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Success Stories

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

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