The Viera Studio

The Viera Studio

The COVID epidemic threw a lot of curve balls at nearly every small business, and those involved in the arts and cultural activities were no exception. Reinvention and sometimes even a fight for survival were the order of the day. Monica Toro Lisciandro, founder of The Viera Studio for the Performing Arts and director of the Black Box Theatre Programme, recognized immediately that the pandemic was taking a toll on her organization and turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at Eastern Florida State College (FSBDC at EFSC), a subcenter of the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF).

At the Viera Studio for the Performing Arts, they pride themselves on building confidence, creativity, and fun! Professional entertainers hold events and workshops year-round for all ages, including cabarets, showcases, and special one-night engagements. They like to say, “When you’re here, the fun never ends.” Through their programs, students can explore various aspects of theater including acting, singing, dancing, stage design, and production. Experienced and highly trained instructors guide them through every step of the process, from auditions to rehearsals to final performances.

“The Viera Studio is a special place to be because of the magic that our families and our students bring,” Monica Lisciandro states proudly. “All of our students and our families are uplifted. When our kids come in, they feel like they are supported and they’re seen, they’re heard, and they’re valued. Because of that, they’re able to excel and feel like they can be confident and truly be themselves.”

“I sought out guidance from the FSBDC because, after COVID, we really needed to pivot for our business,” recalls Lisciandro. “We needed the guidance and the support of the FSBDC and their knowledge in order to be able to move forward and continue our business and continue to be successful in the times we were facing.”

Working with FSBDC at EFSC sub-center director and consultant Robin Braswell and others, Lisciandro took advantage of the full spectrum of the FSBDC’s services: no-cost, expert consulting; business training workshops, seminars and webinars; and access to deep and broad market research databases and resources. “My journey with the FSBDC has been excellent,” Lisciandro affirms. “I’ve been able to consult with Robin about my business. I’ve received data about our marketing, about our website. I’ve been able to access a plethora of trainings that have helped me be able to develop and take my business onward and upward.”

“The FSBDC has really helped our business grow,” concludes Lisciandro. “Our clientele –students from children to adults – has increased. We have reached out to schools in the community, and they are very interested in partnering with us to bring our programs into their school. We have a bigger reach and are able to offer the arts programs to not only the kids who come to our studio but also to the community. My personal experience working with the FSBDC has been excellent. For anyone that’s considering working with them, I would highly recommend it.”

For information about The Viera Studio for the Performing Arts, please visit

Nakiesa Photography

Nakiesa’s Photography

For many aspiring entrepreneurs with a compelling dream or exciting new idea, the first question is often, ‘Where do I start?” Building a firm foundation, managing start up risks, and launching with confidence and clarity are integral steps to establishing and growing a thriving business. Nakiesa Faraji-Tajrishi was a recent University of Central Florida graduate when she began contemplating starting her own venture, Nakiesa’s Photography. She turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance.

Nakiesa’s Photography isn’t your ordinary photo studio. It offers so much more, specifically professional photography and videography focused on serving clients in the luxury/adventure travel and travel-related services. “The product that I offer is social media content creation for travel products, for hotels, for tourism boards,” shares Nakiesa, “as well as general photography services.” She specializes in digital manipulation applying cutting edge software to a combination of drone and handheld photography, resulting in the creation of dynamic and impactful content that captivates people’s attention.

“When I was looking to start my own business, I actually had no idea where to start or what to do,” describes Nakiesa. During an online search, she discovered the Florida SBDC and its ‘How to Start Your Business’ seminar, and she was quickly off and running. “I was really excited about the opportunity to get some advice and seek some counseling from people who had been in the industry and understand the things you need to do to be successful as a small business owner,” she recalls.

Nakiesa committed herself 100 percent to starting her new business on the right footing. “With the Florida SBDC, I have actually come in about every two weeks consistently for the past two years for consulting services with my FSBDC consultant Chuck Wheeler. He’s just been phenomenal. He’s my go-to guy for just about any question I have. And I love that he has experience in the advertising industry which is the same industry that I’m trying to establish my business in.” Highlights of where Wheeler and the FSBDC assisted Nakiesa include its no-cost consulting, access to vast market data and research resources, and digital marketing planning.

“I found the FSBDC to be very warm and welcoming from the get-go,” continues Nakiesa. “When I approached them, I didn’t have a business plan. I didn’t have an LLC. I didn’t have any of those things. I just had questions and from the very beginning they were very friendly, explained everything with patience, and made me feel like it was completely possible and reasonable to start my own business. They held my hand and walked me through all the steps I needed to take in order to become this liberated entrepreneur that I feel I am today. It’s just been fantastic. I cannot recommend their services enough.”

“The success I have seen with my business and the results that I’ve achieved since I started working with the FSBDC have been phenomenal,” Nakiesa concludes. “Every single year since I started with them, I’ve been able to double my income from the previous year. This year I’m on track to double my income again. In just two years of operation, I am profitable and looking forward to expanding my business. I cannot stress enough how valuable the FSBDC has been to me in the creation and growth of my company and I am eternally grateful.”


Rolling Greens Landscape

Rolling Green Landscape Solutions

Entrepreneurs often become business owners on the strength of having a “better answer to a customer’s problem.” Even so, most entrepreneurial journeys are replete with challenges for a small business owner to address – frequently without significant experience or business training, and most often without substantial support. Eric Kobb, the founder and owner of Rolling Green Landscape Solutions, faced just that predicament and turned for assistance to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and its award-winning Advisory Board Council (ABC) program.

Orlando-based Rolling Green Landscape Solutions provides a full range of landscaping services to high-end residential and commercial clients. What sets it apart is the quality of its people and service, and the superiority of its technology. “The landscape industry is a crowded place,” explains Kobb. “The number one way we differentiate ourselves is through our people. We focus on hiring the best, on training and education, and on retaining them. We’re proud of the number of licensed and certified staff members we have. We also try to be more technologically advanced than most in our industry. It’s all part of making our teams more efficient, to allow us to communicate better with our clients, and overall just do a better job.”

“I have spent my whole life in the landscaping industry, so I have always known my trade,” Kobb points out. “I know my craft and I know how to service my customers. What I didn’t have any experience in was the business side of things: how to set up a business plan; how to have a marketing strategy; how to actually understand and grow our financials. I have seen other businesses flounder without that knowledge and I didn’t want to go down that path so I sought out the FSBDC.”

“When I first met with them, they recommended one of their programs: the Advisory Board Council,” Kobb recalls. Directed by Program Manager Jill Kaufman, each advisory board consists of a customized, no-cost panel of experts providing advice and counsel to help businesses grow. The FSBDC acts as a matchmaker between established local small businesses like Rolling Green Landscape Solutions and area professionals who volunteer their expertise as members of an advisory board, with each advisor purposefully selected to address the specific needs of the FSBDC client.

“We set up a board that would fill the voids in my personal experience,” Kobb states. “We built my board focused on the areas I could improve upon and we went from there. It’s been great. My ABC was pretty awesome in fact.” It included professionals in accounting and finance; Human Resources; advertising, marketing and branding; and banking. “It was really cool to see the different levers that can be pulled in the business world and how you could make yourself more successful and grow as an individual,” Kobb shares.

The FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council really made a difference for Kobb and Rolling Green. “Working with the FSBDC and my Board have been really impactful. It’s been huge,” Kobb concluded. “The results are staggering. Over the three years we have worked with the FSBDC, our profits are up, our revenues are up 139%, our employee count has more than doubled, we have expanded our facility, and we have increased our line of credit by three times (3X). It’s all really helped to position us for the future and for future growth, and I’m super excited about that. The FSBDC opened my eyes to how things are done and I want to thank them and everyone on my Board who helped me.”

For information about Rolling Green Landscape Solutions, please visit

Modern Sourcing Solutions

Modern Sourcing Solutions

The wisest, and often the most successful, entrepreneurs are the ones who acknowledge and embrace the old adage, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” For Scott Heitz, founder and owner of Modern Sourcing Solutions, a two-year old industrial supply distributor in Volusia County, his journey began by “just being humble in wanting to gather as much information as I could,” he explains. It was at the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) that he found much of the market information he sought, as well as valuable no-cost consulting and support.

Modern Sourcing Solutions delivers industrial supplies to customers across greater Orlando, as well as the Daytona area up to Flagler County and as far south as Melbourne. The product list is expansive, including degreasers, cleaners, hand scrubs, gloves, rags, solvents, absorbents, adhesives and more – the types of chemicals and tools industrial customers use constantly. The company services many different industries including automotive, aviation, firearm manufacturers, government, machine shops, manufacturing, marine, and municipalities.

Besides having almost any product an industrial company might need, “customers have chosen to do business with MSS because we are able to move quickly,” Heitz shares. “We’re not a big conglomerate. We’re local. Decisions can be made fast, and we have the ability to add products or specialty items as they arise to meet our customers’ needs quickly.”

“My personal experience working with the FSBDC, and specifically with my consultant Michael Oppenheim, has been really smooth,” Heitz recalls. “I’m a first-time business owner and I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I knew what I wanted to do. I knew where I wanted to go but didn’t necessarily know how to get there. Having many conversations with Michael and being able to bounce ideas off of him and getting feedback from him has made all the difference for me. Michael is always available, always helpful, always understanding and, more importantly, he has great suggestions.”

“I’ve been working with the FSBDC for about a year and a half now,” continued Heitz. “We have grown quite a bit over that time, faster than I ever thought we would. We started out as one 1,000 sq. ft. warehouse with just one office manager. I now have a driver, an office manager, and three (3) 1,000 sq. ft. warehouses. We have grown 46% from Year One to Year Two and, so far this year, we’re up 37%. Things are going great!”

“If I had to pick one word to describe the FSBDC, it would be ‘good’,” concluded Heitz. “I haven’t had one bad experience with them yet. I’ve had a good relationship with Michael. He took the time to understand where I was coming from and my needs and my requirements and the directions I wanted to go in, and he was always eager to help. Our appreciation goes out to Michael as well as the SBDC team for everything he has done to assist us.”

For information about Modern Sourcing Solutions, please visit .

Curis Decontamination

CURIS System

Imagine that you are an entrepreneurial small business presented with major growth opportunities in new, but unfamiliar, international markets. With little or no exporting experience, where should you turn for guidance and to learn what you need to know to be successful? For biodecontamination equipment manufacturer CURIS System and Jeff Woodson, its vice president, revenue operations, the answer was and is the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and its International Trade Services Program.

CURIS System, headquartered in Oviedo, FL, is a manufacturer and provider of biodecontamination equipment and solutions. “Our mission is to make biodecontamination safer and easier for pharmaceutical manufacturers, research laboratories, and health care providers,” Woodson explains, “so they can focus on their lifesaving and life-enhancing work without disruption from contamination by high concentration, high consequences chemicals.”

“There are a few things that makes CURIS really standout,” continues Woodson. “The first is the safety and ease of use of our product. Our patented technology allows us to achieve the same level of kill as the high concentration, high consequences chemicals while only using a 7% hydrogen peroxide solution. The other aspect that customers are happy with is the level of support and training that they receive from our team.”

Having built a successful business in the U.S., word spread throughout the biosafety and biosecurity world that CURIS provides a safe and effective solution for biodecontamination challenges. The company was soon approached by numerous different overseas customers and dealers asking CURIS to begin exporting to their countries. Fortunately, Enterprise Florida and the Florida SBDC Network, in partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service, offer a scholarship to assist qualified Floridian “new-to-export” manufacturers and service providers with identifying overseas growth strategies through the development of a customized Export Marketing Plan.

“Exporting was brand new to us,” Woodson recalls. “We did not know how to do it and did not have that expertise in house.” It was why the firm turned to the FSBDC and Jill McLaughlin, its International Trade program manager, for assistance. “Being able to connect with the FSBDC and take advantage of the Export Marketing Plan and the consulting services they offer was a huge help in getting us where we needed to be to export,” Woodson states today.

CURIS also took advantage of the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), funded by the Florida SBDC Network which had received a grant from the SBA to assist small businesses with export development. Through awards to eligible businesses, the STEP program helps small businesses overcome obstacles to exporting by providing grants to cover costs associated with entering and expanding into international markets. “It helped us cover the travel and lodging costs to get over there and be able to meet with clients and steward our product and support so that they were very happy with the installation and implementation of the product,” shares Woodson.

“The Export Marketing Plan was extremely helpful. As we have grown and expanded around the world, being able to rely on the FSBDC and the resources they have been able to connect us with has been absolutely critical to us being able to successfully grow, especially abroad, but also domestically,” affirms Woodson. “Since connecting with the FSBDC, our export volume has increased by 400% and we’re expecting to grow even faster from there. We’ve been extremely lucky to have the support of the FSBDC. For any entrepreneur, I would highly recommend reaching out to them for the breadth of their services, their support, and the knowledge that they can provide.”

For information about CURIS System, please visit .

NovoaGlobal. Creating Safer Communities.

NovoaGlobal, Inc.

If two heads are better than one, then how valuable must a group of eight experts and consultants be when all are dedicated to helping you make your small business more successful? And all at no cost? Carlos Lofstedt, founder and CEO of NovoaGlobal, Inc. – an automated traffic enforcement pioneer – found himself in exactly that enviable position when he enrolled his company in the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida’s (FSBDC at UCF) award-winning Advisory Board Council program.

NovoaGlobal® is a leading developer and manufacturer of photo enforcement, including school zone speed and red light enforcement, and intelligence solutions designed to improve traffic safety, reduce road injuries and fatalities, and help law enforcement reduce/solve crime in their communities. “Our vision is to create safer communities for our families,” shares Lofstedt. “We do that by implementing different solutions for traffic safety and public safety like speed enforcement, red light enforcement, license recognition and so on.”

Customer service and superior technology set NovoaGlobal apart from its competitors. “One of the big differentiators between our company and others is the service level we provide,” Lofstedt explains. “Our existing clients rave about us and it’s something we’re very proud about. Besides that, our technology is a very important factor. We have been able to outperform the largest companies in the world.”

Lofstedt learned about the FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council program while attending a Small Business Administration event. “I was introduced to Jill Kaufman (FSBDC Associate Director and ABC program manager) and it really caught my interest to be able to have a board where I could get input from experts within different areas to try to grow the business,” he recalls.

The Advisory Board Council program is a next-level, business support service aimed at helping established Central Florida businesses grow. Each advisory board is comprised of a customized, no-cost panel of experts providing advice and counsel to the FSBDC client. The FSBDC acts as a matchmaker between established local small businesses like NovoaGlobal and area professionals who volunteer their expertise as members of an advisory board, with each advisor purposefully selected to address the specific needs of the participating company.

“Working with the FSBDC and our Advisory Board gave several benefits to our company,” Lofstedt states, “because the board members we had were able to increase our marketing exposure, improve our website and helped us increase sales in general”. In addition, NovoaGlobal was able to take advantage of the FSBDC’s International Trade program which produced an Export Marketing Plan that assisted its entry into new global markets.

“The Advisory Board helps you get a different perspective and pushed us in a different direction that is more beneficial for our company,” concludes Lofstedt. “We had an increase in sales of almost 100% from 2019 to 2022, and have been awarded multiple contracts, including government contracts during that period that are over $50 million in total.” Proof positive that eight heads are better than one, especially when they are part of an FSBDC Advisory Board.

For information about NovoaGlobal, please visit

Culture Studio

Culture Studio

It’s never easy to be the “new kid” in town. It can be even harder when you are opening a new office and manufacturing facility almost 1,200 miles away from your headquarters in Chicago. For Rich Santo, CEO of Culture Studio — a technology company that powers merch sales for the music and entertainment industries – getting off to a great start in the company’s new locale of Daytona Beach was paramount. Having the Florida Small Business Development Center at Daytona State College (FSBDC at DSC), a sub-center of the FSBDC at UCF, in his corner quickly became one of the ways he assured his success.

Culture Studio is in the business of accomplishing apparel and merchandise production in quantity for music, entertainment, retail, and e-commerce customers. Do you remember that fantastic memento you snagged at your last big event? It could have been from Culture Studio. “We are a platform for artists to make merchandise at scale,” describes Santo. “It consists of a proprietary technology that we build in house to power all of our physical assets, like our factories that are set up throughout the country. It’s something nobody can copy. We’ve been building this piece of tech since 2014. It is certainly our ‘secret sauce’ and what makes working with us special for our customers. We call it the ‘CS Experience’ and it’s what makes us better and successful.”

“Our headquarters is in Chicago and our newest facility, a 76,000 sq. ft. office and manufacturing plant, is in Daytona Beach, maybe a block and a half from the Daytona Speedway,” shares Santo. “When we entered the State of Florida, my first questions were: what are the opportunities and what agencies are there to help us get comfortable in the state?” Santo wanted to pinpoint who would be the best fit to help Culture Studio navigate uncharted territories. It was during his initial search that he discovered the FSBDC at Daytona State College.

“The services and overall experience at the FSBDC and with Trecia Marchand (DSC sub-center director and business consultant) and her team have been really incredible for us,” Santo recalls. Leveraging the FSBDC’s no-cost, expert consulting services, Santo was introduced to all corners of the Daytona business community. “The FSBDC has been a really great extension of our team,” Santo continues. “The biggest thing is just the connections, meeting different people and getting introductions.” A security company who is now a building tenant and a top-notch realtor were just two of the valuable connections he has made. “We got to meet so many great people that probably would have taken us months to find. We were kind of fast tracked into all these relationships. To be completely honest, doing business in Daytona has been amazing.”

“The impact on our business of opening our facility in Florida has been awesome,” concludes Santo. “Through first quarter 2023, we have had 68% growth in top line revenue. We have our 76,000 sq. ft. facility up and running. We have hired 65 team members in less than a year, and that’s only 20% of the people we will eventually need. We’ve used a lot of local contractors. I think we’ve become a big part of the community and it’s great for us and for Daytona.” The FSBDC at DSC is proud to have contributed in some small part to Culture Studio’s strong start in the state of Florida.

For information about Culture Studio, please visit

Outsource Equipment Company

Outsource Equipment Company

Small business owners will often admit, when they are being brutally honest, that running a company can be a lonely undertaking. After all, when you are up against the daily challenges of satisfying customers, motivating employees, and outperforming competitors, no one at the office or at home wants to hear about your worries. It would only scare them. What to do?

For Mark Smith, founder and president of Outsource Equipment Company, a materials handling equipment distributor, the answer was found in two programs offered to second-stage companies by the Florida Small Business Development Center at The University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF): the Advisory Board Council (ABC) and the CEO XChange, both of which surrounded Smith with multiple knowledgeable and expert voices to coach him forward.

Outsource Equipment Company (OEC) provides material handling equipment and solutions for warehouses, distribution centers, and even the factory floor. The company offers both new and used equipment from the finest manufacturers, and it engineers results that save customers time, money, and space. Specialties include vertical lift modules, conveyers, pallet rack and shelving, mezzanine systems and much more. “We specialize in just vertical storage systems,” Smith explains, “so we have gotten very good at it. It’s a niche that we’re very happy to be the best in.”

As a client of the FSBDC at UCF, Smith had benefited from its no-cost, expert consulting; business training; and market research services. Through these resources, he learned about the FSBDC’s award winning ABC and CEO Exchange programs and signed up. The FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council, led by FSBDC Associate Director Jill Kaufman, provides no-cost, customized boards of volunteer experts specially selected to address the specific needs of the FSBDC client by providing advice and counsel to help the business grow. CEO XChange is an executive roundtable program serving progressive chief executives and business owners in Central Florida. Facilitated by FSBDC consultant Hal Thayer, it offers a confidential setting for top executives to discuss vital business issues, opportunities, and trends with a group of peers and provides opportunities to broaden their business perspectives and gain new knowledge by engaging in collaborative thinking and problem-solving.

“What I like about the CEO XChange is I get to hear from a lot of different CEOs from different companies in different industries with different ways of doing business with different kinds of customers,” remarks Smith. “It’s really helpful to me to get a well-rounded approach to doing business well.” Continuing, Smith recalls, “As a member of the CEO XChange, I noticed other companies in the group who had been in the Advisory Board Council program, and they seemed to be doing really well. I applied and was accepted. Once involved, it really helped us to get direction, to focus on what we are good at, and to get some financing. Acting on what we learned from the ABC advisors made us a much more solid business.”

“The FSBDC, CEO XChange, and the Advisory Board Council, and what I have learned from them, has had real positive effects on our business,” Smith concluded. “2022 was our best year ever, about 50% over what we did in 2021. We were able to do that by listening to other people on the CEO XChange and doing what was suggested by the Advisory Board Council, and just seeing it through. I would highly recommend any CEO to join the CEO XChange and look into the Advisory Board Council.”

For information about Outsource Equipment Company, please visit .

Quickease Mobile Detailing

Quickease Mobile Car Wash

Rapid growth often poses a challenge for a small business, particularly when it comes to finding the capital necessary to fund expansion efforts. For Harley Davey, owner and founder of Quickease Mobile Car Wash and Detailing, customer demand for his company’s services was quickly rising and he knew that augmenting his business with additional vehicles and personnel presented a major opportunity to increase revenues. To finance these critical resources, Davey turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance and he’s happy he did.

Serving the Greater Orlando area, Quickease Mobile Car Wash and Detailing is all about customer service and satisfaction. With an internally developed app for quick and easy online appointment booking and team members who come directly to the customer’s location at the client’s convenience, Quickease handles everything from quick cleanings to full detailing, all at reasonable prices. “We stand out above the competition,” Davey claims, “because we’re here to do great work while saving our customers as much time as possible. Our entire service is focused on convenience. It’s why we’ve become the highest rated mobile car wash and detailing company in our region.”

Quickease’s top-notch customer ratings have translated into a surge in demand for its services, so much so that the company was hard pressed to meet that growing need with the resources it had. “As with most small businesses, growth costs a lot of money and we are growing super rapidly,’” Davey explains. “We approached various organizations for help, the FSBDC being one of them. We asked for different options and some advice on how to get funding that would push us to or through our next phase of growth. Luckily, the FSBDC really connected with us and was able to point us in the right direction and give us a lot of super helpful advice that helped us get the funding we needed at the time we needed it.”

“My experience with the FSBDC has been phenomenal,” Davey recalls. Working with FSBDC consultant Margaret Incandela, Davey prepared a business plan and other mandatory materials needed for a competitive loan application package. “Maggie has been wonderful. She asked me a lot of questions about my business and gained a full understanding of what we do and what we want to do in the future. Then she explained how she and the FSBDC could help make those goals a reality. By the time we were ready to apply, we really had everything just right. At the same time, she also provided all sorts of resources and other connections that are of great benefit to our company,” Davey remarked.

In the end, Quickease was approved for the line of credit and vehicle loans Davey hoped to acquire. “Working with the FSBDC has helped our business in a number of ways,” Davey concludes. “We accessed the capital we needed and that allowed us to expand our service vehicle fleet by 60%. It also gave us the ability to hire on some additional team members who have been extremely helpful. The FSBDC has been nothing but supportive since Day One, and that has really helped with my confidence as a small business owner and my motivation to keep on pushing for more success.”

For information about Quickease Mobile Carwash, please visit .

Shadrach's Fiery Furnace Logo

Shadrach’s Fiery Furnace

Growth is almost always top of mind for small business owners. Ambitious and immersed in taking their businesses to the ‘next level’, their focus is locked on increased market share, greater revenues, expanded staffing and, most importantly, higher profits. Sarah Carney, Jack Carney and Nate Carney, the entrepreneurial, Millennial sibling team and founders and owners of Shadrach’s Fiery Furnace Pizza Company, were eager to take Shadrach’s to that “next level.” To make that happen, they turned for assistance to the Florida Small Business Development Center at Seminole State College (FSBDC at SSC), a sub-center of the FSBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF).

Shadrach’s Fiery Furnace began ten years ago as a traveling operation serving wood-fired pizza at music festivals, art festivals, and catering events across the state of Florida. Today, it is much more, having expanded into a brick & mortar restaurant with a fun vibe and a fantastic patio space in Mt. Dora, FL. “We’re a family-run business,” Sarah Carney explained proudly, “we are three siblings devoted to making a great product and serving it to cool people.” “What makes us special is our dedication to quality food and the good people we surround ourselves with,” continued Jack Carney. “The people make the patio and that’s paramount to us,” Nate Carney says, finishing his brother’s sentence. “We are cool people doing hot *&#@!” summarized Sarah, with a smile.

“The FSBDC was recommended to us and what they can do for a business is exactly what I was looking for,” Sarah shared. “I needed tools, I needed resources, and I needed an adult in the room and that is what the SBDC has provided to us.”

“When we started our journey with the FSBDC and its no-cost consulting, we were struggling to build the infrastructure to take the next step in our business,” recalled Jack Carney. “What the counseling from our FSBDC consultant Monica Williams did was help us organize our thoughts, organize our plans and gain the tools we needed to grow into what we are now,” he continued.  “The FSBDC was especially instrumental to us through COVID by helping us to access and correctly apply for funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and then for forgiveness of the PPP Loan,” Sarah highlighted.

“We’re finally in the position where we have the opportunity for growth and now have the infrastructure to handle it,” remarked Nate Carney. Jack Carney went on to say that “since we started working with the FSBDC, we have opened our restaurant; we have expanded our mobile operation; we have extended our catering; we have more employees than we’ve ever had; and we’ve got a litany of other opportunities on the horizon.” Best of all, that growth has translated into terrific business results. “We’ve set back-to-back monthly sales records,” Jack reported. “And we’re finally in the black after years of work, for the first time ever.”

“If I had to describe the FSBDC in one word it would be ‘vital’,” concluded Nate. “Vital as a resource to small businesses that don’t have the tools to grow.” “Vital as an organization with cool people who want to help make their community better,” added Sarah. “And vital to us in our business by positioning us for the next step.”

For information about Shadrach’s Fiery Furnace Pizza Company, please visit