Mireles Ice Plant To Manufacture 350 Tons Daily

Success Story: San Antonio, Texas

Mireles Ice PlantPackaging crushed ice into 40 lb. paper bags was the earliest stage of a business that would grow to serve clients across Central and South Texas. Located in San Antonio and opened by Jesus “Jesse” Mireles III in 2001, Mireles Party Ice is the culmination of a family business that has evolved from early roots.

In 1974, with the help of his father, Jesse and his wife Melinda Mireles opened a grocery store that catered to various events, with a high volume of requests for kegs and ice. Although the store became the largest keg distributor in San Antonio, Jesse found greater value in focusing the business on ice manufacturing. Through the 1980’s, the couple purchased ice blocks from local ice companies and packaged crushed ice in paper bags. By the 1990’s, Jesse had acquired two 2,400 lb. ice makers, and in 2001 he built his first ice plant.

With plans to leave the family business to his son, Jesse Mireles IV, Jesse IV assumed the role of vice president and contacted the San Antonio Small Business Development Center for assistance. Since working on the company’s business plan, loan preparation, distribution forecasts and projections, Mireles Party Ice has seen great progress.  (more…)

Adult Assisted Living Facility Opens in Lyndonville, Vermont

Success Story: Vermont

Welcome Home Assisted Living, VTKaren Thompson loves to help people. That has always been a strength of hers and something she wanted to turn into a life-long venture for some time. She recently accomplished her wish in the spring of 2017, when she opened the doors of Welcome Home Mature Adult Assisted Living in Lyndonville, Vermont.

The 24-hour elder care facility is already proving to be a great place for Thompson and other staff members to do what they love — helping people. But it has also proven a viable new Northeast Kingdom small business.

While Thompson always knew she was passionate about caring for people, she wasn’t sure how that would translate into a viable business. She needed banking advice and other tips on starting a business and quickly enlisted the help of Vermont Small Business Development Center Area Advisor Ross Hart.

The pair quickly went to work on budgeting and projections for the first year of operation, Thompson said. Hart also helped Thompson establish reasonable financial expectations and identified many helpful local business resources, she said. Thompson described working with Hart as an “educational, insightful, perfect” experience.  (more…)

Speech Therapist Branches Out To Better Serve Kids

Success Story: Idaho

Michelle Lance, Bloom TherapyWhen speech therapist Michelle Lance starting working with the Idaho SBDC in Pocatello, she was working full-time as a speech therapist for a clinic. As she watched management struggle with employee relationships and effective service delivery, she saw ways to better run a clinic.

She had a hunch the market could support a new speech therapy clinic, and her specialties were in demand. Over the next year, Lance worked with the Idaho SBDC to develop a business plan and secure an SBA loan. She also worked with a group of Idaho State University students on market research.

In the fall of 2016, Lance opened the Bloom Center for Pediatric Therapy, hired an additional therapist, and now sees kids 0-18 years old on a full schedule. She continues to work on expanding and renovating the spacious facility she purchased and plans to add more services as she grows.

“I was new to planning for and owning a business,” says Lance, “and I couldn’t have opened without my SBDC consultant’s help with the business plan.”

For more about the Bloom Center for Pediatric Therapy, visit www.bloomidaho.com. For more about the Idaho SBDC, visit idahosbdc.org.

Working Mom To Business Owner

Success Story: New Jersey

NJ SBDC Success - Marcy Ragan

The state of my business before I worked with the SBDC was just an idea. I was at a point in my life that I had to start working for myself out of necessity. The restaurant I had been working in wanted to change my hours (and I would never see my kids for dinner) and cut my pay. I needed to come up with a viable, marketable concept that would harness my talents, sustain growth, make a profit and make sure I was having dinner with my most important clients – my family.

My name is Marcy Ragan and I am the chef and owner of Relish Chef Services. Relish is a personal chef service, caterer and private cooking instructor. Relish cooks delicious, custom, hand-made meals for busy clients. In our modern lives people need help with their hectic lifestyles. Most often feeding ourselves with fresh, delicious and nutritious food can fall by the wayside. We all know that eating well with whole, nutritious food will benefit us immediately by powering our hard working bodies and minds but also in the long run as we age. We can live healthy, long lives if we eat whole, nutritious and delicious food. Being invested in tasty nutritious food now can only benefit our health as we age.

My clients have the benefit of having the meal planning, grocery shopping, prep work, cooking and clean-up handled by an expert. All meals are cooked and ready to go. Everyone is unique, Relish makes sure that you are fed well to your exact specifications. In my business I really get to know my clients and I am able to take care of their needs. My clients and I are able to develop a real sense of trust where I am able to anticipate their needs and work into their lives seamlessly.  (more…)

VT Brewing Boom Continues With Hyde Park Tasting Room

Success Story: Vermont

VT SBDC Success - Ten Bends BeerVtSBDC Specialty Services 
Key To Ten Bends Launch

Vermont is quickly becoming known as a destination for high quality brewing as breweries of various sizes continue to spring up across the landscape. One of the latest is Ten Bends Beer in Hyde Park.

Owned and operated by Michael Scarlata and Jason Powell, the 590 East Main Street brewhouse and tasting room recently started serving its craft brewed creations from its 3bbl system, but not before seeking assistance from Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtBSDC) Area Advisor and craft brewing specialist Charley Ininger.

In addition to being one of VtSBDC’s area advisors, Ininger is also part of the specialty services VtSBDC has to offer. With many years in the food and beverage business and a keen understanding of what it takes to make a brewery a success from concept to creation, Ininger has worked with many Vermont beer makers as the brewing boom continues to expand. In addition to individual advice and advising, Charley offers a class in the business of brewing, a workshop he has delivered across the country.  (more…)