Kate McAleer, founder of Bixby Chocolate in Rockland, was honored by SCORE Maine.
Eleven Maine businesses, ranging from a chocolate maker to scallop farmers to a veterinarian, were honored by SCORE Maine, a nonprofit that connects entrepreneurs with mentors.
SCORE is a partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. SCORE Maine, which has local chapters in Portland, Bangor and Auburn, operates a network of 130 certified mentors who helped 224 new businesses last year.
SCORE provided more than 6,635 services to Maine small business owners and entrepreneurs. In addition to offering free business workshops on a wide range of topics, SCORE provides free face-to-face mentoring sessions, as well as virtual sessions with clients, said SCORE Maine Associate District Director Nancy Strojny.
“We work hard to provide business owners and startups with the support that allows their business ventures to thrive,” she said in a news release Monday.
SCORE award winners
- Andrew Peters, founder of Vertical Bay, a leader in line-grown scallops. Vertical Bay is expecting a 10-fold increase in sales in 2024, and won the Aquaculture Small Business Award.
- Zackary McCarthy, founder of Inclusive Ski Touring, a nonprofit focused on breaking down the barriers to entry for skiing and split boarding. He received the Nonprofit Business of the Year award.
- LaKosha Evans, founder of Klassically Kute Designs, a children’s clothing store and boutique that grew from a pop-up location to a main-street business, Evans received the Veteran-Owned Small Business Award.
- Shari Hamilton, founder of Hello, Good Pie Bakery & Café, has spent the last eight years growing her business and creating a community gathering place in Belgrade Lakes, and received the Woman-Owned Small Business Award.
- Bob Magin, founder of Six Fins Guide Service, provides ice fishing adventures in winter months and guided boat fishing tours in warmer months, winning the Innovative Small Business Award.
- Meghan Miller, founder of La Maree Art, grew her functional epoxy art business from art shows and craft fairs to retail outlets such as L.L.Bean and Uncommon Goods. Miller received the Young Entrepreneur Award.
- Sandrine Moser, founder of Studio Artisane, started her business to teach kids and women how to create their own projects and demystify power tools. Moser received the Home-Based Business Award.
- Erica Schmitz, founder of My Body Model, a web-based application helping empower customers with body-positive fashion design tools. Schmitz won the Technology Success Award.
- Holly and John Arbuckle, owners of Singing Pasture Farms, have created and nationally scaled a pasture-raised pork product Roam Sticks. The Arbuckles took home the Agriculture Award.
- Kate McAleer, founder and CEO of Bixby Chocolate, a chocolate manufacturer dedicated to social responsibility and ethical sourcing. McAleer received the Manufacturer Success Award.
- Katie Roberts, owner of Angelus Urgent Veterinary Care, has been able to expand the urgent care veterinary clinic in 2021 to 15 staff members. Roberts received the Innovative Business Plan Award.