Success Stories

Nelson is the place
By Danny Monahan Small Business Administration Vermont District Office public information officer     ACE Hardware’s new television commercial advertises that going to ACE is like going over to your neighbor’s house to borrow a tool.     A fitting commercial for Nelson Ace Hardware, where owner Bob Nelson knows many of his customers by name. In most stores, customers may know what section to go to for a particular item, but at Nelson’s customers know who to see, such as “Mr. B.,” Nelson's repairman.     Nelson Ace Hardware, located on Main Street in Barre, Vt., has been serving central Vermont’s hardware needs since 1983. It was started by Nelson’s father, Carroll, his mother, Sarah, and himself. Bob Nelson was a recent graduate of Montpelier High School who had plans to go away to college to study music when he decided to opt out of school and go into business with his family.     Thirty years later, Nelson ACE Hardware has been named the Small... Read More


By Danny Monahan
Small Business Administration public information officer

Daily deal websites offer discount vouchers on everything from yoga classes to ice cream cones from businesses throughout the country and the world.

Localvore Today located in Burlington has decided to take the daily deal website concept and apply it at the local level, and only the local level.

“We don’t offer vouchers for big national chains or franchises,” said Dan White, Localvore Today owner. “We only offer vouchers for local businesses throughout Vermont.”

Localvore Today is the brainchild of White. White, who is from Evanston Ill., came to Vermont because he felt the market was lacking competition, and wanted to create a daily deal website that is socially responsible and supports buying local.

“I specifically chose this market because Vermont culturally represents the buying local mentality,” he said. “There has been a big push these past few years... Read More

A guitar shop for the 21st Century

By Danny Monahan Small Business Administration Vermont District Office public information officer Maybe his guitar of choice is a 1965 Fender Stratocaster. Or perhaps it’s a 2013 PRS Custom 22. Whatever the preference, it can be placed into his hands without him ever having to leave the couch. It’s not that lifelike, but it’s what the owners of Music Store Live are trying to accomplish with their online guitar store, “Our goal is to bring the guitar shop into your living room and come as close as we can to putting the guitar into your hands without actually doing it,” said Ben Werlin, Music Store Live co-owner. Music Store Live highlights its new, used and vintage guitars through high resolution photos and videos. After a little more than two years, their website has made them one of the largest Fender Guitar retailers in the northeast. It started in the fall of 2010, when brothers Ben and Brandon Werlin were camping in Yosemite National... Read More

Ingenuity Merges Oil Burners with Wood Pellets

Andrew Boutin, general manager of Pellergy LLC founded the business in 2006 with a goal to cut home heating costs by using a locally renewable fuel. He started in his basement, moved to a two-car garage, and now works out of a 2,000 square-foot space inthe old North Barre Granite building. Andrew was new to owning a business and credits the Vermont Small Business Development Center for providing important technical assistance throughout the entire process, helping with his business plan, financial projections and business goals and objectives. Andrew also teamed up with a manufacturer in Finland and secured the exclusive rights to its fully automated burner systems - systems that Pellergy manufactures in America, mostly in Vermont. The system converts oil heating systems to wood pellets yet preserves most of the heating system components.

Years of Pellergy testing and further years of residential utilization in Northern Europe have established the reliability of the systems... Read More