Stephenie and Dean Tatman have seen two national coffee shops open near their Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop in Kent County. They’re responding to their competitors’ strengths of convenience and marketing budget by expanding services – catering, selling wholesale, and wedding desserts – and by planning to open a second location by year-end along the Del. 1 corridor down the street from Delaware Turf.
The Tatmans applied last summer for $50,000 for the first set of EDGE Grants from the state Division of Small Business, but weren’t one of the 10 initial winners. Like all 10 winners of the second round of grants that were announced Jan. 16, they tried again after coaching from the division and the Small Business Development Center.
The Tatmans’ revised application asked for only $30,000, focusing on marketing support and reliable equipment for their current location. They took out the request for funding of equipment for the new location, deciding instead to consolidate production in one place. And they’ve been rewarded with that grant amount, which provides a 3-to-1 match for each dollar an eligible business spends on qualified expenses that improve the company’s long-term chances of success, from market analysis to website design to acquiring essential equipment.
“This grant is huge for us,” Stephenie Tatman said, adding that it will allow Dolce Bakery to grow from eight full-time equivalents today to 11.5 by the end of this year.
Congratulations to the Tatmans from the Delaware Small Business Development Center!