Sweet bit of funding helps two women open Happy by Chocolate retail store
When COVID interrupted their chocolate-making business in 2020, the mother-daughter team of Pam Vieau and Marcy Goetz worked on other aspects of their business. During the shutdown Pam and Marcy rebranded Chocolate Inspirations (founded 2018) and rejuvenated their packaging approach. They also found the ideal marketing partner who developed a thorough marketing plan for 2022-2023.
However, implementing the plan and investing in expansion to meet the anticipated demand required sizeable funding. Pam and Marcy felt stuck between possibilities and roadblocks. In July 2022, they met with Doug Voegtle, Program Specialist for the Illinois SBDC at College of DuPage.
After getting to know their family business, Doug recommended starting small. He suggested creating a more compelling track record of sales and wins—like contracts with grocery chains—financial milestones to strengthen their business plan story and help smooth the way to bigger funding.
Then Doug connected Chocolate Inspirations with the right institution for investment capital, and the approach was successful. Within four weeks Pam and Marcy landed some of the capital they needed to pay business bills. They invested the rest to open their first retail location called Happy by Chocolate – “the happy place,” where they are now building consumer sales and their brand reputation.
“Doug advised us while we were contacting and negotiating with two known grocery store chains,” says Pam. “We’ve landed some orders and have momentum.”
Marcy adds, “SBDC continues to help us prepare our business plan and financial projections to get ready for additional funding. We’re looking forward to more good things from our relationship with the SBDC.”
Chocolate Inspirations is a 100% women-owned family business led by Pam Vieau and Marcy Goetz. Their retail location is Happy by Chocolate at 116 S. Prospect, Roselle, IL (630) 894-0898.
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