[December 8, 2022] SEED's 40th Annual Meeting was held on December 8th at White's of Westport and included the presentation of the 2022 Business of the Year, Start-Up Business of the Year, and Regional Business Advocate of the Year.
Small Business of the Year
Pangea Shellfish Company
SEED selected Pangea Shellfish and Seafoods Company, Inc. as the 2022 recipient of the Small Business of the Year Award. Pangea Shellfish was founded in September 2001 and is owned 100% by Ben Lloyd. Pangea is a premium shellfish wholesaler based in Boston, MA. While they carry a full line of shellfish products, oysters are the company’s specialty and in fact, they pioneered “Oysterology” that profiles the many types and traits of oysters from Acadian Pearls to the Wild Falmouth. They not only carry the largest oyster assortment on the East Coast, but they also operate two oyster farms in Massachusetts where they grow Eastern oysters from seed to market. Distribution of their outstanding product spans the United States and Canada, and Pangea carries over 100 oyster varieties throughout the year from the Atlantic and Pacific.
In late 2015, Ben came to SEED for a financing project to acquire their leased location of a 10,000 SF industrial condo unit in the seaport district that would allow them to stabilize quickly valuing real estate, as well as slowly phase out tenants in order to grow the business’s footprint. Since funding six and a half years ago, Pangea has been able to grow from approximately $10 million in sales to an estimated $26 million projected for fiscal year 2022. With this impressive growth in sales, the company also increased the staff from 15 employees to 34.
Pangea is also caring and committed to its community donating to Duxbury Beach Reservation each year for restoration projects (one of their farms is located in this area), as well as fundraising for NPH USA (Nuestros Pequenos Hermonos ~ means “Our Little Brothers and Sisters” in Spanish) to support orphaned and abandoned children internationally, as well as fall events with funds raised going to Breast Cancer Research Foundation (October), Feeding America (November) and Toys for Tots (December).
SEED is recognizing Pangea Shellfish for their outstanding financial performance, doubling of jobs these past six years and impact on their communities and beyond. For more information about the business, visit their website www.pangeashellfish.com.
Start-Up Business of the Year
Weinberg's Bakery & Cafe
SEED selected Weinberg’s Bakery & Café of Hull, MA as the 2022 recipient of the Start-Up Business of the Year Award. Weinberg’s Bakery & Café opened its doors in 1947 and has become a staple in the community of Hull and is located in a 1,500 square foot space near Nantasket Beach. In 1985, Valerie Peterson’s father purchase the business where he owned and operated the bakery for 23 years before selling to the previous owner. Owner Valerie Peterson then purchased the business in 2019 after working there as the head baker/decorator for 24 years and managing for the seven years prior to taking over as sole owner.
Weinberg's Bakery and Café offers a variety of homemade foods including 18 flavors of bagels, breakfast sandwiches, 15 flavors of muffins, danishes, pastries, cookies, specialty cakes, sandwiches, salads, soups, a full-service coffee stations (hot and iced), espresso shots and cappuccinos. They also specialize in holiday orders offering 15 varieties of pie, as well as NY style cheesecake, cannolis and sfogliatelle.
Over the last two years, Valerie has grown operations to $906,000 in sales, a 42.3% increase with 1 full time and 22 part time employees (12 FTE). Valerie approached SEED for financing in 2019 when she was unable to obtain traditional financing from her bank due to the start-up nature of the business, under new ownership. Under the SBA Community Advantage and Micro Loan Program SEED provided Weinberg’s Bakery with a $160,000 loan to purchase the business and $15,000 for working capital.
SEED is recognizing Weinberg’s Bakery & Café for exceptional financial performance, job creation, and impact on their community. For more information about the business, visit their website www.weinbergsbakery.com.
Regional Business Advocate of the Year
Mayor Robert F. Sullivan
City of Brockton
SEED Corporation selected Robert F. Sullivan, Mayor of Brockton, as the 2022 recipient of the "Gus Yankopoulos" Regional Business Advocate of the Year Award for his invaluable service to the city since his election in 2019. Established in 1999 in memory of Gus Yankopoulos, the award is presented annually on a merit basis to an individual who has performed exceptional work on behalf of the region’s economy.
Over the last three years, Mayor Sullivan has led the City of Champions into an exciting new era, creating record amounts of housing and economic development initiatives for the residents of Brockton. As a result of his office’s efforts, over 700 units of new housing are in development within walking distance of the city’s three commuter rail stations. Mayor Sullivan made the difficult decision to not cease large scale construction projects during the pandemic which kept the projects moving forward and hundreds of people employed.
Small businesses in Brockton have also thrived under Mayor Sullivan’s leadership, despite facing unprecedented economic turmoil brought on by COVID-19. With innovative programs and the support of the city, new restaurants and other small businesses have opened, expanded, and created many new job opportunities. Downtown Brockton is being reimaged and revitalized one project at a time.
Mayor Sullivan is being recognized for his dedication and commitment to strengthening the local and regional economies, supporting small business, and leading a key gateway city through an exciting renaissance that will have a lasting and positive impact on the City of Brockton and surrounding communities. For more information about The City of Brockton, visit www.brockton.ma.us.