Finger Lakes Cider House was started in 2014 with just a vision. It has now grown into a thriving organic farm, cider house, farm to table restaurant and even operates a yurt rental for glamping (and plans to grow with more yurts). They offer several different flavors of cider, using all home-grown organic apples specifically for cider. They specialize in the champagne method of cider making.
Birch Tree Montessori provides comprehensive Montessori education to children ages 3 years to 6 years old. Their school is in Warners, New York. The mission of Birch Tree Montessori is to provide their students with a joyful experience in early learning. They provide guidance to help the children discover their own unique interests and abilities. They encourage their students to grow into independent individuals who achieve their full potential and contribute in a positive manner to society. Also, they offer curriculums with one-on-one and some small group lessons to meet individual levels and needs. In the time since they opened, their school has become so popular that the school now has a waiting list!
Nestled in the heart of downtown Cazenovia, H. Grey Supply co-owners Travis Barr and Alex Altomonte identify their core mission as a business that serves to create a safe and inclusive environment for all. Their efforts have built a strong retail brand that serves the community with gifts, clothes, delicious coffee, cheeses, skincare, make-up and more. Barr and Altomonte have expanded beyond simply retail to become a community hub named H. Grey Social, providing a space for local business teams, a study spot for teens after school, and a space for small local events. The community hub boasts a barista bar powered by Utica Coffee Roasting Co. The overall experience is a boutique department store with multiple categories to shop from in one space.
Winand Products manufactures Perfeito, a Brazilian inspired group of spices for poultry, beef and fish. Owner and founder Patricia Springer started the company in 2020 when she was doing a lot of home cooking during the pandemic for her family. Born and raised in Brazil, this mixture of spices was from her mother’s seasoning blend recipes. Ms. Springer lived in Europe for a number of years and worked as a global business executive in the telecom and biotech industries with a proven track record of growing businesses. The combination of her business experience and love for cooking led her during the pandemic to make the decision to produce these spices and start her company. As she was starting the process in 2020, she continued working in her corporate job. But in 2021, she left her corporate role to devote her efforts to Winand Products.
As an organization working to support small businesses, we are fortunate to be surrounded by a a tremendous community of local banks who are there to serve as partners for small businesses throughout Central New York.
Man in the Moon Candies, Oswego, NY
Man in the Moon Candies started operations in 2005 as a hobby for owner Amy Stone Lear while she was working a full-time job. Amy’s grandparents had started a candy shop years prior and had a very popular lollipop called “man in the moon”. Hence where the name came from – a nod to that candy and where it all started years before.
And the winners are...
It’s not uncommon for lines from popular movies or songs to find their way into the cultural lexicon. “May the Force be with you,” is one such line. “Hasta la vista, baby,” another.
In terms of business start-ups, however, few lines have become as culturally entrenched, often to disastrous effect, as “If you build it, they will come,” (the actual line is “If you build it, he will come,” but pop culture quickly misquoted the phrase.) Week after week, would-be entrepreneurs walk through my door at the Onondaga SBDC convinced, often without a shred of accompanying research, that their start-up idea is a home run, and they merely need some coaching (and not infrequently, grant funding or unsecured financing), to hit the ball out of the park and round the bases. The fantasy of ready-made markets and effortless success, it seems, has found its way into the American Dream, alongside hot dogs, apple pie, and baseball.
Occasionally, however, a bona fide athlete-turned-entrepreneur comes through my door. Such is the case with Adam Ruszowski, PT, DPT.
Dead Branch Ranch
The saying “perseverance furthers” dates back thousands of years and has been expressed variously in different ways by many different cultures. As folk wisdom, it remains applicable today, despite the frenetic pace of our modern, digitally interconnected world.
Through a desire to create slower, more meaningful lives for themselves, and as the result a few hard-earned lessons learned, it also summarizes the experiences of Marie and Jaya Weiss, partners and co-owners of Dead Branch Ranch, a 90-acre, off-grid, micro-farm located in Pompey, NY.
If one were to look at the playbook for how to set up a successful crowdfunding campaign, Mark Pawliw would check the boxes. And along with Co-owner of Eden Fresh Network (EFN), Leah de Rosa, the two would successfully crowdfund the launch of Eden Fresh Network in May of 2022. Community members from the pairs’ networks, along with public marketing and outreach, resulted in the debt equity raise of $65,750 from 70 investors.
Read articles and advice written by our very own Onondaga SBDC Business Advisors!