowing what resources are available, and by never giving up, they could achieve their goal of becoming Long Island’s “Village Bakers” offering superior quality artisan breads.

Before Blue Duck Bakery opened, Keith and Nancy had their fair share of getting their feet wet in the bakery and deli business in Long Island.  After successfully managing a Bellacicco Italian bread delivery route in the Hamptons as well as starting a family, Keith and Nancy opened a deli and grocery shop in the area with a unique catering to the Irish and Scottish community due to a resident baker who... Read More