Blake Hill Preserves owners were named Vermont Small Business Persons of the Year – Natural Self Esteem

Vermont Business Magazine The owners of Blake Hill Preserves in Windsor are the 2022 Vermont Small Business Persons of the Year. Vicky Allard and Joe Hanglin are recognized by the US Small Business Administration for job growth, marketplace success, business expansion and community service at Blake Hill Preserves.

“We are very honored that Blake Hill Preserves has received this special award from the SBA. We started our business in 2009 in our home kitchen with a simple desire to make the most delicious jams using the finest seasonal produce and have been so grateful our customers love our unique creations and the amazing dedication of our team to ensure we continue to deliver best artisanal products and services in an environment of continuous, rapid growth,” said Allard.

The home business didn’t last long. The company seems to be doubling in size every few years.

By 2012, Blake Hill Preserves was based in a 2,000 square foot commercial kitchen, then in 2016 it moved to a brand new 6,000 square foot facility that is now expanding to 12,000 square feet. To facilitate the company’s previous expansion, received two 7a loans and is currently working towards obtaining a 504 loan for its latest expansion. It has also grown from a married couple to 45 employees.

Allard and Hanglin were nominated for the award by Marie Dussault, Vermont Economic Development Authority, and Patricia Putnam, Mascoma Bank. In a joint statement, the pair said, “Over the past six years, the company has experienced tremendous growth, bringing its products and the State of Vermont, with all its awards and accolades, to the national stage. We truly believe they embody the spirit and dedication that a small Vermont business should have.”

The state of Vermont has countless small business resources and Blake Hill Preserves has worked with several over the years. Allard is a graduate of the SBA Vermont 2018 Emerging Leaders Class, which helped Blake Hill Preserves create a three-year strategic growth plan. After graduating from Emerging Leaders, Allard and Hanglin worked with SCORE and the Vermont Small Business Development Center to implement their strategic plan. The facility was built by the Springfield Regional Development Corporation and funded by VEDA. During the pandemic, Blake Hill Preserves used two Paycheck Protection loans to keep its employees on the payroll.

“The support of SBA, VEDA, SCORE and SRDC with our facility needs and thoughtful leadership programs has been invaluable in our growing environment,” said Allard.

Each year, small businesses in Vermont compete for a variety of awards in addition to Small Business Person of the Year.

In 2022, the SBA will award seven companies in additional categories.

  • Vermont Roadworks in Brattleboro is Women-Owned Company of the Year,
  • KAD Models & Prototypes in East Randolph is Veteran-Owned Company of the Year.
  • Lyndonville’s Freighthouse Market & Cafe is Family Business of the Year,
  • Global Village Foods in Windsor is Minority-led Business of the Year,
  • Maria Lara-Bregatta from Café MamaJuana in Burlington is Young Entrepreneur of the Year,
  • Fat Sheep Farm in Windsor is Micro Business of the Year and
  • Phasey in Burlington is Exporter of the Year.

“The Vermont winners are great examples of companies that are helping to build a better America through entrepreneurship,” said Mike Vlacich, SBA New England Regional Administrator. “These business owners demonstrate the resilience and tenacity of entrepreneurs across Vermont. They have shown their perseverance, they create jobs, they have responded to adversity during unimaginable setbacks, and they give back to their communities through their businesses and in their free time. I congratulate them on their accomplishments and the role they are playing in our nation’s historic economic comeback.”

Allard and Hanglin, along with other Vermont small business winners, will receive their awards during the 2022 Vermont Small Business Awards ceremony co-hosted with Vermont Business Magazine June 16th. The ceremony is open to the public and registration will open in May.

About the US Small Business Administration

The US Small Business Administration is a small business agency backed by the strength of the federal government. The SBA provides entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their business or recover from a declared disaster. It offers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

4.7.2022. MONTPELIER, Vt. – US Small Business Administration Vermont

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