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  • Tuesday, March 12, 2024 4:03 PM | WBOC Admininistrator (Administrator)

    We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Elizabeth Conklin of Split14 Creative.

    Through Split14's creative marketing services, Elizabeth is passionate about bridging the gap between other marketing firms and small to medium-sized businesses and nonprofits in the Syracuse and CNY region. She believes in an authentic approach to client relationships and intends to be a partner rather than just hired help. With this goal in mind, she cultivates long-term relationships by making a positive impact on Split14's clients and their audiences through impactful marketing strategies.  

    Q: What inspired you to start your business, or begin in this line of work? 

    Elizabeth: “I started graphic design in high school, and though I was by no means an expert, I did win a few design contests and thought this would be a fun job to have. In college, I majored in graphic design and minored in art history, again I needed to figure out what I was going to do once I graduated. However, after graduating and spending many nights spamming my resume and portfolio out to anyone hiring, I got a job at a local advertising agency in Syracuse. I spent a little over 4 years there, learning a lot as a graphic designer, digital marketer, social media manager, etc - you name it I probably did it. Then I wanted to make the transition from an agency to an in-house marketing position, where I was hired at Pinnacle Holding Company as the Marketing & Branding Manager for all of the subsidiaries. My boss, Liz Bartlett, CBDO of Pinnacle, saw me as the missing piece she needed to finally launch our marketing division of Pinnacle, adding another service line to help our business clients and others in CNY. That’s where Split14 Creative was born! The name “Split” indicates that it’s half made up of Liz Bartlett and her years of experience in business development and me (the other Liz) and my experience on the creative side. We bring our expertise together to form a union that has the best of both worlds. And the “14” comes from our age difference! ”

    Q: Can you describe what sets your business apart from others in your industry? 

    Elizabeth:  “We like to think we have a different approach than most when it comes to our relationships with our clients. We believe that we are an extension of their team - a true partner wanting to help them grow their business, market an event, or whatever it is they need help with. We take the time to get to know them, find out what it is they want to get from our partnership and find the best way to make it happen. That’s why we have no standardized pricing or packages. We customize everything to fit the needs of our clients making sure they don’t pay for more than what they need. Not only that, but we have the backing of the Pinnacle brand behind us - we have connections and other resources that can help our clients that they wouldn’t have access to if they didn’t work with Split14.”

    Q: What's your best piece of advice for someone just starting out? 

    Elizabeth:  “I spoke at a high-school career day recently to future graphic designers and the best piece of advice I could give them on starting college, choosing a major, and career was to not be afraid to put yourself out there. I know it sounds cheesy, but the only way to show others you’re serious about what you’re doing is to actually show them! Whether it’s utilizing social media to post about your projects or submitting work to galleries and shows, the only way to get the right people to notice you is to put yourself out there.”

    Q: What has been your biggest professional challenge and how did you overcome it? 

    Elizabeth:  “Personally, my biggest professional challenge has been the nagging feeling of “imposter syndrome.” I’m fairly young (turning 30 this year, yikes!), and I can’t believe I’m in the position I’m in with my current role at Pinnacle Holding Co. and Split14 Creative. I feel like I’m too young, why would anyone listen to me as a thought leader in creative marketing when I hardly have the experience as our other competitors? What’s helping me overcome it is seeing the growth and success of our clients through the work we do for them. They show their appreciation for our help, making me feel like - maybe I do know what I’m doing.”

    Q: Any exciting news, future plans, or projects you are working on or would like to announce? 

    Elizabeth:  “This year we are excited to focus on growing our clientele and meeting new people through networking groups such as WBOC. We have seen in our industry, and others we work closely with, that the best marketing you can do for yourself is meeting people face to face and building a relationship with them.”

    Q: What's your favorite non-business activity and why?

    Elizabeth: “I love to spend my free time outdoors - especially if it’s with our dog, Dacks. My husband and I are avid hikers in the Adirondacks, completing various hiking challenges including becoming 46ers in 2022; we enjoy camping, going to camp at Sandy Pond, and spending the weekend at the beach or on the pontoon boat.”

    Contact Details 

    5845 Widewaters Parkway, Suite 300, East Syracuse, NY 13057
    Personal LinkedIn
    Split14 LinkedIn
    Split14 Facebook
    Split14 Instagram
    WBOC Profile

  • Wednesday, February 21, 2024 9:42 AM | Devan Robinson (Administrator)

    We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Emily Tills of Nourished with Emily, LLC.   

    Emily is passionate about helping busy professional women who struggle to make time for themselves and their health feel confident in their own skin and in the kitchen through nutrition education, counseling and support through the Nourished with Emily nutrition coaching method. 

    Q: What inspired you to start your business, or begin in this line of work? 

    Emily: “As someone who struggled with an eating disorder in high school and now a Registered Dietitian, I have experienced firsthand how others negative words about our bodies and diet culture in the media and on social media place pressures on women to look and be a certain way through restrictive dieting and shaming the eating of some of our favorite foods. I never want to have a woman go through the same struggles I did. I want women to learn how to incorporate their favorite foods into their routine and reach their goals without having to only measure their success off the scale and eat as little as possible.”

    Q: Can you describe what sets your business apart from others in your industry? 

    Emily:  “Nourished with Emily was started a few months after I finished college and has been an online business since it started. We help women reach their goals uniquely through our nutrition coaching and counseling program that focuses on accountability, support, education, and helping our clients get back to their confident selves without having to cut out their favorite foods or spend hundreds of dollars on supplements.”

    Q: What's your best piece of advice for someone just starting out? 

    Emily:  “Ask for help from those who have been in your shoes, they know what you're looking to achieve and have learned lessons along the way that they can share with you and help you prevent from making those same mistakes. There are tons of resources here locally like through the WISE business center as well as other professionals that are here to help support and guide you. Entrepreneurship can be lonely, asking for help and building a team around you can help.”

    Q: What has been your biggest professional challenge and how did you overcome it? 

    Emily:  “The hardest part has been making the jump from a soloprenuer to having a team that can help support me. As someone who is a perfectionist and has a vision for everything we do, it was hard at first to add team members to help make change happen in the business and help us grow. Once I was able to hand off projections and expand with support staff, I learned quickly how to be a better communicator to my team and still get the outcomes without my hands in every pot.”

    Q: Any exciting news, future plans, or projects you are working on or would like to announce? 

    Emily:  “This year we are really focused on growing our membership that offers women monthly masterclasses, access to our recipe folder, educational guides and video library as a way that you can have access to nutrition education on various topics every day. We are also excited to start offering small group coaching programs inside of the business for our clients as well as for private companies. Employee wellness is a hot topic and nutrition should be at the center of that conversation. More info on these on our site!”

    Q: What's your favorite non-business activity and why?

    Emily: “I love to watercolor paint. I used to take art classes daily throughout high school and loved it. My Fiancé got me watercolor paints for Christmas and I've been loving unwinding and painting.”

    Contact Details 





    Instagram:  @nourishedwithemily


    WBOC Profile

  • Friday, January 26, 2024 10:49 AM | WBOC Admininistrator (Administrator)

    We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Sheila Dion, Founder and Executive Director of Erin’s Angels of CNY.   Sheila founded the organization to provide essential resources and support to students facing food insecurity.

    The love for what she does comes from the fulfillment she derives in making a tangible difference in the lives of young people. Being able to contribute to a community where individuals can pursue their educational goals without hunger as a barrier is immensely rewarding. Witnessing the positive impact of Erin's Angels on the lives of students fuels her passion and dedication to the cause. Moreover, the joy comes from the sense of community and collaboration that is fostered through this initiative. Working together with volunteers, local businesses, and other organizations to create a supportive network brings a sense of unity and shared purpose. 

    The love for this work is also rooted in the belief that through Erin's Angels of CNY, we are not just addressing an immediate need but also fostering a sense of empowerment and resilience within the student community. By providing resources and support, we are contributing to a foundation that enables students to overcome challenges and thrive in their academic journey.  

    Q: What inspired you to start your business, or begin in this line of work? 

    Sheila: “I was inspired to start Erin’s Angels when I worked in the food service department at the Phoenix Central School District and saw the need with so many children who were hungry. I witnessed firsthand the significant number of students facing food insecurity and I was inspired by their resilience and motivated to make a difference. I believe that every student deserves the opportunity to focus on their education without the burden of hunger. The prevalence of food insecurity among students is a pressing issue that I am determined to tackle, recognizing its impact on academic success and overall quality of life. ”

    Q: Can you describe what sets your business apart from others in your industry? 

    Sheila:  “While many programs focus solely on the school year, we're proud to be a year-round advocate for ending hunger in our community! At Erin's Angels, our commitment doesn't stop when the school year ends. We recognize that hunger doesn't take a break, so neither do we. Our programs run throughout the entire year, ensuring continuous support for families facing food insecurity.”

    Q: What's your best piece of advice for someone just starting out? 

    Sheila:  “Talk to everyone about what your mission and passion is. Keep putting your dreams and goals out to the universe! And never, ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do it!!!”

    Q: What has been your biggest professional challenge and how did you overcome it? 

    Sheila:  “The challenge of going from a lunch lady to nonprofit executive director is certainly a hurdle! I had to learn how to navigate the legal requirements, develop a clear mission and vision, create a strategy for fundraising and sustainability, and effectively develop a board. Just to name a few!”

    Q: Any exciting news, future plans, or projects you are working on or would like to announce? 

    Sheila:  “Our partnership with the Upstate Foundation is the most exciting venture we have right now. This collaboration aims to ensure the perpetuity of our mission. The partnership opens doors to sustainable funding, expanded outreach, and the ability to continue making a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve.”

    Q: What's your favorite non-business activity and why?

    Sheila: “I love to travel. It is so fun waking up in one city and going to sleep in another on the same day. It is also my way of collecting moments, not things, and embracing the incredible diversity that makes our world so beautifully complex. It's a journey that continually fuels my passion for life.”

    Contact Details 

    WBOC Profile
    Erin’s Angels of CNY
    219 County Route 57
    Phoenix, NY 13135

  • Thursday, December 28, 2023 2:35 PM | Devan Robinson (Administrator)

    We recently had the opportunity to sit down with mindset coach Karen Kwasnowski. Karen is passionate about helping individuals create more connection and meaning in their relationships.  Whether Karen is working with a busy working mom who wants to be more present for her children, an individual navigating the complexities of an intimate relationship, or someone who wants to foster better communication, Karen’s expertise is tailored to address a range of relationship dynamics. 

    Karen especially loves witnessing the transformative moments when a client recognizes their role in an undesirable relationship dynamic and realizes they have the power to effect positive change.  Karen often gets emails from her clients the day after a coaching session excitedly saying, “you’re not going to believe what happened!” and they share how the other person showed up in a way that was different and easier than before.  It’s amazing the impact we can have on others when we change our part of the relationship dynamic.  

    Q: What inspired you to start your business?

    Karen: For most of my life I struggled with social anxiety.  I wanted to connect with people but I had no idea how.  So I embarked on a journey to learn how to relate and communicate.  I studied, trained, worked with coaches, and earned certifications all to help myself in the beginning.  Once I experienced the power of transforming myself and my ability to connect with others, I wanted to share everything I learned to help other people break free from the struggle.  I feel so privileged and honored to get to work with people in such a transformative way.  

    Q: Can you describe what sets your business apart from others in your industry?

    Karen: There are a few things that set my business apart from others in my industry.  My focus is helping a client be authentic, present, and empowered.  Knowing who you are, what is important to you, and how to be fully present with another are key ingredients to connection.  It sounds so simple but it can be quite difficult to put into practice without consistent support from someone who sees the best in you.

    I also know how easy it is to blame the other person or blame themselves when someone is struggling to connect.  I take a stand for my client, for the other person, and their relationship.  I believe we are all doing the best we can based on what we currently know and my job is to help someone get past blame and focus on the things that will help them get the results they truly want. 

    I also believe that we all have our own best answers.  My job isn’t to give advice or share my personal experiences.  My job is to help you learn how to observe your mind and discern what is true and most beneficial for you and your relationships.    

    Q: What's your best piece of advice for someone just starting out?

    Karen: Feeling uncomfortable means you are up to something important to you.  It’s part of the journey.  You don’t need to wait for things to feel comfortable before you take the next step.

    Q: What has been your biggest professional challenge and how did you overcome it?

    Karen: My biggest professional challenge is asking for support. I’m still in the process of overcoming it.  I spent most of my life believing I was on my own and had to do everything myself so the thought rarely occurs to me to reach out to others.  Whenever I work with my coach and she cocks her eyebrow at me I laugh and say “Oh!  I can ask for support with this”.  Recognizing it is half the battle.

    Q: Any exciting news, future plans, or projects you are working on or would like to announce?

    Karen: I have a series of workshops coming up for the new year to help people create more inspiring goals instead of the usual New Year’s resolutions.

    Q: What's your favorite non-business activity and why?

    Karen: I love mountain biking, camping, hiking, dancing, and going on adventures with my family because I love to play, be outside, and move my body.

    Contact Details


    Address: Marcellus, NY is where I am physically located, but my business is mostly virtual
    WBOC Profile

  • Monday, November 20, 2023 2:06 PM | Devan Robinson (Administrator)

    We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Anna Kinney, the proprietess of Anna With Intention and co-founder of Fay Flower Farm, located in Hannibal, NY. Anna shared with us her passion for helping women who are tired of living with the programming of toxic patriarchy and who are ready to release harmful inherited belief systems so they can confidently step into their right place of power and love as a divinely appointed guide for the new paradigm!  And she grows flowers.

    Q: What inspired you to start your business?

    Anna: I started Anna With Intention because of how much internal and external healing I have received through the modalities I practice. The journey has been so profound and I am passionate about helping others find the same healing and inner peace that I have. 

    My husband and I started Fay Flower Farm along with our partner Gabriella Gauger because we love growing flowers and community that is bound by the healing power of beauty. We are building spaces for hosting events, weddings, workshops and education that are centered around sustainability, regeneration and love.

    Q: Can you describe what sets your business apart from others in your industry?

    Anna: I blend a lifetime of knowledge, experience, coaching and healing modalities to create a personalized path toward healing and deconditioning to help you uncover your truth. When more of us are listening to and following the wisdom our soul is always communicating to us through our bodies, we can thwart the patriarchal over-culture and bring about aligned change and balance to the planet.

    Q: What's your best piece of advice for someone just starting out?

    Anna: You already know more than the average person when it comes to what you are in business around. Trust in yourself. When you feel self-doubt, know that it is telling you that you are heading in the right direction.

    Q: What has been your biggest professional challenge and how did you overcome it?

    Anna: Giving voice to my “big why” and clarifying my mission. It can be so hard to see your own gifts and talents. So I am leaning into my own Human Design chart to help me become clear on the profound way I impact others by being authentic, maintaining a high emotional frequency and sharing my unique practical solutions that blend the myriad life experiences I have had.

    Q: Any exciting news, future plans, or projects you are working on or would like to announce?

    Anna: I am always working on bringing practical ways to use Human Design and energetics in life through workshops and 1:1 work.  And I am getting my next level of certification in the Quantum Alignment System this winter. To stay up to date on any new offerings or events, following me on IG is the best. 

    Q: What's your favorite non-business activity and why?

    Anna: This past year, I discovered the thrill of Mountain biking. It pushes my perception of my  physical limits and it is a new way for me to experience being in an active flow state.

    Contact Details

    Email is best: Annawithintention@gmail.com


    Facebook page




  • Monday, August 14, 2023 2:09 PM | WBOC Admininistrator (Administrator)

    We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Devan Robinson of Developing with Devan. 

    She is passionate about helping you realize your true brilliance, even during those times when you might not see it yourself. Her wide array of services is designed to equip clients with the transformative tools and strategies necessary to unlock their full potential. With a mission rooted in empowerment, she is committed to guiding you on your personal journey towards greater clarity and unwavering confidence.

    Q: What inspired you to start your business?

    Devan: "During my previous career, I observed a recurring pattern: women consistently held themselves back. What prevented them from reaching their full potential were the negative thoughts they held onto and the absence of consistent support in their lives. I decided that it was time to do something about that.

    I began by researching and understanding the issues that were preventing women from achieving their goals. I discovered that a lack of self-confidence, fear of failure, and a lack of resources were major impediments to growth. It became clear to me that I had to take action and create an organization focused on helping women overcome these obstacles."

    Q: Can you describe what sets your business apart from others in your industry?

    Devan: “Developing with Devan is truly unique in our approach to empowering individuals. Unlike other businesses that offer generic solutions, we take a personalized approach to every client, tailoring our services to their specific needs and goals. We believe that everyone has unique strengths, and our mission is to help our clients realize and make the most of those strengths. By providing transformative tools and strategies, we empower individuals to unlock their full potential and become the best version of themselves. We are passionate about what we do, and we won't stop until each and every one of our clients feels confident, clear, and empowered”.

    Q: What's your best piece of advice for someone just starting out?

    Devan: “You DO NOT need to know everything or have your life perfectly figured out before you can start your own business.”

    Q: What has been your biggest professional challenge and how did you overcome it?

    Devan: “Boldly embracing my authentic self has been the greatest challenge in both my personal and professional life. The fear of rejection, hurting others feelings, and receiving negative feedback on my opinions held me back. Which is why this is now the barrier I aim to shatter for others. To solve this issue for myself I enlisted the guidance of a coach and mentor, delved into and shattered my limiting beliefs, and crafted a process to assist others in achieving the same.”

    Q: Any exciting news, future plans, or projects you are working on or would like to announce?

    Devan: “Yes, I have my 3rd annual Women's Self-Development Conference coming up on September 29-October 1 in Syracuse NY at the Collegian Hotel. We are spending 42 hours on ourselves, prioritizing our self-growth and refocusing on our most important project: OURSELVES. This year's theme is "It Starts with You" and our sessions will focus on all aspects of personal growth: career building, financial literacy, emotional well-being, healthy relationships and lifestyle balance. I'm so excited to bring together a community of women who are ready to become their best selves! I look forward to seeing you there! You can grab your ticket at bit.ly/elevatesyracuse2023”

    Q: What's your favorite non-business activity and why?

    Devan: “My off time is spent with my family, writing my fiction fantasy novel, and re-organizing my house. I enjoy having different tasks every day, I'm not big on doing the same thing all the time. Variety is my favorite!”

    Contact Details 
    Address: Watertown, NY is where I am physically located, but my business is mostly virtual 
    WBOC Profile

  • Wednesday, May 17, 2023 1:05 PM | WBOC Admininistrator (Administrator)

    We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Adrienne Peltz of Forge Gone Conclusions, a custom, fine jeweler for creating memories through one-of-a-kind pieces for you or your loved one, based in Skaneateles, NY.

    Q: What inspired you to start your business?

    Adrienne: Having been an engineer and project manager for over 12 years, I was ready for a change when I lost my traditional job during the pandemic. My husband had always wanted to start a jewelry business, and I had the experience of working in the corporate world. So, when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped in with both feet.

    Q: Can you describe what sets your business apart from others in your industry?

    Adrienne: You co-design and we manufacture. That means that you get to help create the design -- whether it is a traditional jewelry piece using round stones in traditional settings all the way to out of the box ideas such as a cardinal ring, bumblebee ring, or even creating a ring from an old bayonet. Even more, we will make a personalized video of how your piece was made. So, if it is a birthday present, we can include any text such as "Happy Birthday" and a photo of the recipient.

    Q: What's your best piece of advice for someone just starting out?

    Adrienne: Mindset is fundamental to your success. You have to believe in and be fully committed to what you are undertaking. I have learned from many others that you have to spend a lot of time on mindset in order to be successful.

    Q: What has been your biggest professional challenge and how did you overcome it?

    Adrienne: Even with some failures, there are opportunities to learn from them. When we first started displaying at tables and fairs, our very early events had low attendance, and not many people were interested. But we learned from each of those events and were able to improve significantly over time.

    Q: Any exciting news, future plans, or projects you are working on or would like to announce?

    Adrienne: Each project is unique and represents the person who is going to receive the piece. Definitely check out our portfolio page to see all the past creations – https://fgconclusions.com/shop/

    Q: What's your favorite non-business activity and why?

    Adrienne: My favorite activity is going outside during the day. Working a traditional job, it was hard to get outside, but with our flexible schedule, we are able to take a break in the afternoon to enjoy the outdoors!

    Contact Details:
    (315) 209-2982
    27 Fennell St Ste B #263
    Skaneateles, New York 13152  USA

    Join Our Forge Circle: https://fgconclusions.com/join-our-email-list/

    Our YouTube Channel
    WBOC profile

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2023 2:49 PM | Devan Robinson (Administrator)

    We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Tina Chee, a physician and the founder of Updesign Primary Care, LLC, a Direct Primary Care (DPC) practice located in Syracuse, NY. Dr. Chee shared with us her passion for providing high-quality, personalized care to her patients, and how her DPC model differs from traditional primary care practices.

    Q: What inspired you to start your business?

    Dr. Chee: I wanted to build a practice where I could spend enough time with each patient to address their individual needs and provide the high-quality care I would want myself. I didn't want to rush patients in and out of the exam room, only to barely scratch the surface of their concerns. DPC provides the opportunity to provide more personalized and individualized care, and by eliminating overly burdensome administrative checkboxes like coding, billing, and prior authorizations, I can focus more of my resources on patient care.

    Q: Can you describe what sets your business apart from others in your industry?

    Dr. Chee: DPC patients are one of a few hundred instead of one of several thousand. By removing the middlemen, DPC puts the focus of the relationship back between patients and their doctors. In DPC, an affordable monthly membership gets you better appointment access, extended visit times (30-60 minutes), direct communication access (text, email, or call), and virtually unlimited scheduled appointments for wellness counseling, physical, chronic disease management, scheduled sick visits, and much more. This allows us to work on fully optimizing your health and wellness through lifestyle changes, so that you can feel at your best self and potentially reduce the number of medications necessary. Membership gets you deeply discounted pricing for in-office medications and treatments. Membership also includes access to a generic medication formulary.

    Q: What's your best piece of advice for someone just starting out?

    Dr. Chee: Just get started - take a small step every day, eventually those steps become easier. Don't be afraid to take a leap of faith and pursue your passion.

    Q: What has been your biggest professional challenge and how did you overcome it?

    Dr. Chee: More and more corporations are trying to replace physicians with non-physician practitioners, and by allowing non-physicians to practice more independently, and patients are being put at risk. A huge challenge for me has been seeing patients being misled, not realizing people in white coats who call themselves "doctors" and "specialists" may not be physicians, and seeing patients being told incorrect medical information by non-physicians, including incorrect workup, medication adjustments, vaccine recommendations, overprescribing antibiotics and steroids.

    In addition to reporting these issues and educating my patients to be aware of them, I became an active member of Physicians for Patient Protection, which educates about the importance of physician-led care for all patients and advocates for truth and transparency regarding healthcare practitioners. I would encourage people to read the book "Patients At Risk" for more information on this topic as well.

    Q: Any exciting news, future plans, or projects you are working on or would like to announce?

    Dr. Chee: I'm starting a walking group and other health issue support groups this year. The details are still being finalized, but I'm excited to provide my patients with more opportunities to connect with others and improve their overall health and wellbeing.

    Q: What's your favorite non-business activity and why?

    Dr. Chee: Playing with my dog Jasper - he's a bullboxer mix rescue - and taking care of my houseplants. Both activities help me unwind and destress after a long day at the office.

    Contact Details


    812 State Fair Blvd, Suite 2A 

    Syracuse, NY 13209



    Facebook page

    Instagram Profile

    LinkedIn Profile

    WBOC Profile

  • Friday, June 24, 2022 9:13 AM | WBOC Admininistrator (Administrator)

    In two sentences, what does your business do?

    Heritage Café is a locally run and owned café that specializes in sandwiches, salads, pastries, and of course espresso and coffee. We are committed to exceptional customer service that matches the quality of our products. 

    Where is your business located?

    We are located at 614 South Crouse Ave Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13210. We are on the ground floor of a large apartment building.

    What inspired you to start your business? 

    My family owns the building that Heritage is located in, as well as, other rental properties in the area and while I didn't want to join that portion of the business I did want to stay close to family. As a result, Heritage Café became my version of my heritage. 

    How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?

    One thing that really stood out to me was the bank was shocked I had created a business plan. 
    Apparently, it is a rarity that people come to the bank with a prepared course of action, facts, and figures to support why they believe their business will succeed and why the bank should give them money to invest in themselves. Making my business plan took me months. I researched all "competition", gathered number for construction and equipment, and made plans for hiring employees amongst other things. While securing funding I was also using my own capital to construct my business. The kitchen I took over had 100% seen better days and was in no way health code compliant and the café itself was a big white box with no counters, walls, sinks, or anything. In the end it took me a little over a year and a half to get everything ready and open Heritage's doors.

    How is your business different from the competition?

    Our location is partially what makes us different. On the SU hill there is an abundance of pizzeriasAsian options, and chains such as Five Guys and Chipotle. Our fare is sandwiches, salads, pastries, etc. If you want pizza or Chinese, you aren't going to come to us. We are also one of the few healthier options around the area and our customer service cannot be beat so that is how we have attracted and retained our amazing customer base.

    What's your best piece of advice for someone just starting out? 
    What has been your biggest life challenge and how did you overcome it? 

    My biggest life challenge was when my mother was struck and killed by an elderly driver in March 2020. Not only was my mother my best friend and mentor, but she was my biggest cheerleader especially when it came to Heritage. Less than a week after her death the world shut down due to COVID-19. Heritage's entire customer base disappeared overnight. Syracuse University and ESF students were sent home, university, doctor and hospital administration employees were told to work from home, and the hospitals stopped letting employees out for food. My entire world had just blown to pieces. I made the difficult decision to close Heritage as quickly as possible to get all of my employees on unemployment. Heritage was closed for exactly 5 months. During that time I tried to grieve, but it was odd since everyone in the world was grieving some sort of loss. Re-opening Heritage gave me purpose. I know it was what my mother would want me to do and if she were still alive she would have been right along with me scrubbing the entire place, but let me tell you opening a restaurant is hard enough the first time, but doing it twice? Ugh. Let's never do that again. Thankfully, we did re-open and have been slowly regaining our customer base back. I will keep fighting not only for my mother, but for my awesome employees who are also my little family as well.

    What's your favorite non-business activity and why?

    I love to travel. My mom and I have been all around to world together and honestly I feel most at home in an airport, or on a plane. If you talk to anyone in my family apparently I took my first steps in MCO Orlando airport. There is something about experiencing a new place and a new culture that is so exciting. If I had to pick a favorite trip I would say our trip to South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. The people were so welcoming, the food amazing, and of course the animals on safari were spectacular. I can't wait to bring my own children back some day.

    Public Contact information (include website, social media links, phone, email, address, etc)

    Michele Rochkind, www.heritagecafe.comwww.facebook.com/heritagecafesyrwww.instagram.com/heritagecafesyr , (315) 303-1675, michelerochkind@heritagecafe.com, 614 South Crouse Ave, Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13210

    Heritage Cafe (@heritagecafesyr) • Instagram photos and videos

    738 Followers, 539 Following, 715 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Heritage Cafe (@heritagecafesyr)


    Heritage Cafe - Home - Syracuse, New York - Menu, Prices, Restaurant Reviews - Facebook

    Heritage Cafe, Syracuse, New York. 410 likes · 8 talking about this · 347 were here. Our cafe features handcrafted espresso beverages, paninis, sandwiches, and salads. Soon all of our pastries will...


    Breakfast | Lunch | Coffee & Espresso | Homemade Pastries | Catering

    Cafe in Syracuse, NY serving warm breakfast sandwhichs, fresh salads and sandwhiches for lunch, coffee and espresso drinks & homemade pastries.


  • Wednesday, June 01, 2022 8:00 PM | Anne Notarthomas (Administrator)

    Amy Doyle, Devan Robinson and Kathy Adams taking questions at the WBOC June Program

    The Women Business Opportunities Connection June meeting is always inspiring. WBOC ends their program year with an Encouraging Entrepreneurs event. On Wednesday, June 1st,  three women shared their entrepreneurial journey.

    Devan Robinson - Focus on Positivity

    Devan Robinson is a military spouse who recently began her business, Developing with Devan, while her husband is stationed at Fort Drum. Devan shared how she used her own self-talk and challenges to help other women address their self-talk and challenges with focus and positivity.

    Devan has authored a book entitled What’s Your Worth and I don’t mean money.

    She hosted a Women’s Summit in 2021 and plans another in 2022. She encouraged women to celebrate their successes and be kind to themselves.

    Amy Doyle - Stretching and Persistence

    Amy Doyle shared her journey as a serial entrepreneur. Amy is naturally introverted and had to practice just speaking with new people.

    After developing a successful financial services firm with her husband, Amy went to graduate school to begin a new career that reflected her interest in medicine and wellness. Now a certified functional nutritionist and owner of White Stone Wellness Functional Nutrition, Amy helps people sort through the confusion of labels and diets to move toward personal wellness. Recently, Amy has added medical writing to her portfolio.

    She learned to stretch at every step of her career.

    She reminded attendees that we need to move outside of our comfort zone in order to move to the next step in our careers and our lives. 

    Kathy Adams - From Corporate to Boutique Consulting Environment

    Kathy Adams did not begin Cognitif Consulting Group until later in her career. Her first graduate degree was in Training and Development, which positioned her to design and deliver learning systems in industrial settings and helped to improve the bottom line at multiple companies.

    Kathy shared how her experiences working in traditionally male-dominated industries helped develop confidence in herself and her abilities.

    Today, Kathy is a certified team and professional coach. Working in collaboration with other women entrepreneurs, she has finally realized her dream of working in a small, boutique consulting environment with like-minded colleagues.

    She emphasized the value of organizations such as WISE and WBOC in building connections and sharing support with other women entrepreneurs.

    Three different stories linked by one theme – women doing more than expected and doing it well. Do more. Expect more. You can do it!

    This was originally posted in the WBOC blog.

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