Career advisor supports Vermont students, even if they can’t pay

2 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert Two students enter their junior year in high school with similar capabilities. One graduates two years later and heads off to college. The other doesn’t receive her high school diploma. This is a scenario that teachers and school administrators see played out time and time again, and one that Deborah Singiser of […]

UVM Graduate Sets Up Consulting Business in Burlington

2 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert Jason Nachamie moved to Vermont from New York in the fall of 2020 to attend the University of Vermont’s Sustainable Innovation MBA (SI-MBA) program. As he reached the end of the program last spring, he knew he wanted to launch his career in Vermont. But after a brief job search, he became […]

Frustrated Runner Develops Stroller Accessory for Hands-Free Running

2 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert “It all began about 13 years ago, the first time I tried running with a jogging stroller and hated it,” said Heather Hayes, founder and CEO of StrollRunner, LLC. She quickly abandoned the idea. But over the years, when she would see other parents awkwardly trying to jog with their strollers, she […]

Retired Educator Launches Second Career as Innkeeper

2 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert Rita Wood likes to stay busy. That’s why she knew retirement wouldn’t include much downtime. “When the pandemic hit and my time for retirement as a speech/language pathologist was approaching, I thought about the future,” she said. “Being someone who can’t do nothing for very long, I mentioned to my husband Corey […]

Women-Owned Collective Boutique Opens in Bennington

2 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert “As women business owners we felt that we needed to create a space where other women makers, artisans, and entrepreneurs could come together and be empowered,” said Sarah Krinsky, co-owner of W. Collective in Bennington, Vermont. She and co-owner Bri Magnifico opened their store and café on Bennington’s Main Street in July. […]

Small Local Manufacturing Company Makes Strides During Pandemic

2 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert In 2020, after five years in business, the owners of Vermont Evaporator Company made a dramatic change to their business model. They moved to 100 percent online sales. Spurred by the pandemic, the new sales approach is “much more efficient than running the fair circuit from May through December to drive revenue,” […]

Newport professor makes mid-life career change

2 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert  Jody Frey hadn’t anticipated a career in law. In her 30s, she was teaching adjunct courses at Sterling College to supplement her income as a dairy farmer when she became inspired to pursue a master’s degree in place-based arts. After earning her degree, she spent eight years teaching college-level environmental humanities—a subject […]

Landscape Architect Designs His Own Business

2 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert  When Jay Miller decided to start his own business, he didn’t write a business plan. Instead, he developed a Business Model Canvas, a tool that helps entrepreneurs visualize their business strategy. For Miller, a landscape architect, the one-page document resembles a landscape plan he might put together for a client. But instead […]

A Coffee- (and Food) Loving Couple Fills a Business Niche in Hardwick

2 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert  Great start-up ideas begin with a problem that needs solving. A few years ago, Tobin Porter-Brown and Annie Myers were looking for a place in Hardwick to do some computer work. When they couldn’t find a coffee shop, they ended up working in the front seat of their car. And that’s when […]

Chocolatier Takes Unexpected Path to Entrepreneurship

3 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert  When Dawn Wagner took a job at Lake Champlain Chocolates as a student at the University of Vermont, she had no intention of becoming a chocolatier. Her focus, at the time, was theater. After graduation, Wagner moved to New York City, where she worked as a stage manager for on- and off-Broadway […]

New bookstore owners plan for post-pandemic future

2 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert  About six months into the pandemic, Katya d’Angelo and Chris Triolo purchased a brick-and-mortar business right around the corner from where they live in downtown Waterbury, Vermont. The two are known around town for their ice-cream tricycle, The Udder Guys—a side business to their day jobs in marketing and computer programming. But […]

Longtime Customer Becomes New Café Owner

2 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert  For years, Nadia Dole had stopped at Vergennes Laundry on her way to visit family in Montreal. She loved the simplicity of the French-style café and bakery on Main Street in Vergennes, and even considered purchasing the business when it went up for sale in 2017 by then-owners Julianne and Didier Murat. […]

Burlington restaurant owners open second location in Brooklyn

2 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert In 2013 Trevor Sullivan was looking for free business advice from someone with experience and enthusiasm to help. At the time, he was trying to open his first business—a vegan restaurant in downtown Burlington, and needed assistance organizing his financials for a loan application. Sullivan reached out to the Vermont Small Business […]

Covid-19 Opens Up Opportunities for Independent Bottler

3 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert “Despite Covid-19, we were struck by the support we’ve received,” said Adam Polonski, co-owner of Lost Lantern Spirits, a Vermont-based independent bottler of American whiskey. “From our bank to VtSBDC, it’s evident how supportive Vermont is towards young entrepreneurs.” Polonski and his partner Nora Ganley-Roper recently relocated to Weybridge, Vermont from New […]

Bennington brewer answers call for hyper-local beer

3 minute read By Amanda Kuhnert In the spring of 2021, Seth Barrows plans to retire from the military after 27 years of service. More than likely, he’ll celebrate his retirement with a pint of his own beer and then get back to work. Barrows’s second career as a brewmaster and entrepreneur has already begun. His new business, […]

DaVallia Gallery & Boutique

3 minute read Chester boutique consolidates and expands during Covid-19 crisis By Amanda Kuhnert “Covid-19 made us re-evaluate what was important to us and what we really wanted to be doing,” said Jessie Alon, co-owner of DaVallia Gallery & Boutique in Chester, Vt. Before the pandemic, Jessie and her husband Michael were operating two business locations—an art gallery […]

Farmers’ Market provides opportunity for Vermont Peanut Brittle amid pandemic

3 minute read When Ed and Lea Arnold first started making peanut brittle as a unique holiday gift for a friend, they had no inkling that their love of cooking blended with a handcrafted recipe would become the ingredients for a future business, Vermont Peanut Brittle. As making peanut brittle became an annual event, their list of recipients […]

Michelle Wiegers Coaching

2 minute read Pandemic Helps Life Coach Narrow Her Business Focus By Amanda Kuhnert This summer Michelle Wiegers, a life coach based in Bennington, Vt., offered 30 hours of free coaching to 20 people suffering with chronic pain. “When COVID hit, I really wanted to reach people that are in pain because I know increased stress increases body […]

Nu Chocolat

3 minute read Burlington chocolate shop moves its business online By Amanda Kuhnert On March 15th, the day before Governor Scott ordered the closure of all restaurants due to the evolving Covid-19 crisis, the Toohey family temporarily closed their chocolate shop and café on Burlington’s Battery Street to customers. The following day, instead of filling retail cases with […]

The Flower Basket

3 minute read A Vermont Florist Spreads Sunshine during the Covid-19 Crisis By Amanda Kuhnert “This has been an incredibly trying time to be a small business owner,” said Nora DeMuth, owner of the Flower Basket in Hardwick, Vt. “I can’t remember ever needing to think through major decisions so many times and within such a short period […]

Tavernier Chocolates

2 minute read Chocolatiers Pivot from Retail to Mail Order during Covid-19 Crisis By Amanda Kuhnert Less than three months ago, Dar and John Tavernier of Tavernier Chocolates, based in Brattleboro, Vt, relied on in-store sales for the bulk of their revenue. You could find their gourmet chocolates in shops and markets throughout the Northeast. Today, with diminished […]

Tavernier Chocolates, Brattleboro

2 minute read “Vermont Chocolatiers Turn a Promising Product into a Business” by Amanda Kuhnert With a shared background in the arts, biology, and chemistry, John Singer and Dar Tavernier-Singer were fascinated by the chocolate-making process. Dar, a life-long baker and chocolatier, began experimenting with truffle-making in the couple’s home kitchen. One thing led to another—holiday gifts for […]

Don’s Auto, Derby

2 minute read Family-Owned Auto Shop Still Growing after 40 Years by Amanda Kuhnert “They are honest, capable, efficient, and it’s good to know that there’s a local auto shop with friendly people that I can trust to do a good job with my car.” This is just one of nearly 700 five-star customer reviews that say, in […]

Groennfell Meadery, St. Albans

2 minute read Groennfell Meadery Owners ‘Jump the Curve’ by Amanda Kuhnert In December of 2018, after five years in business, Kelly and Ricky Klein of Groennfell Meadery announced they would be closing their popular tasting room and restaurant in Colchester. “There is no question that this was the hardest decision we had to make about growing,” they […]

Northern Lights Stable, Danville

< 1 minute read Megan Haygood and her family already had the land, hay and equipment needed to start a horse boarding, breeding, training and riding facility in Danville. But they knew they needed more in order to start a successful business. Enter Michelle Lemieux, an established equine trainer and manager and you have the makings of a quality […]

El Gato Cantina, Essex Junction

2 minute read El Gato Cantina Proving To Be A Culinary Force El Gato Cantina has quickly grown into a well-known authentic Mexican experience for northern Vermont diners. Their flagship Burlington location has long provided a wide variety of dishes and appetizers crafted from traditional Mexican family recipes. And that’s not including the fully stocked bar complete with […]

Lead and Tackle Co., Lyndonville

2 minute read Northeast Kingdom Sporting Goods Store Carries on Tradition Hunting and fishing have long been Vermont traditions that many local sportsmen prepare for all year long. And one young Northeast Kingdom entrepreneur has turned his passion for these outdoors activities into a full-time venture. Theodore Benoit, owner of Lead and Tackle Co. in Lyndonville, recently opened […]