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Small Business RevolutionBlog

Fredonia Businesses

June 15, 2021

Catching up with Season 5 Business Owners

If you’re familiar with the format of each season of Small Business Revolution, we typically do a “back to” episode where we catch up with the business owners from the previous season to see how they’re doing. But, due to limitations from the pandemic, we weren’t able to return to Season 5’s Fredonia, NY to film a “Back to Fredonia” episode.

Instead, we’ve caught up with a handful of our Fredonia business owners here to learn more about their challenges and triumphs over the last year!

Nyce & Clean Auto Detailing

Overall, how is your business doing today?

We are slammed with business up 50% and need to hire new employees!

Has your business continued to be challenged by COVID, or is business/process back to normal?

Normal. Booked a full month out now!

What’s been the biggest impact to your business since being involved with Small Business Revolution?

Little bit of everything. But the marketing and new branding made the biggest impact. People know I’m here now!

Has anything changed with your business since we completed filming, such as a new product or service offering?

We added ceramic coating, window tinting and PPF, which is a film to protect vehicle bumpers. New services now comprise 70% of our business.

Do you have any advice for other small business owners as business begins to return to normal? 

Marketing is more important than ever, as well as getting out there and connecting with people. The more people you meet, the more opportunity comes your way.

Lena’s Pizza, Subs & Wings

Overall, how is your business doing today?

Going great…it’s our new busy. Business has drastically increased from last year.

Has your business continued to be challenged by COVID, or is business/process back to normal?

More back to normal – people who weren’t really ordering during COVID have started to return.

What’s been the biggest impact to your business since being involved with Small Business Revolution?

Our new website has brought in new people! Online ordering and our point-of-sale system is working fantastic, especially with volume increasing. Our streamlined process is faster, and smoother with fewer errors.

Has anything changed with your business since we completed filming, such as a new product or service offering?

Our new location, where we’re partnering with local TaQo on a shared kitchen concept, opened in Westfield and has kept us busy. Dunkirk will be our third location, opening in Fall of 2021 with potentially a tempered rollout with online ordering only to start.

Do you have any advice for other small business owners as business begins to return to normal? 

Pay attention to customers – their expectations have changed for both service and safety. Customers need to have a comfort level, despite local or national guidelines.  Take the time to execute accurately.

The Hair Bar Salon

Overall, how is your business doing today?

We are doing really well. Still growing, expanded services and partnering with other businesses.

Has your business continued to be challenged by COVID, or is business/process back to normal?

We’re operating back to normal, but wearing masks to be comfortable. The renovation allowed us to space out and so we’re keeping that distance.

What’s been the biggest impact to your business since being involved with Small Business Revolution?

We were doing fine, but working with SBR took us to a new level. I had ideas, but SBR helped me execute. Guests come in and they can’t believe the transformation! The website has also helped us generate a ton of business.

Has anything changed with your business since we completed filming, such as a new product or service offering?

We’ve started offering hair extensions and have another stylist in the salon, and we’ve partnered with nurse practitioner for Botox services. We’ve also done some pop-ups with local boutiques where they sold clothing and other curated items inside the salon.

Do you have any advice for other small business owners as business begins to return to normal? 

You really need to consider everyone walking through your door. You have to take customer service to the next level. We should always do that, but now more than ever. Be open-minded, compassionate to people’s concerns and put your best business foot forward. Be kind, overall, and roll with the changes!!

Literacy Volunteers of Chautauqua County

Overall, how is your business doing today?

The bookstore is doing very well. More people are getting out, especially the last few weeks.

Has your business continued to be challenged by COVID, or is business/process back to normal?

Getting students and tutors back has been slow. We’re setting up a partnership with a local business to make connections and meet people where they’re at.

What’s been the biggest impact to your business since being involved with Small Business Revolution?

Our episode has raised awareness and helped the community understand our mission. The show really has been a great bridge for new opportunities.

Has anything changed with your business since we completed filming, such as a new product or service offering?

We’re rolling out our new technology services. We also plan to partner with M&T Bank to offer financial education to students, and provide their staff to teach them basic Spanish skills to communicate with customers more easily.

Do you have any advice for other small business owners as business begins to return to normal? 

Don’t be complacent that all will go back to normal. Business isn’t going to bounce back on its own, especially since people have been disconnected for so long. Be sure to get your name out there and remind people of who you are and what you do in the community.

Fresh & Fancy Floral Design Studio

Overall, how is your business doing today?

Business is blooming! We’re still thriving, and our expenses have been reduced.

Has your business continued to be challenged by COVID, or is business/process back to normal?

There are still kinks in the supply chains, but we’re still able to connect with our customers face-to-face. Labor is also a challenge, but that’s a national issue.

What’s been the biggest impact to your business since being involved with Small Business Revolution?

SBR took us from darkness to daylight – you saved us from shutting our doors.  The biggest impact was to leave the wire service – it was a pivotal decision. And our website has been received well – people love it and it’s easy to use!

Has anything changed with your business since we completed filming, such as a new product or service offering?

We are focused on continuing to add our custom arrangements as an option. It’s wonderful to see our actual photography on our website versus stock photography.

Om Nohm Bakery & Café 

Overall, how is your business doing today?

We just experienced our best week yet in July 2021. Incredible, really, when one thinks of the specific challenges we still face weekly as a gluten-free business post-ish-pandemic. I am honored to say we have switched from the role of seeking out customers to customers seeking us and finding us. Our high-quality collaborations have remained local and increasing, and are now at an all-time high, with four cafes/delis on board, and two huge farmers markets weekly. We still offer porch pick-up weekly, and our weddings, birthdays and grad party services remain steady.

Has your business continued to be challenged by COVID, or is business/process back to normal?

I looked forward the day when we would all feel “back to normal” for a long time, but honestly, what does that mean, anyway? Life is never stagnant; challenges keep our flexibility lubricated. We have all continued to float on this beautiful bubble of community support—there is no challenge that we face alone, ever, if we choose to remain part of that relationship cycle with those around us. Culturally, deepening empathy for those who were not so lucky to live through this pandemic has made our normal feel novel—I don’t believe we understand our new normal yet. But it feels like we are beginning to teeter at the edge if it, ready to embrace the new.

What’s been the biggest impact to your business since being involved with Small Business Revolution?

That’s a tough one. I would say that the web presence has certainly engaged so many folks from out of the region. We have travelers coming through from much farther than the East Coast, seeking out our bakery. Folks are asking us to ship all over the U.S. I’m not even sure where to begin with that one, but I believe it will come to pass. These are the technical/business aspects we truly needed to pay the bills. But emotionally and spiritually, there’s more—it’s been so wonderful to experience the de-stigmatization of gluten free: for all of us folks who need to eat GF for medical reasons, or folks we serve with allergies, or plant-based diners; to see this happen on more than just a local level is actually mind-boggling. Time goes by and we continue to benefit from our SBR media assistance. Deluxe choosing us helps legitimize the experiences all GF folks nationwide. It’s quite profound.

Has anything changed with your business since we completed filming, such as a new product or service offering?

We have continued to collaborate with local restaurants that purchase our breads and desserts, so Fredonia is becoming the little hub for GF diners we always hoped for: the fabulous folks over at Tuscany Deli, The Big Cheeseburger, Lucy’s Coffeeshop in Lily Dale and The Cafe at Main Street Studios Theater space in Fredonia are all active in 2021 and currently ordering. We have also added Bestor Fresh Market in Chautauqua Institution weekly, which regularly grosses 300% of our old biggest markets ever. And the Fredonia farmers market has always been great for us, but since last summer, we are regularly grossing 200% of our old best markets. It’s incredible. We still hope to reopen the Café by the Fall 2021, but are making some in-house structural changes to better serve in case of future social distancing requirements, and to serve a larger population.  We still face national shortages of GF supplies regularly, so menu regularity is a thing of the past still… We did get to have a food truck event for the first time in two years, so that was fun. At one farm market, we have included “Jessamine’s Lunchbox,” which feels a little like being a café again.

Do you have any advice for other small business owners as business begins to return to normal? 

Stay true to your instincts, but work together.  Competition among small businesses should be a thing of the past. I have been saying for years that collaboration is the new American dream. And I believe it. Thank you for helping us achieve that.

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