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Developing a Business Plan for Allergen-Friendly Hot Cocoa

Ali Lazowski, Owner

Bare Life

March 27, 2019 -

After battling through chronic illness, Ali Lazowski set out on a mission to create a delicious, allergen-friendly treat that she could enjoy.

business start

Business Start


jobs created

Jobs Created




Owner: Ali Lazowski

Business Start Date: October 16, 2017

What Does Your Business Do?

We are a crave-worthy and allergen friendly food company. Our first treat is a coconut hot cocoa mix that’s dairy free, gluten free, vegan, organic, kosher, paleo and made in Connecticut.

What Inspired You to Start Your Business?

My journey with chronic illnesses, cancer and Lyme disease inspired me to create Bare Life.

Before Coming to the CTSBDC, What Were Your Primary Challenges and/or Needs?

As a new company, and with Bare Life being my first company, I was really excited about the wonderful mentoring and advice services the Connecticut Small Business Development Center offers.

How Has the CTSBDC Helped You Overcome Your Challenges?

With a startup, there are new and exciting challenges daily and my Business Advisor, Denise Whitford, has helped us with so much! She has helped us with everything from website and sales advice to importing and exporting expertise.

What Have You Learned/Changed Since Working with the CTSBDC?

I’ve learned a lot from the CTSBDC but most importantly were techniques on how to pitch and approach customers and buyers. But the best part is that Denise is there for anything the business needs and if she doesn’t know the answer she connects me with someone who does.

How is Your Business Doing Now? What Does Your Future Look Like?

Great! We just started selling our hot coca on September 10, 2018 and have sold well over 1,500 hot cocoas and had re-orders from both customers and wholesalers. We’re actually having a bit of trouble keeping up with the demand, but I’ve been told that’s a good problem.

What Was It Like Working With Your Advisor?

Wonderful! Like I said, Denise is fantastic. She is there for anything the business needs and if she doesn’t know the answer, she connects me with someone who does. I’m so grateful to be working with her.

What Words of Advice Would You Give to Small Businesses Looking to Work with CTSBDC?

Do it!

Quote from Business Advisor, Denise Whitford:

Ali has a contagious passion and energy about her – it was truly a pleasure to work with her at the RESET Accelerator and then carry that relationship further. We worked tirelessly together to unlock her market potential in a cost effective way and to get the word out to various retail distribution channels. While pushing on specific target market goals, Ali has grown her business much faster than she initially expected, carrying her brand and work with enthusiasm and confidence across the region. She’s done a great job presenting Bare Life products as simply and naturally delicious!

Learn more about Bare Life:

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