Why Small Businesses Matter Reimagined
Small businesses matter - now more than ever. They are answering the call with innovation and determination like never before.
We hope you join us in supporting them by sharing their story far and wide and shopping local! We are thankful to Fairfield County Bank for their continued support and making this series possible.
Step inside Breakfast Belle!
Four questions with Tori Brown, Owner & Executive Chef at the Breakfast Belle.
What do you want the community to know? Are there ways for the community to help you and other local businesses to prosper?
I'm a Norwalk native! Norwalk is a strong and proud city and there are many wonderful small businesses and residents banding together to keep us open, but sadly that isn't the reality for many small businesses.
As a CT State recognized woman minority-owned enterprise/business (MBE) who has been in business for over five years, I wasn’t awarded any small business relief funds. I was hoping to really launch my Bamma products in a big way this year, but COVID halted things financially.
Although faith and a positive mindset do help get me through all this, it’s still important for Norwalk and surrounding communities to support their local businesses whenever they can. About 75% of my business comes from corporate clients all over CT and NY, so everyone working from home lately = no catered lunches, employee appreciations, or holiday functions. That said, we are enjoying the more intimate and private events and gatherings folks are having at their homes.
A simple referral, social media post, and/or buying our products and services from small businesses go a long way these days and is greatly appreciated.
Are you offering any new products or ways for customers to purchase your products or services that are popular during this crisis?
Outside of catering belly-filling southern-style eats and more, Breakfast Belle manufactures two food products. One that was launched during the pandemic... Bamma Fish Fry, a pre-seasoned seafood cornmeal mix that is awesome for frying or coupling with seafood. The flavors and texture are heavenly! There is also our stable and customer favorite, Bamma Hot Sauce, a sweet and sassy southern-style hot sauce that goes great with everything. These products are offered online at https://breakfast-belle.square.site/ and sold at other local Norwalk stores like Mike’s Deli and Harbor Harvest.
We started utilizing social media much more to create cooking content and quick videos. We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries lately for virtual cooking classes/demos and very excited about that.
Are there certain individuals or organizations that supported you and your business through this trying time?
Yes, WBDC (Women’s Business Development Council) has provided some business coaching and the opportunity to apply for a grant. My family, friends, and clients have been super supportive of referrals. Also, local stores allowing space in their stores to support/feature local labels like mine, Bamma Hot Sauce, and Fish Fry.
Please share the ways your business is adapting to keep your customers and employees safe in addition to the standard guidelines
We’re definitely following the guidelines and keeping safe. We don’t take events over a certain number of guests and offer our Bamma products online and catering orders via EZ Cater.
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!