Success Stories

Will YOU be our next success story?

Carlos & Alicia Favaro

Golden Tropics

Golden Tropics is a family owned company started in 1996. The business is a manufacturer, wholesaler, and exporter of African food product, specifically providing their customers products and ingredients to make traditional West African meals. With one of the widest tropical product ranges of any company in the US, Golden Tropics is the leader in the West African food market.  According to Mr Favaro, the 25 year old company has grown from its humble beginning to one of the most respected African food companies in the United States. They own two private labels under which they produce over thirty different products.

Dana Kearney

Village Babies Development Center, LLC

Dana Kearney is the, CEO/Founder of Village Babies Development Center, LLC. Village Babies Development Center was established in March 2005, shortly after Dana’s son Jaelen was born. She was unable to find an early childhood center that she felt would meet the expectations that her and and her husband needed for Jaelen. As a registered nurse, she decided to work the weekends and care for and educate Jaelen at home and started doing the same for two of her neighbor’s that had the same challenges. At that moment VBDC was birthed. Within 4 years, she developed from a registered in-home daycare with five children to a free-standing early childhood development center that provides up to 165 children with a hierarchy of personal needs, social/emotional skills and an education that is individualized.

Purple Grace Seck

Purple Grace Seck

Purple Grace LLC was established in 2010 as a beverage brand that uses natural and organic ingredients to its line of high-quality teas. The company currently offers two lines of loose tea leaf blends. Heaven’s Treasure and Purple Grace Exquisite Tea Affair (tea bag). Purple Grace Exquisite (RTD) bottled tea, which is an award-winning recipe, won The Beverage Forum’s Innovation Zone & Tasting Station Best in Show Bronze in 2013. Purple Grace is one of the few products in the ready to drink iced tea market that uses Non-GMO Organic, no concentrates and Gluten Free ingredients that still achieve the bold and rich flavors that everyone enjoys.

FastSigns Newark

Denise & Robert Acquaye


FASTSIGNS® Of Newark is part of a global franchise (FASTSIGNS®) and is owned and operated by husband and wife Denise and Robert Acquaye. They own 51%/49% respectively and they are WBE/MBE certified. The clients invested their lifetime savings into the business they started on October 28, 2011. FastSigns, is a global franchise, has been ranked as the #1 signage franchise according to Entrepreneur Magazine. FastSigns offers visibility strategies, project services and product solutions.  Despite everyday challenges of growing a family owned franchise small business, managing and retaining good employees they are projecting gross earnings of approximately $850,000 by end of 2018.

Holly Kaplansky

Holly Kaplansky

Minuteman Press Newark

Holly Kaplansky is the Owner/CEO of Minuteman Press, a 100% woman owned printing and marketing company based in Newark. Holly started Minuteman Press in April 2005 after leaving the corporate world where she had extensive experience in advertising and marketing. She realized that the skills she had acquired in managing and running corporate businesses, such as marketing, finance, operations and management, would be a perfect basis to start her own business.


Andy Vieira

TruckTech Parts & Services

Mr. Andy Vieira is the President of TruckTech Parts & Service. TruckTech Parts & Services provides mechanics, fleets, and truckers with quality new and used heavy-duty truck parts. The company employs 13 full-time and 3 part-time employees along side Mr. Vieira, who is fully involved in many of the day-to-day business operations.


Adenah Bayoh

Foyah Hospitality Group

Adenah Bayoh established Foya Hospitality Group, owning IHOP franchises in Paterson and Irvington, NJ. As CEO and Founder, she has built a successful business model and focuses on investing in economically challenged neighborhoods with the help of NJSBDC at Rutgers-Newark.

Susan Devaney - The Marvins Group LLC

Susan Devaney

The Marvins Group LLC

Ms. Susan Devaney is CEO of The Mavins Group, LLC which is comprised of two subsidiaries: Moving Mavins and Mavins Realty. Ms Devaney seeked the assistance of the Rutgers Newark SBDC to establish her first business, Moving Marvins LLC – a moving managment company focused on serving seniors in New Jersey and New York.


Frederick A. Morton, Jr

Tempo TV

TEMPO Networks, LLC, is the first and only full service pan-Caribbean media and entertainment company producing and offering culturally relevant content on all media platforms (on-air, on-line, on-mobile and on the ground). Its flagship cable television network, TEMPO TV, captures and delivers the extraordinary Caribbean vibe by successfully producing and delivering Caribbean content dedicated to music, culture, travel and tourism, cuisine, and social awareness initiatives.

Illumination Arts

Faith Baum & Ken Douglas

Illumination Arts LLC

Faith Baum and Ken Douglas are the founders/owners of Illumination Arts, LLC an architectural lighting design and consulting company that specializes in “innovative lighting designs” that address “both aesthetic and practical” requirements. Ms. Baum and Mr. Douglas both worked at the same architectural lighting firm and had tried to purchase the business unsuccessfully for two years. They finally decided to break-out on their own in January 2004 and formed Illumination Arts, initially setting-up shop in Mr. Douglas’ basement.


Aminata Dukuray – African Secrets LLC

The Marvins Group LLC

Born in Sierra Leone West Africa, Aminata Dukuray came to the United States in 1990 with dreams of a future. As immigrants, she and her husband started a family and struggled to provide for themselves in a country that often turned dreams into nightmares. Despite the challenges, Ms. Dukuray never gave up on her dreams of a better life.

Family Foods Distributors

Patricia Mendez & John Rivas

Family Food Distributors Inc

An immigrant from Ecuador in 1989, Patricia Mendez recognized a niche that needed filling: supplying nostalgic food products to Ecuadorian immigrants who missed their favorite homeland foods. John and Patricia’s daughter Andrea were eager to start a family business.

loretta bowe

Loretta Bowe

Simply Britt’s Gourmet

The story of Simply Britt’s Gourmet is one that embodies the true entrepreneurial spirit and experience. Ms. Loretta Bowe, the founder and owner of the company as persevered through obstacles, set backs and let downs that would have made the average person pack it in. But like many successful entrepreneurs she derives a deep sense of mission and meaning from the business that allows her to weather the storms.


IyaSokoya Karade

Karade Gymnastics School, LLC

Ms. Susan Devaney is CEO of The Mavins Group, LLC which is comprised of two subsidiaries: Moving Mavins and Mavins Realty. Ms Devaney seeked the assistance of the Rutgers Newark SBDC to establish her first business, Moving Marvins LLC – a moving managment company focused on serving seniors in New Jersey and New York.

Gloria Brown Divine Inspirations

Gloria Brown

Diving Inspirations

Divine Inspirations is a bookstore and wellness center located in Nutley, New Jersey. The company’s mission is to “provide an avenue to promote and enhance the spiritual, physical, and mental well being of the community at large. Divine Inspirations Bookstore is a full service retail bookstore, providing quality products and excellent customer service for those seeking spiritual education, products, and services.