Success Stories

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

The Vermont office of the Small Business Administration has given the Family-Owned Small Business Award to James and Karen Mount of Mount Family Group. Mount Family Group (MFG) was originally started in Burlington as a family-owned business in 1982 by David and Francis Mount. MFG is in the personnel placement business, specializing in temporary help. From $25,000 in sales when it began, MFG has grown to a nearly $30 million company.

In 1995, the Mounts began to look among their five children for a family member who could become involved with the company and eventually take over as manager or owner. Karen, the wife of their eldest son Stephen, joined the company in 1996 and learned every aspect of its operations. She became David Mount's main adviser in administration and marketing matters. Karen became instrumental in training employees, in helping open new offices and eventually took on the role of Director of Administration. In 1997, James Mount, the Mount's second son... Read More

Charles Curtis, Jr., CEO of Draker Laboratories Selected Vermont Small Business Person of the Year

Five small business owners, four small business champions and a lender have been selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for outstanding success in their chosen fields.

Charles “Chach” Curtis Jr. CEO of Draker Laboratories, Inc., Burlington, Vermont has been named the SBA 2012 Vermont Small Business Person of the Year.  Nominated by Cairn Cross, Managing Director, Fresh Tracks Capital, Curtis was selected for outstanding leadership related to his company’s staying power, employee growth, increase in sales, innovative ingenuity and contributions to the community.

 Draker Laboratories, Inc., Burlington VT, provides monitoring, diagnostics and asset management services to commercial and utility-scale renewable energy systems.  After pioneering the concept and cutting-edge means of evaluating solar power generation, Draker Laboratories, Burlington, VT, had a well-deserved reputation for technical leadership.  The company’s founder, A.J. Rossman, had... Read More