Over the past year, what is it that we have all yearned for and ordered as take out so many times to bring comfort to us in times when we were too tired and too stressed?
What have we bought gift cards for, ordered or donated to give to those on the front lines taking care of us all? What industry has been one of the hardest hit, yet still are persevering in anyway possible due to the dedication of their repeat customers and their passion for what they do. Where is it that we can’t wait to go visit again and partake in their passion to bring comfort and joy to us all after such an unprecedented year?
“I could make the sun shine from pure desire” – Steve Winwood, 1986 in “Higher Love”
If there were ever two young entrepreneurs that could make the sun shine from pure desire, I think I may have met them. The lyric from the song “Higher Love” epitomizes Kaleigh Ligoci and Lauren Scarpelli.
The story of the salt industry in Syracuse is the stuff of legend and a tale of the early development of the city. In the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s Syracuse produced more salt than any other place in the United States, rightfully earning the name: The Salt City.
Now in the 21st Century a father and daughter team is endeavoring to return that claim to fame to Syracuse. David Iannicello and Libby Croom are the owners of Syracuse Salt Co., a company that inherited its name from one of the last salt producers in Syracuse over 100 years ago.
The community of Clinton, NY has been the home of Tom’s Natural Foods (originally known as Whole Earth Natural Foods) at 16 College Street for almost 50 years.
Any business with such a long run of success is undoubtedly going to reach a time for succession, where the owner(s) are ready for retirement, undoubtedly wanting their life’s work and legacy to continue. In stepped Jason Townsend (Professor of environmental science at Hamilton College), Nancy Morelle (Co-owner of Old Path Farm and part-time employee at Tom’s) and Andrew Sblendorio, who contacted the Onondaga SBDC for assistance in navigating the purchase.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” –Charles Darwin
In mid-March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States and the Central New York community in a way that would unapologetically and thoroughly alter the lives of all its people. Meals on Wheels of Syracuse (MOWS) had just successfully completed its 60th year providing meal service to its clients throughout the Syracuse area. Its Executive Director, Mason Kaufman, who has been at the helm of the agency for over 25 years (and has worked for the agency for over 35 years) knew that his life, the lives of his employees, and the lives of those that the agency serves were about to be adversely affected if he didn’t construct a plan and implement that plan immediately.
Employee to Owner During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The corona-virus pandemic has severely crippled the hospitality and food industries. While struggling to stay afloat financially, many small businesses have relied on their various loyal customer bases.
Offering take-out options has been an essential tool for these industries to maintain their cash-flows, until the public can gather once again and enjoy all the culinary options Syracuse has to offer. Hope seems nearly here as New York slowly re-opens in a strategically phased approach.
Mark Pawliw lived the food and restaurant lifestyle through his 25 plus years of experience in the industry, but he realized that something was missing - a connection to the producers, growers and chefs that brought the food to your plates, the drink to your glasses, and the art of cooking that ties it all together.
Although there are many casual take-out spots in Syracuse that offer Latin food, there is a noticeable lack of appreciation for dine-in dishes and the culture behind them. That's where Clara Cedeno comes in.
After many years working in the corporate world, Clara decided to pursue her dream of owning her own business. Bringing this dream together with her love of food and Latin culture helped her create her brain child, La Patria Café.
Everyone has a past—some are good, and some are not as good. But whatever you’ve gone through, translating your background and experience to shape and position your business can be transformative.
Eric Maliszewski was able to translate his skills and experience into ownership of the Canal Side Café & Bistro in the heart of the beautiful village of Baldwinsville. While Eric’s story may not be completely unique, it is a story about progression, perseverance, patience and opportunity.
THE WOMAN BEHIND THE CAKES - Stacey Lorraine is the owner, cake artist, office manager, and dishwasher (yup she does it all!) at The Cake Shop located in Skaneateles, NY!
Born and raised near Washington DC, Stacey got her start working at a local bakery when she was 16. From that point on she fell in love with everything baking, going on to become a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. While she spent a short stint in restaurants Stacey found her true passion in custom cakes.
We are currently offering clients the option to have appointments virtually, by phone, or in person BY APPOINTMENT ONLY (following CDC Guidelines).
Read articles and advice written by our very own Onondaga SBDC Business Advisors!