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Success Stories

September 20, 2021

Opening an Experience-focused Vineyard in Connecticut

As an experience-focused vineyard, Aquila’s Nest Vineyards was founded by Neviana Zhgaba and her husband, Ardian Llomi, to produce wines ultimately bring people together, cultivate stronger communities, provoke storytelling, and promote local art. Capital Accessed $120,000 SBA 7a Loan $70,000 Commercial Bank Loan $30,000 Line of Credit $5,000 DECD CARES Act Grant Jobs Created 29

February 25, 2021

Bringing a Taste of Italy to Old Saybrook

After a trip to Italy and experiencing the culture, Derrik and Kelley Kennedy decided to open their own wine bar in their community of Old Saybrook, CT. Being first-time business owners, they worked closely with the Connecticut Small Business Development Center to understand the requirements of opening this business and did so successfully in November […]

December 29, 2020

Brewing Beer With Your Better Half

Rachel and Matthew shared a passion for brewing beer and sharing it with their family and friends. When the opportunity came along to make their hobby a full time business, they were excited to take the next steps. However, as first-time entrepreneurs they had a lot of questions and needed help securing a loan for […]

April 15, 2019

Cakes and Pastries for all Occasions

With a passion for food and cakes that taste just as fabulous as they look, Lorals Cakes and Pastries was born. Founded by Lorraine Simon-Lewis, Lorals LLC was formed out of her home in February 2018 followed by Lorals Cakes and Pastries in November 2018. Business Start 2018 Capital Accessed Self-funded

January 29, 2019

Helping a Local Organic Cafe Grow Their Business

Robert Bernado, owner of Right Path Cafe came to Connecticut Small Business Development Center looking for help with putting plan in place to grow his business. He was connected with Matt Nemeth who helped him secure a line of credit and prepare for a profitable future. Business Start 2015 Capital Accessed CEDF Loan/Line of Credit

December 10, 2018

Creating a New Line of Protein Bars

Tony Leonardi and Lori Aleks created Muscle Up Bars as a response to there being no other protein bar available that was sweet potato based. By working with the Connecticut Small Business Development Center, they were able to secure a loan and grow their business in order to continue expanding. Business Start 2016 Capital Accessed […]

April 13, 2018

When a Quest for a Healthy Lifestyle Turns into a Business

When Ian Ceppos gave up alcohol for a healthier lifestyle, he soon realized there weren’t many drink options in social settings. He was at his wit’s end with seltzer and lime when he was introduced to kombucha. Together with his wife, Liz Ceppos, they did their research and tested recipes, but still lacked industry experience […]