It’s a humbling experience to be named SBA’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year. My family and my lifetime experiences were my inspiration for creating Bixby & Co. and I’m thankful to have had such a strong support system over the years.
Rockland, Maine (PRWEB) April 12, 2015
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has named Kate McAleer, founder of Bixby & Co., the Maine-based artisan chocolate bar company, as winner of its annual Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2015. The SBA has awarded the title to McAleer for her documented success, including growing 100 percent year-on-year over the past three years, increasing jobs, creating an innovative product, and demonstrating potential, all while under 35 years of age. Ms. McAleer will be honored at an SBA reception on May 5, 2015 at the Augusta Country Club in Manchester, Maine.
Founded in 2011 as an organic producer of chocolate bars, McAleer moved the company to Maine from New York State in 2013. Since the move, she has participated in numerous entrepreneurial development opportunities, such as Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development’s “Top Gun” program, Gorham Savings Bank’s “Launchpad” competition, and the Women’s Business Center at CEI.
“Always on the lookout for opportunities for growth, Kate has steered this ever-growing family-owned company into national distribution in an amazingly short amount of time,” said Ruth Cash-Smith of the Women’s Business Center, who nominated Ms. McAleer for this award. “No longer an untried newcomer to the complex and difficult world of wholesale chocolate manufacturing, Bixby & Co. is now ably navigating new waters in terms of determining how best to strategically grow their company, according to their own values and mission” she added.
“It’s a humbling experience to be named SBA’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year,” said McAleer. “My family and my lifetime experiences were my inspiration for creating Bixby & Co. and I’m thankful to have had such a strong support system over the years. It’s also very gratifying to be recognized for the years of hard work that have gone into creating and building the company.”
Bixby Bars are made using organic chocolate, natural-sweet dried fruits, artisanal nuts, exotic spices and brown rice crisps, creating a light and unique indulgence for the health-conscious consumer. The company produces ten Bixby Bar flavors (including five vegan verified options) that are certified gluten free, kosher and completely free of genetically modified organisms, preservatives and syrups. Products are available online at http://www.bixbyco.com and in more than 800 stores nationally, including Whole Foods Markets; Earth Fare; Sprouts; The Fresh Market (New England); Mollie Stones; Southern Season; and many other independent natural food stores, as well online retailers Mouth, Abe's Market, Vegan Cuts, Vitamin Cottage and Amazon.
About Bixby & Co.
Bixby & Co. was founded by Kate McAleer in 2011. Headquartered in Rockland, Maine, the company hand-makes premium chocolate bars with the finest chocolate, nuts, fruits sand spice to create a healthier option for a candy bar.
At 27, Kate represents a new breed of young entrepreneurs who are breaking with the traditional career path. They possess a renewed American spirit that drives them to create new businesses that are socially responsible while incredibly supportive of local communities. Kate’s life experiences have shaped every aspect of Bixby chocolate. The greatest inspiration for her recipes has been her strong, intimate relationships with family and community in addition to an active, health-conscious lifestyle.