Wednesday, March 12, 2014
GARDINER — Amy Bouchard didn't have grand plans when she started baking whoopie pies in her home 19 years ago.
"I thought if I could just sell maybe ten dozen a week I'd be so happy," Bouchard said.
Now Isamax Snacks produces 10,000 of its Wicked Whoopies a day at its Gardiner facility.
Bouchard, 46, and her company were recognized Friday by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a successful woman-owned small business.
Jeanne Hulit, acting regional administrator for New England and associate administrator for the Office of Capital Access, visited the facility Friday afternoon to highlight Women's History Month.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is a federal agency that provides support for small businesses through guaranteed loans, other financial assistance and training.
The agency helps business owners secure loans that they wouldn't otherwise be approved for by guaranteeing between 50 and 80 percent of the loan value.
SBA-backed loans helped Bouchard expand her company from a home operation to a 1,800-square-foot bakery in Richmond and eventually the current 18,000-square-foot facility in Gardiner.
"This is sort of our sweet spot: getting a business to the next level," Hulit said.
The SBA granted about $100 billion worth of loans in the last four years, $12 billion of which went to women-owned businesses, according to Hulit.
Besides the Gardiner facility, which opened in 2007, Isamax Snacks also has retail spaces in Farmingdale and Freeport.
Paul Koenig — 621-5663