Fifteen small business owners are getting a boost from Livingston County Economic Development as winners of the latest Dream-O-Vate business competition.
The competition, developed by Livingston County Economic Development, provides winners with essential resources and tools needed to successfully open a new business or expand an existing business. Prizes – a total of $300,000 in funding is available – include matching grant funds and technical assistance.
Bill Bacon, director of Livingston County Economic Development, said the contest is “a game-changer” for small business owners.
“The contest aims to open retail establishments that will enhance the visitor experience in and around our nine historic Main Street districts,” said Bacon.
The competition debuted in 2019 and chose nine winners, including restaurants, retail business such as an outdoors store, and new ventures such as a climbing gym.
The new winners, Bacon said, “will continue to enhance the existing business mix in Livingston County in order to increase traffic and capture greater resident and visitor spending.”
The latest round of the competition drew the interest of 31 applicants. Participants completed a “Business Boot Camp” before submitting business plans to the selection committee. Plans were evaluated based on the business concept, community need and impact, readiness, viability, and financial feasibility.
The 15 Dream-O-Vate winners, announced during the July 14 Board of Supervisors meeting, are:
n Angie’s Ice Cream: Owned by Jessica Van Zee, a vintage-themed ice cream parlor in downtown Dansville that opened this spring. The shop serves homemade custard, ice cream, and more.
n A.N. Wine + Liquor House: Owned by Andrew Doerflinger, a retail wine and liquor store in Geneseo that offers a large selection of products. Doerflinger plans to ad such services as online ordering, delivery and curbside pickup.
n Avon Park Theatre: Owned by Ann Younger, a regional destination for classic and independent movies, live entertainment, parties, and corporate events in Livingston County. The venue also plans to host classes and summer programs for teens.
n Creekside Creamery: Owned by Melissa Keen, an ice cream shop in the village of Mount Morris that offers homemade ice cream, milkshakes, floats, and more. Keen is reopening the shop that was previously known as Zeppo’s.
n Easton’s Food + Drink: Owned by Pamela King, a restaurant and bar in Lima offering food, cocktails, and live entertainment. Open daily with extended hours on weekends and holidays that plans to expand space to the outdoors with a large tent, tables for dining, Adirondack chairs, games and igloos for winter dining.
n Florence’s Perpetual Estate Sale: Owned by Julie Meyers, an existing business in Geneseo that offers estate sale services and retail goods including antiques, collectibles, furniture, jewelry, and home decor. With Dream-O-Vate funding, Meyers plans to expand to become a destination for visitors, treasure hunters and local shoppers.
n little Lake Brewing, LLC: Owned by Donald Carll, a micro beverage center in Lakeville with small-batch, artisan beverages complemented by a morning menu and seasonal evening menu. Dream-O-Vate funds will help add an outdoor kitchen and bar space and the installation of equipment for live music, speaker engagements and old movies.
n Milk + Honey Cafe: Owned by Christin Harrington, a contemporary coffee shop in downtown Lima that will offer “decadent beverages and food” to attract a diverse group of people. Harrington also plans to bring local artists into the shop.
n Seasonal Pantry: Owned by Daniel O’Brien, a dining experience focused on turning products into memorable food, servicing tourists and locals, and concentrating on a small number of guests each night at Fallbrook Farms in Geneseo.
n Six Sprouts Farm Market: Owned by business partners Elizabeth George and Jordan Guadlupe, a destination market in Avon that will offer local goods including meats, dairy products, produce, plants, and seasonal items sourced from local farms. With the help of Dream-O-Vate funding they will expand by adding greenhouses and a bear garden area for people to gather.
n The Barn at Fire Creek Farms: Owned by Kyli and Jake Stevens, located in Livonia, the Barn will be a place where visitors can experience products from bakeries and breweries paired with local food. The Barn will offer visitors the change to learn about hor products are grown. Farmers and home bakers can rent the commercial kitchen to create their products.
n The Dansville Granola Company: Owned by Mary Alioto Donahue, a retail store in downtown Dansville selling homemade granola as well as mail order and wholesale.
n The Local Roost: Owned by Kaylie Sturnick, a café and local fare destination serving wholesome, convenient food and beverage options with a mix of familiar nostalgic choices, eclectic selections, and health-conscious options.
n The VAULT (Vintage and Upcycled Lasting Treasures): Owned by Nicole Alioto, an existing retail business in Dansville that will expand to create an immersive shopping experience that changes throughout the year.
n Woodlawn Distillery: Owned by Matthew and Jaclyn Morgan, a farm-based, family-run distillery in Linwood offering locally-sourced liquor made with ingredients from the family farm. It will be the first distillery in Livingston County.
Bacon said that with overwhelming interest in and success of Dream-O-Vate, the county’s economic development office plans to apply for funding to launch future competitions.
For more information on Dream-O-Vate and the 2021 winners, visit growlivco.com/dreamovate or contact Livingston County Economic Development at (585) 243-7124.