Chester and Delaware County SCORE – a nonprofit comprised of volunteers who provide free professional business counseling to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits in Chester and Delaware counties – will host its seventh annual Small Business Achievement Awards Luncheon on Thursday at the Concord Country Club.
The Bacon Jams, a West Chester-based company co-founded by Bruce Kramer and Michael Oraschewsky, is one of five winners of SCORE’s Small Business Achievement Award.
In 2014, the two partners were approached by QVC, a marketing opportunity that created the need for USDA inspection, scaled production, and all of the issues that accompany growth. Knowing they had only one shot to do it right, Kramer and Oraschewsky sought help from SCORE to verify their plans and accelerate the learning process.
With a business plan in hand, proven product demand, and an uncertain road to production, the pair sat down with SCORE mentors David Houseman and John Nelson. The straight talk and savvy business advice they received was invaluable.
“While we still made plenty of mistakes along the way, our SCORE counselors helped to limit those errors and keep us on track to build a business,” said Kramer. “We were blazing some new territory in government regulations and there was no real source of on-point expertise we could find, so working with Dave and John to apply standard good business practices helped us stay on track.”
“We knew we had an exciting opportunity, but making it in a restaurant only allowed us to sell direct to consumer,” said Oraschewsky. “Scaling up had so many challenges, some unlike most companies face, such as USDA approval. Working with SCORE helped us keep focused on the plan and compare what we were doing to standard business practices. I would certainly recommend anyone facing challenges of a small business avail themselves of SCORE services.”
The Bacon Jams was able to achieve its short-term goal of scaling for QVC, resulting in a massive boost in sales. They were also able to define two distinct channels of business, which have represented more than $1.5 million in revenue to date.
The Bacon Jams products are currently in 1,500 retail locations and nearly 1,000 restaurants. The fundamentals learned and pitfalls avoided by working with SCORE made their success possible.
In addition to The Bacon Jams, the four other winners of SCORE’s Small Business Achievement Award are:
- VISTA Today – Exton
- SubstiToothFairy – Brookhaven
- Elite Puréed Meals – Newtown Square
- Brandywine Consignment Shop – Downingtown
The award winners have all benefited from SCORE’s counseling and mentoring services and, as a result, have enjoyed substantial growth and continued success.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and these recipients exemplify the success that can be achieved through creativity, planning, and determination,” said John Lippman, Co-Chairman of Chester and Delaware County SCORE. “On behalf of all of our volunteers, we at SCORE are proud to be a part of their success.”
Click here to learn more about SCORE.