Blake Hill Preserves honored by SBA as Small Business Persons of the Year

The owners of Blake Hill Preserves in Windsor, formerly of Grafton, have been named the 2022 Vermont Small Business Persons of the Year. Vicky Allard and Joe Hanglin are being recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration for Blake Hill Preserves’ employment growth, success in the marketplace, company expansion and community involvement.

Two other Windsor-based companies were also recognized by the SBA.

Vicky Allard and Joe Hanglin of Blake Hill Preserves.

“We feel so honored for Blake Hill Preserves to be recognized by the SBA with this special award. We started our business in our home kitchen in 2009 with the simple desire to make the most delicious jams from the season’s finest produce and have been so appreciative of our customers love for our unique creations and our team’s amazing commitment to help ensure we continue to exemplify the very best artisan products and service in an environment of continuous rapid growth,” said Allard.

Their Grafton home-based business didn’t last long. Every few years the company seems to double in size. By 2012 Blake Hill Preserves settled into a 2,000 sq. ft. commercial kitchen, then moved to a brand new 6,000 sq. ft facility in 2016, which is now being extended to 12,000 sq. ft. To help facilitate its previous expansion, the company obtained two 7a loans and is currently working to obtain a 504 loan for its newest expansion. It has also grown from a husband and wife team to having 45 employees.

The state of Vermont has countless small business resources and Blake Hill Preserves has worked with several throughout the years. Allard is a graduate of the SBA Vermont 2018 Emerging Leaders class which assisted Blake Hill Preserves with creating a three-year strategic growth plan. After completing Emerging Leaders, Allard and Hanglin worked with SCORE and the Vermont Small Business Development Center to implement its strategic plan. Its facility was built by Springfield Regional Development Corporation and financed by VEDA. During the pandemic Blake Hill Preserves utilized two Paycheck Protection loans to keep its staff on the payroll.

Each year Vermont small businesses compete for a variety of awards in addition to Small Business Person of the Year. In 2022, the SBA is awarding seven businesses in other categories.

  • Woman-Owned Business of the Year: Vermont Roadworks of Brattleboro;
  • Veteran-Owned Business of the Year: KAD Models & Prototypes of East Randolph;
  • Family-Owned Business of the Year: The Freighthouse Market & Cafe of Lyndonville;
  • Minority-Owned Business of the Year: Global Village Foods of Windsor;
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Maria Lara-Bregatta of Café MamaJuana of Burlington;
  • Microenterprise of the Year: Fat Sheep Farm of Windsor; and
  • Exporter of the Year: Phasey of Burlington.

The Vermont small business winners will receive their awards during the 2022 Vermont Small Business Awards Ceremony cohosted with Vermont Business Magazine June 16. The ceremony is open to the public and registration will be available in May.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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