Success Stories

As much as teenagers are told they can be whatever they want when they grow up, so few go on to live fulfill their dreams.

For one Brattleboro woman, she is exactly what she wanted to be when she was a teenager, the owner of a successful Vermont catering company.

"In high school we all had to write down where we wanted to be in 10 years. I wrote, I hope to own my own catering company by the time I was 28. And I ended up doing just that," said Gretchen Hardy, co-owner of Hardy Foard Catering in Brattleboro, Vt.

Hardy is named the 2017 Vermont Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Small Business Administration. The annual award is presented to business owners under 35 who have had success in sales, profits, increasing jobs, having innovative business methods and demonstrating entrepreneurial potential necessary for economic growth.

Always interested in cooking, Hardy decided to attend the Culinary Institute of America in New York to turn her interest into... Read More

Brewing Boom Continues With Hyde Park Tasting Room

Vermont is quickly becoming known as a destination for high quality brewing as breweries of various sizes continue to spring up across the landscape. One of the latest is Ten Bends Beer in Hyde Park.

Owned and operated by Michael Scarlata and Jason Powell, the 590 East Main Street brewhouse and tasting room recently started serving its craft brewed creations from its 3bbl system, but not before seeking assistance from Vermont Small Business Development Center Area Advisor and craft brewing specialist Charley Ininger.

In addition to being one of VtSBDC’s area advisors, Ininger is also part of the specialty services VtSBDC has to offer. With many years in the food and beverage business and a keen understanding of what it takes to make a brewery a success from concept to creation, Ininger has worked with many Vermont beer makers as the brewing boom continues to expand.

In addition to individual advice and advising, Charley offers a class in the business of brewing... Read More

When March rolls around in Vermont’s Green Mountains many large scale sugar makers are already hard at work tapping trees and boiling sap into the sweet syrup the state’s famous sugar maples provide. But there’s also a cadre of small scale home producers who focus on providing a gallon or two for their family and friends.

Those small scale backyard operations did not go unnoticed by husband and wife team Justin McCabe and Kate Whelley McCabe, who themselves had struggled with finding an efficient way for backyard sugar makers to produce affordable syrup for their families.

“Our young family could not find an affordable fun way to sugar on a small scale given the products on the market – and lack thereof,” Whelley McCabe said. This led them to open the Vermont Evaporator Company, a Montpelier based business that makes small scale maple sugar evaporators for backyard sugar makers.

Priced at $825 the evaporators are far more affordable than many of the... Read More

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