Solano SBDCFairfield, CA

"I am so grateful to the SBDC for her tireless support and involvement with me this first year of business. Despite wicked busy schedules, the SBDC always finds a way to reach out and offer encouragement and accolades – they are a treasured mentor who has taught me volumes about marketing, finance, structure and growth in the cottage food industry."

Melodi Donahue

BACKGROUND
Melodi Donahue began making confections professionally a few years ago, switching entirely to vegan formulas in April 2011. The name of her company is a clever play upon a very real debilitating condition that plagues her personal and professional life – obsessive compulsive disorder. Her intellectually humorous names for her products continue the theme of having fun while enjoying treats made without any animal-derived ingredients. Her presence has been noticed worldwide as a result of her involvement with various animal rights organizations.

CHALLENGES
As with most small business start-ups, Melodi is struggling with keeping her day job in children’s education while juggling the growing demands for her products. Because she has OCD, she has a tough time delegating her business tasks – never mind trying to find the time to keep her business plan and financial projections current. Melodi needed a smart marketing strategy to capitalize upon the potential for growth in the booming vegan movement, as well as financial support to purchase automating equipment to keep up with the ever growing demand for her products.

ACTIONS
Melodi attended a specialty food training conducted at the Solano College SBDC and then met the SBDC for follow-up one-on-one counseling. The SBDC worked with Melodi to understand her cost of goods sold and on developing a strategy for participating in trade shows. They also discussed financing for the business, but for now Melodi decided not to pursue a loan and grow the business with a small amount of funding from a supporter.

RESULTS
Since working with the SBDC, client has reported an increase in sales and hiring one person to help with the growing business. She will also be attending the 2012 Academy Awards at the end of February, as a vendor in the swag lounge for nominees and presenters. She was sought out by the agency that hosts the swag parties for the event after Hollywood elite sampled her products in Summer 2011.

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It all starts here. Complete the application and submit your request. A member of the SBDC will follow up with you and help you achieve your small business goals -- at no cost to you.
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Funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the California Governors Office for Business and Economic Development, and other private and public partners;  and nationally accredited by the association of SBDCs.