In 2010, Lori Berndt had the idea to open a culinary boutique selling unique olive oils and balsamic vinegars that merge gourmet cuisine with old world taste. We first met Lori when she came to our Northeast ISBDC office for assistance in launching this venture that she named The Olive Twist. Jane Rich, Northeast ISBDC Regional Director, was able to help Lori launch her business in Fort Wayne. She created 8 jobs, raised over $48,000 in capital, and opened a second location in Auburn. Last December, The Olive Twist announced a partnership with DeBrand Fine Chocolates (another Indiana based business) which pairs DeBrand’s Chocolates with The Olive Twist’s olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars.
It is niche businesses like these that have potential to grow into national and international markets. When appropriate, we will be working with Lori to grow her online sales and leverage our exporting consultant to identify overseas market opportunities; all at no cost to Lori.
We asked Lori what she would tell other entrepreneurs about the ISBDC. She told us, “Whether you’re a young entrepreneur or veteran business owner, the ISBDC is a tremendous resource. They’re a wealth of knowledge. If they can’t help you personally, they will connect you with someone who can.”
For more information, visit The Olive Twist’s website.