Many small business owners struggle through their first few years with overhead expenses, marketing, and the day-to-day details of managing a new or expanding business. The Dream-O-Vate Business Competition is a game-changer. Developed by Livingston County Economic Development, the competition provides winners with the essential resources and tools needed to successfully open or expand a business including matching grant funds and technical assistance.
“The contest aims to open retail establishments that will enhance the visitor experience in and around our nine historic Main Street districts,” said Bill Bacon, Director of Livingston County Economic Development. “After a highly successful 201 competition, our 2021 competition welcomes 15 new winners who will continue to enhance the existing business mix in Liv Co in order to increase traffic and capture greater resident and visitor spending.”
Dream-O-Vate launched in April 2021 and garnered the interest of 31 applicants. Participants completed a Business Boot Camp before submitting their business plans to the selection committee. Plans were evaluated based on the business concept, community need and impact, readiness, viability, and financial feasibility. The fifteen Dream-O-Vate winners are:
Angie’s Ice Cream: Owned by Jessica Van Zee, a vintage-themed ice cream parlor in downtown Dansville serving up homemade custard, ice cream, and more.
A.N. Wine + Liquor House: Owned by Andrew Doerflinger, a retail wine and liquor store in Geneseo that offers a large selection of products at competitive prices
Avon Park Theatre: Owned by Ann Younger, a unique regional destination for classic and independent movies, live entertainment, parties, and corporate events in Livingston County.
Easton’s Food + Drink: Owned by Pamela King, a restaurant and bar in Lima offering great food, superb cocktails, and live entertainment.
Florence’s Perpetual Estate Sale: Owned by Julie Meyers, an existing business located in Geneseo that offers estate sale services and retail goods including antiques, collectibles, furniture, jewelry, and home decor.
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
Milk + Honey: 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.
Seasonal Pantry: Owned by Daniel O’Brien, a unique dining experience focused on turning products into memorable food, servicing tourists and locals, and concentrating on a small number of guests each night in Geneseo.
Six Sprouts Farm Market: Owned by Elizabeth George + 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.
The Barn at Fire Creek Farms: Owned by Kyli + 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 Dansville Granola Company: Owned by Mary Alioto Donahue, a retail store in downtown Dansville selling homemade granola as well as mail order and wholesale.
The Local Roost: Owned by Kaylie Sturnick, a café and local fare destination serving wholesome, convenient food and beverage options with a well-rounded mix of familiar nostalgic choices, eclectic selections, and health-conscious options.
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.
Woodlawn Distillery: Owned by Matthew + Jaclyn Morgan, a farm-based, family-run distillery offering high-quality, locally sourced liquor made with ingredients from the family farm
Zeppo’s Creekside Creamery: Owned by Melissa Keen, an ice cream shop located in the Village of Mount Morris that offers premium homemade ice cream, milkshakes, floats, and more.
Due to the overwhelming interest in and success of Dream-O-Vate, Livingston County Economic Development 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.
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