Small Business Microgrant Nominations: START

Microgrant awards to be announced at Friday's Resilience Celebration

We are happy to announce the nominations of our 2021 Small Business Week Microgrants 

The following  wonderful owners were nominated by our Greenhouse team and a distinguished panel of community and business leaders made the difficult decisions of choosing the winners in each category. 

The three categories are: Start. Grow. Thrive.  and each award totals $1,000

Start |
Pre-ventures to 2 years in existence, has utilized various Greenhouse startup tools and services 

Grow | Enterprise has been in business for 2+ years, may have been able to hire employees and expand their market presence  

Thrive | Enterprise is a great example of resiliency, has been able to make important pivots to continue in business. They have been able to prioritize relationships, recovery and reframing.  

Award winners will be announced at our Celebration on Friday, September 17th at 3:00pm in front of the Greenhouse. 

START Nominations

CONGRATULATIONS to all of the following entrepreneurs who have invested their time and committment to successfully launch their businesses in St. Petersburg.  

Book and Bottle Logot

Book & Bottle
Owner: Terra Dunham

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
“I’m nominating this business as one that faced huge challenges but tapped into opportunities to keep moving forward in the start up phase. The doors to the business were shut only after a few days of opening due to Covid.  However, Terra had been working to open the business since the end of 2019 but due to delays it was pushed to 2020.  Terra has utilized resources through the Greenhouse, SCORE, the Chamber and was a recipient of a Fighting Chance grant.  Over the last year she has developed a brand that attracts people who love books, wine and all things related, and not.  Its social media page has a great presence and shows diversity in clientele and events.  The business has also attracted attention beyond St. Pete which is evident in the recent event that featured Rebecca Minkoff, a highly recognized fashion designer.  “

Eqicurious One Logo

Epicurious One
Owner: Stephanie Love

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
“Stephanie has used every resource the Greenhouse offers and has been working diligently to make connections and build her network through the Chamber and wider community. When her final certification is complete, she will be the first black woman wine educator in the state of Florida. Her ultimate goal is to feature and represent woman and minority owned winemakers. She has been lobbying and working closely with Souther Glaser’s to have more wines represented. She understands her business and is using the various resources to understand her break even analysis and how to best market her services, doing all of this while completing her certification and working full time

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Zubrick Magic
Owners: Chris & Ryan Zubrick

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
“Ryan and Chris made a purposeful decision to make St. Pete their home. They used the Entrepreneurial Academy as a jumping off point and have consistently utilized the resources of the Greenhouse and the Chamber to build their business and share their “magic” with St. Pete. When they ran into fire code issues they reached out to develop solutions and work with the City. They bring a unique perspective and business to St. Pete. “

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The Mar St. Pete
Owners: Heather Hamar

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
“Heather is so inspiring– with how she recognizes the value of other businesses and organizations, and helps connect them. She’s so driven and open to learning– she’s truly a breath of fresh air. The Mar St. Pete celebrated its first anniversary Sunday, Aug. 29 with a free street party and everyone’s invited. The Mar, located at 2309 Central Ave. in the Grand Central District, opened Sept. 1, 2020 so making it through the pandemic is definitely worthy of recognition.”

Zubrick Magic Logo

Mo Tennis Coaching/Mo’tivation
Owner: Motez Robinson, Jr.

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
” Coach Mo has participated in Greenhouse workshops and webinars and sought the support of SCORE mentors in the past, as he was developing the business operations to support his tennis lessons. Since the start of the year, Coach Mo has been receiving mentoring support from Greenhouse/SCORE mentors who have guided him in the development of his nonprofit organization to support at-risk youth through free tennis instruction. In addition, Coach Mo recently received the city contract to provide adult tennis lessons at Campbell Park. This is a huge Success Story for Coach Mo, and he is to be commended.  Coach Mo is committed to his tennis instruction, the youth of our community, and the continued successful start of his business – – and it is with great pleasure that I support the nomination of his business mentors. “”

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St. Pete Bowls
Owner: Ajna Adams

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
“Ajna has utilized greenhouse resources, navigator services and connection events like 1 Million Cups to launch their startup during the pandemic.  In just six months, they went from creating fruit bowls for family and friends from their home kitchen to operating out of a commercial kitchen with our USDA Food Permit and delivering fresh fruit bowls all over St. Pete. The are now also working on expanding their products and adding fruit juices and smoothies to their menu. They will be celebrating their 1 year anniversary in October!”

Zubrick Magic Logo

Owners: Donna and Peter Bogdanov

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
” Bogdanov relocated from California to St. Petersburg and reached out to the Greenhouse for Navigation assistance while building out their new storefront. Their business is the perfect contribution to St. Pete’sGrow Smarter targeted industry in Arts and Design. The Navigation relationship led to St. Pete Chamber connection and celebrated their ribbon cutting in June. “We are passionate artists with a mission to enjoy life to the fullest. Our lifestyle section showcases our in house brands showing off what it means to be a Bogdanov.”

Tweety B's

Tweety B’s
Owner: Brandy Butler

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
“Brandy was referred for Small Business Week “Startup” recognition by SCORE business mentor, Shawne Angelle, and I support this nomination. 

Brandy started Tweety B’s, a non-profit childcare center located at 3001 34th St N, during the pandemic as her existing job became redundant. She is focused on providing care during non-traditional hours including late evenings and weekends catering to clients in service and retail industries. She actively uses mentoring services weekly to build her financial competency and to define strategies to improve financial health.”

To Shawne’s recommendation, I would add that like most start-ups, Brandy pours many hours into her business, ensuring that front-line workers have a safe place for their children to learn, play and rest, seven days a week. She frequently shares that “When they’re closed, we’re open.”