WBC Success Stories


photoIt is notoriously hard to break into the restaurant business, let alone succeed in it. Chef Melissa Coriaty has managed to do both with Verbena, a restaurant and catering business located in South Portland, Maine. Offering local ingredients at reasonable prices, Verbena has grown to a total of six employees (with another hire in the works). Support from CEI’s Women’s Business Center and a $35,000 loan helped Vebena open and expand at a time when many other restaurants were closing or just managing to survive. Read more

Bixby & Co., LLC

20140410_200008_4_resized (2)Bixby & Co., LLC, a Women’s Business Center at CEI client, and exemplary “triple bottom line” startup company, creates chocolates from all natural or organic ingredients, free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and additives. Kate McAleer, entrepreneur and co-founder of Bixby & Co, brought Bixby Bars from New York State to Coastal Farms in Belfast, Maine, and in March, settled in Rockland. Read more

Tortillería Pachanga

tortillaLynne Rowe has always been interested in local food and food production. A former Spanish teacher, she spent time in Mexico, where she witnessed and learned tortilla-making from Michoacan women and factory owners in Oaxaca. She also learned the importance of local ingredients, underscoring the Mexican ethos, “Without corn, there is no country.” Read more

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