Success Stories

Megan Haygood and her family already had the land, hay and equipment needed to start a horse boarding, breeding, training and riding facility in Danville.

But they knew they needed more in order to start a successful business. Enter Michelle Lemieux, an established equine trainer and manager and you have the makings of a quality small business partnership.

The two opened Northern Lights Stable last year after combining Haygood’s resources and Lemieux’s expertise and customer base.

“Our business is special as it provides exceptional equine care and twenty-four hour monitoring, highly skilled training and riding instruction, and a regulation-size indoor competition arena,” Haygood said.

But even with the combination of resources and skills that Haygood and Lemieux bring to the table, they knew they could use additional help before launching the business. That’s why they contacted Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) Area Advisor Ross Hart.... Read More

It looks like it belongs in the engine room of a submarine with its pipes, gauges and levers. However it is not tucked away on a ship, but prominently featured in a Main Street coffee shop in St. Albans, Vt.

Eddie Woods, the owner of The Grind Café, is quite animated as he explains how his hot air drum roaster works. It roasts the beans by adjusting the heat source, and air flow to get just the right flavors and aroma to come out of the coffee. Because his roaster is commercial grade, it can process the batches of coffee quickly.

It is The Grind’s crown jewel. It’s strategically located in front of the café, so pedestrians walking by can watch Woods at work through the storefront’s window. Next to it rest sacks and crates of coffee beans that will soon be roasted and consumed by patrons. 

Most of his adult life Woods has worked in coffee shops. Before opening the Grind, for years he worked as a manager at a national coffee franchise in Florida and when he moved... Read More

What happens when you “mix” a renowned music professor and a dedicated lawyer with creativity and a love of Vermont? You get what’s been described as love at first taste.

Charles and Kate Dodge are on a mission – culinary and social – to make wines and liqueurs from locally sourced ingredients.

Just as in France, where wineries are located to take advantage of the specific varieties of grapes grown locally, Putney Mountain Winery has worked with farmers to obtain the best possible fruit from New England.

Charles crafts innovative recipes for their prize winning wines and liqueurs and bubbly juices. Apples, ginger, rhubarb, black currents to name just a few…the list goes on.

And Putney Mountain Winery expands its mission by being a certified Vermont Green Business that is 100% solar-powered.

You can find Kate and Charles at their tasting rooms in Putney, Windsor and Quechee in addition to local Farmer’s Markets and festivals. You can find their... Read More

Today there is alternative to just about every traditional product and service. There are alternatives to taxi cabs, phones, cable television and even bread.

A company in Bristol, Vt. is making a name for itself producing an alternative to plastic wrap. Bee’s Wrap does this by infusing cotton with beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin. The end product is a washable and reusable alternative to plastic wrap.

“This all started because I wanted to remove plastic from my kitchen in favor of a healthier, more sustainable way to store my family’s food. But almost immediately friends and family were telling me I should start selling my wraps,” said Sarah Kaeck, the owner and founder of Bee’s Wrap.

In 2012 Bee’s Wrap was born when she converted her husband’s workshop to her own, hired some mothers with kids in schools to work a few hours a day and began selling to local retailers.

Her company has been growing ever since. Today it is housed in a 2,500 square-foot... Read More