Lake County Success Stories



Going it alone as a small business owner can be a prescription for hard times. There are daily challenges, fires to put out, employees to manage, customers to satisfy, and opportunities to leverage or miss out on. The rewards and satisfaction from owning your own business are also bountiful, but are much easier to come by when you have assistance. Cassandra Daniel, the owner alongside her husband Mike Ballard of Mt. Dora, FL-based metal fabricator MBD FAB LLC, recognized that help from outside their company could be beneficial and turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) in Lake County for its expert, no-cost business consulting, training, and access to market research. They are glad they did.

MBD Fabricators is a full-scale fabrication and manufacturing company offering complete services from concept to installation. Using Mike Daniel’s extraordinary creativity and expertise in tandem with state-of-the-art equipment to meet customer specifications, the firm’s attention to detail ensures that a project meets its customers’ needs and exceeds their expectations. “What sets us apart,” describes Cassandra Daniel, “is we’re smaller and able to deal one-on-one with our customers. Say you have an idea, and you bring it to us. We can take it from idea to completion because we have in-house CAD drawers, and my husband is a phenomenal fabricator.”

“I originally sought assistance from the FSBDC because my husband and I had a vision for the growth of our company but weren’t quite sure how to basically tie all the knots and lay all the lines for that growth to come to pass,” recalls Cassandra. “As a new entrepreneur, I needed somebody to help me understand what I already knew, to be basically a confidence boost, and the FSBDC has definitely been that for us.”

“To be completely transparent, I was a little nervous when meeting my FSBDC consultant for the first time,” admits Cassandra. “I knew we needed the help but didn’t know what to expect. But I took the leap of faith and met with SBDC consultant John Doramus. He is super personable and just sat down with us to learn about us, about our company, and about where we want to take it. We talked about our dreams, our vision, our goals and he helped us put a game plan in place to get there. It was amazing.”

Working with FSBDC consultant Doramus, the Daniels were able to get a better grip on their company and chart a course forward. “John helped us fully understand where we sit in our business and what the next steps should be,” explains Cassandra. “He has taken us to the point where we’ve gotten all of our paperwork together to apply for and be approved for a bank loan to buy new equipment that we need to double our revenues within the next 12 months and we’re super excited about it. He also helped us look at the different products we manufacture and determine which were high profit and which were holes in the boat letting all the water in. As a result, we’ve made changes in our product lines that is really going to be key for us going forward.”

Today, thanks to seeking guidance and to accessing the FSBDC’s support, MBD FAB LLC has new equipment, a new facility, and new opportunities. “The FSBDC helped us open doors we didn’t know we needed or wanted opened, and see things in a different light,” Cassandra Daniel concluded. “It was definitely worth it to work with FSBDC.”

For information about MBD FAB, please visit


ClariVita Language Services

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or

                 Jose Molfino, Area Manager, FSBDC at UCF – Lake County, 352.404.7338 or

Orlando, FL – When that entrepreneurial bug bites and a professional decides to strike out on their own, it can be daunting to know where to begin or how to address the challenges that can arise when operating a new venture. Often the founder of a new business is an expert in her field but lacks experience running a company. Mara Abraham, co-founder and CEO of ClariVita Language Services, found herself in exactly that position and turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) in Lake County for assistance.

ClariVita Language Services is in the business of helping companies and organizations become diversified, multicultural, and multilingual. The firm offers a variety of services including interpretation and translation; transcription and audio dubbing; and consultation and implementation of language access plans to organizations who are looking to increase patient and customer satisfaction, reduce liabilities, and provide equal access to the services they offer to people who are limited English proficient (LEP), deaf, and/or hard of hearing.

“Besides providing top-notch professional services, we also offer a great customer experience,” Abraham states proudly. “And that’s what sets us apart. We have an amazing team of both staff and professional linguists who deliver our services at a fair price, and make sure our clients have the best experience possible when they do. We’re very proud of the fact that we have grown mostly organically so far and are really thrilled to see clients coming back to us year after year.”

“The reason I sought out assistance from the FSBDC is I needed help on the business side,” Abraham recalls. “I had been self-employed as an interpreter for more than 20 years. I knew a lot about the industry – a whole lot – but I knew less about business. I felt I lacked the business knowledge and business acumen, and I was looking for somebody to guide me through my next learning curve.”

“My experience working with the FSBDC has been outstanding,” Abraham says. Leveraging the FSBDC’s no-cost, expert consulting; business training and workshops; and access to market research and data bases gave her the assurance and knowledge she was looking for. “I have received the education and training that I felt I needed to fill the in the gaps I mentioned.” Together with Jose Molfino, consultant and area manager for the FSBDC’s Lake County office, she set up her accounting system to track transactions and profitability and established an annual budget to measure her performance. “Jose has been with me every step of the way. I went through a very hard personal time in the last year and a half, and he held my hand while still keeping me accountable and allowing me to go at my own pace.”

“The results of this whole year of consulting have been amazing,” concludes Abraham. “We have doubled our staff and doubled our revenue. We’re now ready to scale our business with confidence knowing that we have the tools and the support we need to make that happen.” For entrepreneurs and business owners thinking about working with the FSBDC, Abraham says: “There’s nothing to think about. Pull the trigger right now. It’s only going to help you grow your business. It’s all the expert advice you want and need, and don’t even know you need, right there at your fingertips for free.”

For information about ClariVita Language Services, please visit

Messina and Associates

Messina & Associates

The motivations behind entrepreneurship can come in many forms. Inventing a new product or service, identifying an unmet customer need or deciding they can deliver results for clients superior to those of their current employer are just a few examples of the drivers behind new business creation. In the case of Victoria Messina, founder and President of Messina & Associates, a wastewater treatment solutions firm, the entrepreneur in her saw ways to serve customers better than the companies she had worked for during her career and decided to strike out on her own, turning to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) in Lake County for assistance.

Messina & Associates provides wastewater treatment systems and products to contractors, municipalities and builders throughout Florida and the Caribbean. It sets itself apart from its competition by offering customized service to every client. “I personally take time to understand the customer’s requirements,” says Messina. “We listen, provide thoughtful feedback, and interpret the customer’s needs. Then we offer site-specific designs and solutions. It is one of the things I enjoy most about my job: providing solutions for customers who maybe thought there wasn’t one available.” The company also supplies products that are hard to come by. “We stock a lot of specialty products; our customers appreciate the short lead times and prompt service we offer,” she added.

“I originally sought out assistance from the FSBDC because I knew that there were items I needed to learn but didn’t know,” Messina recalls. “In essence, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I’d been in business for a long time but not personally as owner and I wanted to know what the parameters were for success and needed assurance that I was headed down the right path.” Fortunately, Messina found what she was looking for in the no-cost, expert consulting; business training and seminars; and access to market data she found at the FSBDC.

“My experience with the FSBDC has been fantastic,” Messina says today. “I really enjoyed working with John Doramus (FSBDC consultant in Lake County). I attribute a lot of my success to his assistance. I can’t say enough about his willingness to help me with anything and everything that I asked for. I took classes and went to seminars on doing business with the government that were incredibly valuable.” Doramus and the FSBDC also aided in finding, evaluating and securing financing for the company’s current facility in Tavares, FL.

“Since I started working with the FSBDC, we have seen growth in our business of at least 25 – 30 percent,” Messina concluded. “I would describe the experience of working with the FSBDC as nothing short of miraculous. It was an incredible resource. To be honest with you, I don’t even know how I found out about the FSBDC but I sure am glad I did. As a small business owner and an entrepreneur, I would highly recommend them to anyone.”

For information about Messina & Associates, please visit

Mickey Finn's Irish Pub

Mickey Finn’s Irish Pub

Imagine the excitement. You’re a small business owner and restauranteur who has returned to your roots, having bought a bar/restaurant after taking extended R&R in the Florida Keys. Your new place in Clermont, FL – Mickey Finn’s Irish Pub – has been open exactly one week, the customers are coming in, life is good. And then “Wham!” The Pandemic explodes and your business is shut down completely, for weeks. The excitement goes out the door and survival becomes the number one priority. Those were the cards dealt to Micky Finn’s new owners, Ron Greeley and his wife Pat. Fortunately for them, they turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida’s (FSBDC at UCF) in Lake County and FSBDC consultant John Doramus, and that made all the difference.

Mickey Finn’s Irish Pub is the genuine article, right down to the bar itself. All of the furnishings and interior and exterior finishes, including the bar, cabinets, furniture, and décor are authentically Irish, imported from Derry, Ireland itself. The imported beers on tap and the old country menu further showcase the authenticity of the experience. “People come in here and have a real feeling of a pub rather than just a bar,” says Pat Greeley. “We serve the local community as well as international customers, including from the UK and Canada,” continued Ron Greeley. “Our slogan is ‘An Irish Pub with a Key West Attitude.’”

A great concept with a loyal following isn’t enough in the face of a pandemic. “We had first opened the pub in March 2020 and a week later we were shut down because of the COVID virus,” relates Ron Greeley. “They shut us down for six weeks and we lost just about all of our supplies and beer and food. We had to put an extraordinary amount of our own money into the pub just to stay afloat. Our funds were quickly depleted, and we turned to the FSBDC for advice. That’s when we met John Doramus. He is above all the reason we’re still in business.”

After meeting with the Greeley’s and assessing the challenging situation, the FSBDC’s Doramus got to work on finding and connecting them with resources and assistance. After limping through 2020 earning barely 25% of pre-Covid revenues, they started to see slight growth in 2021. Meanwhile, Doramus helped the Greeley’s receive funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program and its Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Then he went a step further, showing them the way to receiving Employee Retention Credit funds as well as how to implement a new financial management system.

“If it weren’t for John Doramus and his cohorts at the FSBDC, we would not be where we are today. I cannot thank them enough,” shares Ron Greeley. “John provided us expert advice as to what to do, how to proceed, how to get through the myriad of alphabet agencies that were providing economic disaster funding. John was the one glowing light in this whole dark episode of the Pandemic.” Concluded Pat Greeley: “I wouldn’t hesitate to tell anyone to go ahead and work with the FSBDC. We are successful now because we did.”

For information about Mickey Finn’s Irish Pub, please visit

Ultimate Health Direct Primary Care

Ultimate Health Direct Primary Care

Successful entrepreneurs typically have a spirit, an energy, a kind of determination that drives them to meet and overcome the many challenges faced when starting a new business. For Amanda Neil, now the owner and operator of Ultimate Health Direct Primary Care, LLC, it was the conviction that she had a great idea for improving the delivery of healthcare in Lake County, Florida that inspired her to pursue a new venture. With assistance from the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF), Neil was able to turn her idea into reality.

At Ultimate Health Direct Primary Care, Neil and her team do healthcare a little differently. Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a new and innovative personalized approach to medical care management. This affordable, patient-centric model gives members access to unlimited primary care. The focus is to provide every patient with individualized attention to meet his or her specific healthcare needs; 24/7; days, nights, weekends; and in whatever manner they choose: phone, telehealth, email, in office. And it’s all covered by a single, monthly fee.

Ultimate Health DPC’s monthly direct pay, flat fee is likely to cover 80-90% of the issues for which patients need to seek medical care, including: routine and preventative care; sick visits, weight loss management, and chronic disease management. Gone are the high costs of standard health insurance with traditional pay-per-visit doctor’s appointment co-pays, and expensive and often unnecessary visits to urgent care centers or emergency rooms. This model works well for patients and their employers alike, resulting in lower expenses and fewer sick days.

“At Ultimate Health DPC, we put the patient back in the center of care,” Neil explains. “Personal attention is what we offer. Our billing model supports that focus; it’s set up as a monthly membership model that offers patients unlimited, 24-hour access to me as their primary care provider.”

“When the idea for Ultimate Health DPC came to me, I approached my credit union for advice,” recalls Neil. “And they referred me to the FSBDC. I am a health care professional, not a businesswoman. At least I wasn’t a businesswoman until I started working with the FSBDC. With their help, today I am.”

“I just know I had an idea. With my FSBDC consultant Jamie Mead, she took my idea and helped me write my business plan,” continued Neil. “Then together we went after an SBA loan. The FSBDC helped me with everything the bank needed. We checked every box. Jamie made sure we presented a strong loan application and helped me educate our banker and answer his questions about our new cash-based, membership health care model. My consultant ensured we had the data, and that our story was iron clad. And we got the loan!”

“If I had to use one word to describe the FSBDC, it would be ‘partner’” said Neil. “The SBDC and my consultant Jamie took on my dream and made it her dream. And now it’s come true. We got the loan and now Ultimate Health DPC is off to a great start. We have only been open for 30 days, and we are already halfway to our first-year patient goal,” Neil shared proudly. “I think they like us” she concluded with a smile.

For information about Ultimate Health Direct Primary Care, please visit

USO Biomedical Services Logo

USO Biomedical Services

Making the move from home school mom to day-to-day management of the family business is a major transition, especially if you don’t have experience running a small company. Cindy Brammer was willing to learn and accept that challenge when she took over as president of USO Biomedical Services (USO Biomed). She was also smart enough to know what she didn’t know and turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida – Lake County (FSBDC at UCF – Lake County) for assistance.

USO Biomed services and repairs medical equipment, and they know that properly functioning medical equipment can be the difference between life and death. The company offers the best in medical equipment calibration, repair, and preventive maintenance in Florida, serving doctors’ offices, research facilities and urgent care clinics, as well as dental and veterinary offices.

What sets USO Biomed apart is that deploys certified biomedical equipment technicians (CBET) who calibrate to national and international standards, and is qualifying for ISO 17205 certification, internationally recognized as the highest standard for testing and calibration. USO Biomed prides itself in providing the quality service their clients deserve so they can give their patients the quality care they need.

Cindy Brammer joined her husband Wes, an expert in medical equipment repair, after he had successfully started the business and had it growing. Having left her position with a medial surgical organization to be a home school mother and now to be managing the family business, she was taking on very different responsibilities including sales and marketing, bookkeeping and many other duties. Unfortunately, not all of that work was familiar to her. That’s when she turned to the FSBDC at UCF in Lake County and Eddie Hill, its Area Manager and lead consultant.

“The reason I tried to find help and found it absolutely with the FSBDC is that I realized that I didn’t know all that I needed to know in order to make the company successful,” recalls Brammer. “I needed help, and I needed it quickly and that’s exactly what I found with the FSBDC.”

Brammer took advantage of the FSBDC’s no-cost, expert consulting, business seminars and workshops, and access to market research.  “The FSBDC has been a fantastic resource.  I was able to sit down for one-on-one consultation with Eddie Hill and, from Day One, it has been awesome,” Brammer continued. “He’s always there and he’s been able to give me the direction I needed. The seminars that I attended were incredibly useful. Eddie was also able to get me market information that was invaluable. And he put me in touch with a marketing firm that has been absolutely wonderful for us.”

On the strength of the Brammer’s hard work and with the FSBDC’s assistance, USO Biomed has prospered. “From when we started with the FSBDC, we have been able to double our client base and our gross revenues have increased 200% or more,” Cindy Brammer states proudly. “The FSBDC has been what I needed when I needed it.  They were there anytime I had a question, if I needed one of their seminars, if I needed information. They were there and it’s been fantastic.”

For more information about USO Biomedical Services, please visit

Integrass Logo


Taking a business to the next level of success is often a daunting task. With the start-up phase behind them, how can an entrepreneur best scale up their company from simple profitability to the second stage of significant revenues and a meaningful return on investment? COO & President Arathi Rajagopalan and CEO Vijay Krishnan, founders and principal owners of Integrass – an IT services, products, and solutions company –   found themselves asking that very question and discovered answers at the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) in its Advisory Board Council (ABC) program.

Since its founding in 2011, Integrass has grown from an IT services company into much more. Today the firm creates competitive advantage for organizations around the world by implementing customized, end-to-end IT solutions that help achieve business success, leveraging leading technology platforms in a global delivery model.

The Integrass company story is a good one. “We stumbled through the initial startup stages,” Krishnan recalls humbly. “By 2013 we had hit our first $1 million in revenue. But in a startup’s lifecycle, a million dollars is kind of just a starter. You can either become non-existent or you can grow and navigate the small business no man’s land to get yourself to the next milestone which is predominantly the $5 million revenue target.”

“What Integrass lacked at that time was the expertise, knowledge and guidance about how to build a company from $1 million to $5 million in revenues,” Krishnan explains. “And that’s why we got introduced to the Advisory Board Council at the FSBDC.”

Designed for established, second-stage companies, the Advisory Board Council provides no-cost, customized teams of volunteer professionals who offer advice and counsel to help small businesses grow. The program acts as a matchmaker between established local small businesses and area professionals who donate their expertise as members of an advisory board, with each of the volunteers purposefully selected to address the specific needs of the FSBDC client.

“The FSBDC meticulously crafted a Board which gave us expertise in the areas where we were lacking – financial management, strategic planning, marketing & sales management – and then actually guided us through the whole journey to where we could navigate ourselves and reach that $5 million target,” Krishnan states.

“The Advisory Board was a great forum to bring in our business challenges, big or small,” Rajagopalan remarks. “Then they helped me understand that I needed to be more focused on strategy and let go of operational tasks. It really helped bring out the better leader in me.”

In fact, since starting with the FSBDC’s ABC, Integrass has enjoyed impressive growth. “When we joined the Advisory Board Council, we were a $1 million-dollar company and looking for direction” Krishnan recalls. “Since then, from a metrics perspective, revenues have grown from $1 million to $7 million, the number of employees has grown from 25 to 105 and we have moved from a rental office to four locations around the world. Most important, we have built growth accelerators and created new products, growing from zero in the beginning to six today with plans for more in the future,” he concludes.

For more information about Integrass, please visit

Ringer's More Than Mulch

Ringer’s More than Mulch Landscaping Supplies

Access to capital – whether it be securing a loan, finding an investor, or tapping into personal savings – is often named as the No. 1 challenge faced by entrepreneurs and small business owners. It is precisely the barrier that Brian Ringer and his mother Deb faced as they contemplated starting a landscaping supplies business in Leesburg, FL. and why they turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) – Lake County Office.

Ringer's More Than Mulch

Ringer’s More Than Mulch

Brian Ringer has almost 20 years of experience in the landscaping supply business and saw an opportunity to provide products to landscapers and homeowners in fast-growing Lake County.  Together with his mother, he registered Ringer’s More Than Mulch Landscaping Supplies with the intention of offering a large assortment of mulches, both decorative and commercial rock, and various soils and sands for all landscaping and gardening needs. All with an emphasis on fast, convenient and friendly customer service. “Thank You Very Mulch!” was (and now is) their motto.

Before they could open their doors, however, they needed to obtain funding. “We’d come to the FSBDC before to start a business but found we weren’t ready,” recalls Deb Ringer. ”But now we were ready and came back to them for assistance. And they started helping us the minute we walked in the door.”

“They asked us all the right questions and we had all the right answers,” Deb Ringer continued. “They told us we had a good idea and that they could help us get off the ground. We left that meeting with the confidence that we could do this, that we could start our business.”

FSBDC consultant and Lake County Area Manager Eddie Hill and program assistant Cesar Gomez laid out a plan with the Ringers, starting with preparation of a business plan. “They gave us an outline and we did a draft,” says Mrs. Ringer. “They reviewed it and we tweaked it. There were more drafts, more reviews and more tweaks. Then it was done, and we were ready.”

Once the business plan was completed, the FSBDC helped the Ringers find a bank who wanted to work with them and offered Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loans. “We met with our banker, brought in our business plan that Eddie Hill had helped us write and it was accepted. The bank was astounded. They said they’d never seen a business plan put together so well” states Brian Ringer. “Our loan application was later approved and we were on our way.”

Ringer’s More Than Mulch Landscaping Supplies had their grand opening in early August and they are indeed on their way. Customers have been pleased with the family atmosphere, friendly service, and competitive prices. “We’re off to a great start,” says Brian.

“Our experience with the FSBDC was phenomenal,” concluded Brian Ringer. “These guys were on top of everything. They were always there for any question that we had. Actually, many times they knew the questions before we even asked them. Working with the FSBDC is a wise choice. They will take you in the right direction and show you where you need to go. We are forever grateful.”

For information about Ringer’s More than Mulch Landscaping Supplies, please visit

Kelani Kleaning

Kalani Kleaning

When you own and run a small business, you are a “CEO” as in “Chief Everything Officer.” After all, you are responsible for all of the functional areas of the business including sales, marketing, finance and accounting, customer service, human resources, research and development, production, and distribution. And you need to be competent in at least the majority of them to be successful. Often that last part is a tall order however. It’s why many small business owners turn to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance.

FSBDC at UCF with Kalani Kleaning

John Doramus, Danylle Almas, Rosie Heim (L-R)

Danylle Almas and Rosie Heim are the owners and operators of Kalani Kleaning Services, a residential and commercial cleaning company in Lake County, Florida. They deliver a superior service because, as Heim says “we care for our clients’ homes the way we care for our own.” As a result, they’ve been running their business for seven years and have built a satisfied and loyal customer base. But, as good as they are at making their customers happy, they were not very good at managing their finances.

“We’re really good at cleaning, customer service and all the front end work,” says Almas. “But we’re not numbers people. We call ourselves ‘Not-business women.’ We’d gotten to the point where we were desperate. We were in a financial mess. When we suddenly found ourselves over-drafting our checking account, that was our sign. We needed help.”

Almas and Heim tried everything they could think of to straighten out the business. They read books. They hired a private, for-fee business consultant. They went online for webinars and blogs. It all helped a little, but not enough; Kalani Kleaning’s financial picture was still deteriorating.

It was then that they turned to the FSBDC at UCF – Lake County and its consultant John Doramus for no-cost, expert business consulting and seminars. “We basically cried when we found out what the FSBDC could do for us and that it was free,” Heim remembers. “We had an experienced and knowledgeable consultant who could really see our business for what it was and lead us, and all at no cost to us.”

“We don’t feel like we can take credit for where our company is now,” continued Almas. “John and the FSBDC came in and gave us a road map at a time when we were ready to call it quits.  He showed us light at the end of the tunnel. We didn’t know what step to take next, but he did. He built us a growth plan and we’ve stuck to it by meeting with him, monitoring our progress and managing our goals.”

“Since we started working with the FSBDC, we’re not bouncing checks anymore,” Danylle Almas says with a laugh. “Far from it. We’ve increased our client base by 30%, our revenues are up 80% and we’re preparing to hire our first employee. We’ve purchased a business model and rebranded, both of which will help us expand and scale the business. The FSBDC’s help has been like a miracle for us,” concluded Almas.

For information about Kalani Kleaning Services, please visit

Grumpy Bert's BBQ with FSBDC - Lake County Consultant Eddie Hill

Grumpy Bert’s BBQ

Owning and operating a small business are not for the faint of heart; anyone who’s done it will tell you it’s hard work. On the other hand, the rewards are immense: being your own boss, reaping the rewards of your hard work directly, turning your passion into a career and thereby never working another day in your life.

Pat and Gary Sorensen will testify to both sides of the small business ownership equation. They started and now run Grumpy Bert’s BBQ, a mobile barbeque kitchen a/k/a food truck based in Lake County, Florida that proudly tells its many loyal customers: “Shut Up & Eat. Food with Attitude” and features menu items like “Rub Me The Wrong Way Ribs,” “Surly Smoked Brisket” and “Petulant Pulled Pork”, not to mention “Bad Tempered Beans” and “Cantankerous Corn Casserole.”

The Sorensens will also tell you not to go it alone when launching a business. Grumpy Bert’s isn’t their first small business and from the start they knew they wanted to get help from the Florida SBDC at UCF – Lake County. “We’ve never done a food service business before,” says Pat Sorensen. “We really weren’t sure what we were doing so we wanted to get information on how best to get started and I knew the FSBDC would have answers for us and they did.”

The Sorensens turned to Eddie Hill, Area Manager, and Cesar Gomez, program assistant, both in the FSBDC’s Lake County office, for assistance. They took advantage of the FSBDC’s no-cost, expert business consulting and various business seminars, all of which set them up for success.

“From the beginning, the FSBDC has been a very positive experience. Eddie and Cesar have been so helpful,” continued Pat Sorensen. “They are like a one-stop shop where you have everything you need to run your business. They have so much information and so many people to help you be successful. It’s all in one place so you don’t have to go here for your business plan, and then over there for your marketing plan and then way over there for your financial plan. And when you have a question or just need to bounce ideas off an expert, there they are.”

“We knew it was going to be a lot of work and we were right,” says Gary Sorensen. “But it’s worth it. We start cooking and smoking the meat days in advance, and there’s a ton of prep work. But then there are the events, and they are easy and fun. Besides the many festivals and food truck rodeos we’ve done, we’ve catered an employee appreciation night for 700 at South Lake Hospital and worked for two weeks straight after Hurricane Irma serving the teams from the 200 FEMA trucks stationed here in Lake County.”

“If you’re considering starting a business., or if you’re further along than that and need help,” concluded Pat Sorensen, “the first thing you should do is go to the FSBDC. They have everything you need there, not just to start a business but also to help you to continue to grow. I would definitely recommend the FSBDC to any entrepreneur or business owner.”