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TheFounderBeat.com will stay up until the end of the year. If you're looking for anything we've published in the past, use the search tool below.

Did you donate during Give Local York 2021? Don’t forget your tax break!

Any cash contributions you made to qualifying charitable organizations in 2021 count toward a special deduction.

Harrisburg designer empowers women through fashion

Amma Johnson couples her love of art and fashion with her drive to strengthen women through her brand, AMMA JO.

Brothers celebrate 30 years since launching tech company in their York basement

Scott and John Dolmetsch launched Business Information Group from their basement before personal computers were the norm.

E-bike entrepreneurs keep on rolling, open second location in Lancaster County

Capitalizing on the growing popularity of e-bikes, Let’s Roll founders Tim Hill and Ryan Finger launched a second shop in Columbia.

Gamut Theatre Group founders celebrate 30th season

Melissa and Clark Nicholson brought together their love of theater 30 years ago to create a one-of-a-kind organization in Harrisburg.

Four generations later, family behind Kreider Farms continues to innovate

Khalee Kreider and her family have seen dairy and egg production thrive recently at their Lancaster County farm.

Connections early intervention clinic brings hope to families with help of PeoplesBank

Co-founders Liz Jones and Rande Fregm set out to make a better life for families with atypically developing children. From that dream grew services provided by 40 therapists and 20 staffers at their York clinic.

A childhood spark leads to a lifetime of business building for Harrisburg entrepreneur  

Kumba Saho’s entrepreneurial spirit developed early and traveled with her when she emigrated from Gambia in 1999.

CEO of The Program finds fulfillment offering ex-offenders a second chance

AliceAnne Frost gave up a lucrative career to help ex-offenders restart their lives. She doesn’t regret it for a moment.

The Unkommon Chef finds freedom in crafting fine cuisine in York

Chef Schan Gladden’s path to opening his own restaurant in York started almost 30 years ago.

Entrepreneur with two tech companies downtown asks, ‘Why not York?’

Kevin Cramer’s life sciences software company Sapio Sciences and sales and marketing tracking business Veloxity stand out in a city not necessarily known as a technology hub.

YCEA’s Bloom Small Business program helps eyelash entrepreneur take business to next level

While Jaxi Rodriguez had already been an entrepreneur for decades, the experience she got from the York County Economic Alliance’s Bloom Small Business Development Program helped her reinforce the financial side of her current business, Lash Up Beauty Bar.

New owners at Moonlight Café find their way with help of PeoplesBank

Shaye and Tyler Merryman kept the classic Italian menu exactly the same when they took over Moonlight Café in Dover in May.

Rocoto Peruvian and Mexican Grill owner finds ingredients for success in Red Lion

Edgard Ayala opened his restaurant a year before the pandemic and built a reputation with customers that led him to sustain and eventually expand his business.

After hatching from York College’s business incubator, HomeVision AR eyes next steps

The J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship at York College of Pennsylvania helped CEO Andy Lynch hone his augmented reality company’s business plan.

Navy veteran takes holistic approach to coaching at his Harrisburg gym

Rogue Sol Training owner Austin Qualls defines an athlete not as someone who plays sports but as someone who has a goal they want to achieve and the drive to make it happen.

In changing economy, what tools will help businesses thrive?

PeoplesBank is launching its first webinar as part of a business banking series.

Family shares Mexican heritage in West York’s ‘hidden gem’ taqueria, El Sol

Tucked behind a Mexican retail store called El Sol is a family-run restaurant that’s serving up traditional dishes, from carne asada to tortas.

Lancaster-based social space innovator offers help for adoptive parents

Isaac Etter’s paid parenting platform, Identity, caters to foster and adoptive parents, with subscribers across the U.S., Canada, and even New Zealand.

9

Aviator Brew Hub takes flight in Stewartstown 

Marine Corps veteran David Elwell and his wife, Katie, hope Aviator Brew Hub can be an anchor for growth in their community.

After closing her storefront in 2020, Claudia’s Artistry draws up comeback

Claudia Salazar is a self-taught artist whose work can be found on sneakers, t-shirts, leather jackets, and more. Her childhood trauma led her to create and find opportunities for healing.

Lancaster homeschool mom blends past skills into running Keystone Coffee House

Donna Shenk says the skills she honed while homeschooling her four kids apply to operating her shop inside the Lancaster Amtrak station.

Outgoing York College president saw strategy become reality 

Dr. Pamela Gunter-Smith recently unveiled Strategic Plan 2.0 as she prepares to retire after the spring 2023 semester.

19

Couple brings love of literature to new downtown York book shop

Founders Sarah Timmcke and Chuck Blair are excited to share their love of a good story and a savored moment together at Bound Books.

Frank Dittenhafer, co-founder of architectural firm: Focus on the heart of your business

Frank Dittenhafer, President of Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects, says entrepreneurship can’t just be about making money. “It has to be driven by passion.”

As Harmony Café opens in York, barista’s journey hits ‘surreal’ moment

Robert Thomas has transformed Molly’s Courtyard Café into his own space with his own vibes.

Shank’s Mare owners share love of outdoors with future generations 

Since launching Shank’s Mare Outfitters, Liz Winand and her husband, Steve, have educated tens of thousands of people about sustainability.

Global learning produces career-ready graduates at York College

The school’s Strategic Plan 2.0 paints a vision of graduates prepared to compete in global environments. Global learning initiatives are helping to make that goal a reality.

York barber’s troubled past shapes life as entrepreneur

Didi & Smiling John’s co-owner John Shilling embraces the unconventional path that’s led him to where he is today.

York Flea founder sees event as incubator for micro-businesses to bloom

Kristen Dempwolf hosted the first York Flea in 2015 in the rain with 10 vendors. Today, she has a list of 100+ micro businesses who have been part of the event.

From home kitchen to franchise path, The SteakOut eyes continued growth

Rob Bryant remembers when the York City Health Inspector sat him down with a folder of evidence on the business he operated without license. Today, he’s doing it right — and growing.

Artist opens studio to help marginalized creatives in York’s WeCo district

Artist and educator Ophelia Chambliss plans to use her new studio space — Ophelia’s Making Agency — not only to create art but to assist artists of color with the business side of creative work.

How intrapreneurs at C.S. Davidson helped modernize a century-old engineering firm

Bridge engineers Jordan Good and John Petro led a C.S. Davidson division to build a software solution that revolutionized the way municipalities managed their infrastructure.

Founder’s cross-cultural experience helps her make a difference in her community

Tannisha Fuentes dreamed of creating work opportunities for marginalized York residents that provided a path to fulfillment and growth.

True to her roots, York woman builds business creating charcuterie boards

Marie Fisher started Nature’s Platter with little experience but an abundance of passion. As her business has grown, so has her sense of pride—in both the business and herself.

Mom hopes soap business inspired by her kids leads them to take chances of their own

Cresha Drayden started making her own soaps years ago to help her children get through a skin condition. Today, she helps others feel their best at her Central Market York stand, Our Sons and Daughters.

9

Harrisburg filmmaker cuts to childhood dream, opens vegan ice cream business, Honey Bear

Natalie Wallace made a complete career shift to launch Honey Bear — a vegan, gluten-free, soy-free ice cream company.

Owner of Strathmeyer Christmas Trees branches into orchard business

Last year, Gerry Strathmeyer got into the pick-your-own fruit business when he and his partners bought Orchard Valley Farm in Seven Valleys.

Chef’s past bridges cultures at Dover’s newest burger joint 

Ethan Greer, owner of Taqueria El Camino in Dover, is planning to open his second restaurant, Greer’s Burger Garage, in early spring.

York doctor revives ‘old fashioned family medicine’

Dr. Christina Doll went into medicine to make a difference in people’s lives. When working for the traditional system didn’t fit her style, she decided to craft her own family practice.

From India to Lancaster, entrepreneur redefines fashion with purpose and passion

Timbrel Chyatee is bridging cultural divides and welcoming diverse clientele to celebrate their identities through her fashion brand CHYATEE.

Leg Up Farm founder steps back to help his organization move forward

Louie Castriota opened the therapy center for kids who have special needs in 2010. To ensure the organization’s success outlives him, he’s been stepping back ever since.

Mount Zion Offroad revs up operations in Dover facility with help from PeoplesBank

Mike Cashman, co-founder of Mount Zion Offroad, built a successful vehicle maintenance and customization company and recently expanded his shop with the help of PeoplesBank.

Muhly & Cedar in Shrewsbury blooms out of pandemic

Jen Lubman’s free spirit and eye for design led her to open her borough shop a little more than a year ago.

Frank’s Marble & Granite owner carries on father’s legacy as company celebrates 50 years

Helping his dad at work was Frank’s Marble & Granite owner Carmine Pantano’s first job.

York CPA empowers her clients to take control of their financial future

Grace Quartey of Grace & Associates helps her clients understand how taxes and financial systems affect their lives.

New canning line cracks open opportunities for Tröegs and its founders

Chris and John Trogner’s innovation will allow them to experiment with new packaging and beer styles at Tröegs, the home of Perpetual, the state’s best-selling IPA.

3 York County female entrepreneurs taking their dreams to the bank

Launching a business is a big endeavor. When it came to financing their dream, these three businesses in York County turned to PeoplesBank.

Keystone Merge helps Our York Media founders find new ways to tell stories

Rebecca and Will Hanlon had a vision for presenting local stories differently through The Founder Beat. The Keystone Merge community helped them make their idea viable.

‘Wired differently’ and agile, founder of K2 Kinetics finds success in York County

Kevin Keller built his Springettsbury Township business by focusing on what he does best: problem-solving.

As Neilly’s hits Whole Foods and beyond, York County-based founder stays resilient

Julie and Albert Ndjee’s company, Neilly’s Foods, manufactures rice mixes and other healthy-focused foods. Their key to success so far? Facing growing pains with grace.

York nature school founder builds resilience through outdoor learning

A few years after starting Seven Tribe Playground preschool, Brenna Logsdon is now working through the Department of Education to make its elementary program a licensed school.

Bake shop founder creates vibrant café experience in Springettsbury Township

Creative whimsy goes into every one of Crystal Caron’s pastry delights at The Sugar Rose Bake Shop.

York man’s jump into entrepreneurship connects him with his community

Anthony Moore was an engineer who bounced throughout the country and sometimes the world. He was always on the move until he found York.

After 40 years, founder prepares to pass construction business to next generation

Michael Delp will transfer M. J. Delp Construction to son-in-law Ryan Noll at the end of 2022.

Harrisburg-area veteran creates an app of hope for those recovering from addiction

Sharina Johnson’s company is developing a tool that uses artificial intelligence to track emotional triggers and offer support to those in recovery.

Refillism owner works to inspire change at sustainable refill shop

Before launching Refillism in York, Elizabeth Bower, NCIDQ, spent 15 years as a licensed interior designer and six years in the Air National Guard.

Co-owner of Skillet2Plate Soul Bistro makes entrepreneurship a family pursuit

When Lauren Days opened Skillet2Plate Soul Bistro with her husband, Terrence, and their blended family of six kids, she knew it would be a family venture.

Farm-raised trio launches agricultural engineering and design firm GroffJulius

The York County based founders provide the agriculture industry with a turnkey solution to feed and grain processing challenges.

How an entrepreneurial mindset shifted the York County SPCA’s narrative 

Steven Martinez, Executive Director of the York County SPCA, led a team of dedicated leaders who increased the organization’s animal save rate from 53% to an unprecedented 95% in just three years.

Urban winery Mark and Val Wines in Penn Market finds niche with familiar faces

Mark and Val Rhodes started making wines as a hobby five years ago. Today, they operate a stand in Penn Market and are considering expanding throughout the region.

8

Owner of newly opened Gather 256 brings a sense of home to former i-ron-ic space

A French-trained chef is the driving force behind York’s newest coffee shop in the building previously occupied by I-ron-ic Coffee Shop in the WeCo district.

BloomBox founders see explosive growth in online sales, in-person delivery

Chase Hafer didn’t know much about plants when he launched BloomBox. That was business partner David Zablocki’s realm. The decision to merge online sales with an in-person touch helped the duo build a one-of-a-kind online plant retailer.

How businesses can get creative during this year’s Give Local York

York County businesses of all sizes can be part of the annual day of giving in their own way.

As Blue Heron in East York closes, French restauranter isn’t bidding adieu to industry

Citing challenges related to the pandemic and an ongoing struggle with liquor licenses, David LeHeron closed Blue Heron on Aug. 27. While his future’s unclear, he says he’s not ready to give up entrepreneurship.

Rolling billboard company presents unique mobile advertising opportunity 

Mid-Atlantic Media Hub’s Tom and Jamie Vranich recently launched Central Pennsylvania’s only locally owned LED mobile billboard truck operation, and PeoplesBank has been there to boost their business.

Cookie connoisseurs savor success with high-tech tools and a culture of kindness

Doug and Sara Taylor spent their dating journey baking together. They never imagined it would turn into a multi-location cookie empire.

York entrepreneur finds himself cut out for both mowing and motivating

After failing out of college, serving a prison sentence, and losing his brother, Tavon Parker found the motivation to rewrite his story, re-commit to his lawn business, and help other York City teens do the same.

Entrepreneur takes recreational haven to next level in southern York County

Carrie Almony took over Titanium Athletics with a vision to create a youth recreation facility with a safe space for every member of the family.

Sustainability becomes a community effort at York College of Pennsylvania 

In November 2022, the institution brought on Daniel Kreiman to coordinate its environmental, economic, and social equity and justice efforts.

Blazin’ J’s founder expands spicy chicken kingdom to fifth location in three years

Lancaster native Jabron Taylor’s next big dream is to franchise the concept and open 100 restaurants over the next five years.

McNees Accelerator invites entrepreneurs to apply for free business guidance

The program at York College of Pennsylvania, which provides training to early-stage company owners and people with business ideas, is accepting applications for 2023 until February 15.

Teleosoft founders hand over leadership reins to create longevity and a legacy 

In the middle of the dot-com boom, three entrepreneurs laid the foundation for York-based Teleosoft, a software company that would come to support county governments around the country. Then they turned over leadership responsibilities to their team.

From basement salon to bridal makeup business, founder connects through beauty 

As a child, Maggie King was enthralled by the transformative power of beauty and the sense of confidence it evoked in women. That sensation would become the cornerstone of her bridal beauty ventures MKUP The Beauty Studio and BLEND Beauty & Spa.

York-based startup uses personality tests to tailor cybersecurity training regimens

Serial entrepreneur James Norrie’s startup cyberconIQ offers a unique solution in the fight against cybercrime.

How Philip Given’s latest pivot helped save his pretzel business

When the pandemic struck, Philip Given, partner at The Pretzel Company, helped his business make a vital shift online.

Former surgeon pioneers cannabis revolution after career-changing accident

Ten years ago, Steve Groff never imagined starting what became Groff North America, a global leader in cannabis research.

6 ways entrepreneurs can save on taxes — and for their future — by end of the year

If 2021 was good for business, there are ways to cut back on your tax bill while also planning for your future.

Next generation continues father’s excavating legacy with help of PeoplesBank

When Usner Excavating founder Rodney Usner died in 2019, his children had a choice: sell the business or work together to keep it running.

Lehr Labs creates customer connections with the help of Keystone Merge

Evan Lehr and Marcos Rivera were ready to grow their 3D printing business. Keystone Merge helped them take the next step.

Founders’ early struggles fuel later success

These three founders overcame hardships along their journeys to build what are now thriving businesses in York County.

Conservator finds rich history worth restoring in York County

Kenya Brown Feeser has traveled the world restoring artifacts. Now she’s using her unique skillset to bring York history to life.

Upcoming webinars entrepreneurs should keep on their radar

Looking for some financial help? Check out these two webinars.

Former pastor expanding Hanover-based coffee company into McSherrystown

Staying true to his no-debt ethos, Jordan Britton has grown Britton Coffee Co. from a trailer into a multi-location business.

York Federal Fellows builds next generation of leaders

One participant said the program gave her more confidence in myself and made her more comfortable taking on emotional and mental challenges.

Mom and daughter living dream running New Freedom Coffee Roasting Company & Deli

Through decades working as a nurse, Carol Sieling always wanted to open a restaurant with her daughter, Danielle.

EsoArts founders create a space for creatives of all backgrounds in Lancaster

An unlikely foursome’s dream of a gallery that welcomed all forms of expression by artists from all walks of life became a reality this year when they opened EsoArts.

Couple shares moments of brightly colored frozen joy with York County 

For nearly two decades, Gill and Myra Gillis have delivered sweet cold treats for York communities through their purple food truck window.

Rynn Caputo, co-founder of mission-driven cheese business, on what makes a good entrepreneur

Rynn Caputo, the co-founder of Caputo Brothers Creamery, has cried in her spilled milk. The pandemic has pushed the entrepreneur into more challenges than she could have anticipated, but her determination carries her forward.

Business is BLOOMING in York County

YCEA launches the BLOOM Business Empowerment Center.

Need business funds? PeoplesBank launches new online application process

Expand your small business in 15 minutes.

Southern York County entrepreneurs open Aces Axe Throwing

Amanda Bobby and her family’s business pivoted after the pandemic to open their own axe throwing venue in Shrewsbury.

From campgrounds to cybersecurity, these 4 York County founders leaned on CGA Law Firm to launch their ventures

CGA Law Firm is committed to helping entrepreneurs get their businesses started—and keep them growing—by providing top-notch legal services.

Keystone Merge helps founder bring business training to African entrepreneurs  

Christine Titih of EmergeHer says Keystone Merge helped her think outside the box when planning her next steps.

Translation business founder gives voice to his York County neighbors

Claudio Digruttola started Bilingual Conexion with the hope of filling a gap for professional interpretation and translation services. He never expected to be a voice for so many in his community.

Mom finds new identity written in the sand

After an unfulfilling start to retirement, Patti Foster says going into business with her daughters — dealing with Bahamian sand — has broadened her horizons.

From Gambia to Harrisburg-region, child care founder connects across cultures 

Haddy Saho made affordability — especially for fellow immigrant families — a priority when launching HMC Child Care in Harrisburg.

When her dream hit a wall, York fashion designer found a new way forward

Armino means warrior. That word embodies luxury streetwear fashion designer Aliyah Jones’ mindset toward struggles and adversity.

Inch&Co builds a business that gives their employees and family a life to be proud of

Brothers John Jr. and Jeff spent their early years growing up in a trailer park, with four siblings to one bedroom. Their experience motivates them today.

Local PGA pro and owner of indoor golf centers tees off franchise opportunities

Matt Keller, founder of York and Lancaster Indoor Golf & Training Centers, recently began licensing his high-tech golf centers.

Mommy In Heels brings a message of self-acceptance to fashion lovers

Fashion influencer Rebecca Wattenschaidt transformed her love of fashion into a career path that didn’t exist until recent years.

New Freedom cigar shop owner builds community that goes beyond business

Therina Himes has grown her tobacco shop and lounge, Freedom Cigars & Tobacco, over the past year, adding a walk-in humidor and thousands of premium cigars.

York native’s livestream platform empowers local high school athletes

Dew Jones brought together his passion for youth sports and video production to launch Sports Shooting Stars, which livestreams Central Pennsylvania high school athletics, such as basketball and football.

Pappus House founders see death differently since starting York County hospice home

Pappus is the silky white filament in a milkweed pod that carries the seed to its next destination. Like its namesake, Pappus House provides a home for those traveling through end of life.

York College’s Graham Fellows innovate across disciplines and cultures

The program offers unique opportunities for interdisciplinary exploration, international experiences, and career development.

How ReturnLogic’s founder built a $100M tech company — in Central Pennsylvania

Beyond building a successful software company, founder and CEO Peter Sobotta hopes he’s improving the tech ecosystem in the region.

Master Felicia is not playing: York woman kicks kids into shape with Tae Kwon Do

Dr. Felicia O. A. Dennis wields a fifth-degree black belt, holds a Ph.D. in theology, and will soon serve as a York City Councilwoman. As an entrepreneur, she’s using the lessons of Tae Kwon Do to change the lives of York students and their families.

Crafting a new life, contractor builds his American dream

Ulises Salinas has relied on patience – both in learning his craft and the ways of a new country – to help him grow his business.

Graham Center for Collaborative Innovation ‘a real difference-maker’ for York College

The Graham Center for Collaborative Innovation will promote collaboration throughout the entire campus on York College’s distinctive focus on experiential learning.

Planning perfect days is a dream come true for York Township entrepreneur

Wedding planner and floral designer Leah Barnes has created an interactive playroom for couples preparing for their big day.

York College alumni transform senior living with smart-home solutions 

York College of Pennsylvania graduates Alex Louderback and John Gallo are creating smart solutions for older Americans to age in place.

Harrisburg-based founders turn high school project into global vape-detection business

Triton Sensors grew out of a science competition project for brothers Lance and Garrison Parthemore and their friend Jack Guerrisi. Their vaping-detection sensors are used in 49 states and over a dozen countries.

York CEO’s advice to entrepreneurs: ‘Get ready to get punched in the face’

Mark Zeleznock, the co-founder of York-based Dataforma, says “the key to success is a tight feedback loop.”

2 The Tee Outfitters owner seeks to make impact over impression

Chris Markey has created a culture of teamwork as he’s grown 2 The Tee Outfitters from his basement into a 17,000-square-foot facility in Emigsville.

Harrisburg tech CEO unlocks business potential with new AI platform 

Nearly Human founder and CEO Jamison Rotz finds artificial intelligence-driven solutions for companies seeking to automate complicated processes.

Founder breaks with past to go ‘all-in’ on Harrisburg-based circuit board company

Dan Thau scaled Millennium Circuits Limited from a basement business into a multi-million dollar global company.

Learn More
TheFounderBeat.com will stay up until the end of the year. If you're looking for anything we've published in the past, use the search tool below.

6 ways entrepreneurs can save on taxes — and for their future — by end of the year

If 2021 was good for business, there are ways to cut back on your tax bill while also planning for your future.

9

Harrisburg filmmaker cuts to childhood dream, opens vegan ice cream business, Honey Bear

Natalie Wallace made a complete career shift to launch Honey Bear — a vegan, gluten-free, soy-free ice cream company.

Translation business founder gives voice to his York County neighbors

Claudio Digruttola started Bilingual Conexion with the hope of filling a gap for professional interpretation and translation services. He never expected to be a voice for so many in his community.

Four generations later, family behind Kreider Farms continues to innovate

Khalee Kreider and her family have seen dairy and egg production thrive recently at their Lancaster County farm.

How Philip Given’s latest pivot helped save his pretzel business

When the pandemic struck, Philip Given, partner at The Pretzel Company, helped his business make a vital shift online.

Pappus House founders see death differently since starting York County hospice home

Pappus is the silky white filament in a milkweed pod that carries the seed to its next destination. Like its namesake, Pappus House provides a home for those traveling through end of life.

Entrepreneur takes recreational haven to next level in southern York County

Carrie Almony took over Titanium Athletics with a vision to create a youth recreation facility with a safe space for every member of the family.

Planning perfect days is a dream come true for York Township entrepreneur

Wedding planner and floral designer Leah Barnes has created an interactive playroom for couples preparing for their big day.

Inch&Co builds a business that gives their employees and family a life to be proud of

Brothers John Jr. and Jeff spent their early years growing up in a trailer park, with four siblings to one bedroom. Their experience motivates them today.

Conservator finds rich history worth restoring in York County

Kenya Brown Feeser has traveled the world restoring artifacts. Now she’s using her unique skillset to bring York history to life.

York CEO’s advice to entrepreneurs: ‘Get ready to get punched in the face’

Mark Zeleznock, the co-founder of York-based Dataforma, says “the key to success is a tight feedback loop.”

Frank Dittenhafer, co-founder of architectural firm: Focus on the heart of your business

Frank Dittenhafer, President of Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects, says entrepreneurship can’t just be about making money. “It has to be driven by passion.”

York nature school founder builds resilience through outdoor learning

A few years after starting Seven Tribe Playground preschool, Brenna Logsdon is now working through the Department of Education to make its elementary program a licensed school.

Mom finds new identity written in the sand

After an unfulfilling start to retirement, Patti Foster says going into business with her daughters — dealing with Bahamian sand — has broadened her horizons.

YCEA’s Bloom Small Business program helps eyelash entrepreneur take business to next level

While Jaxi Rodriguez had already been an entrepreneur for decades, the experience she got from the York County Economic Alliance’s Bloom Small Business Development Program helped her reinforce the financial side of her current business, Lash Up Beauty Bar.

Harrisburg-area veteran creates an app of hope for those recovering from addiction

Sharina Johnson’s company is developing a tool that uses artificial intelligence to track emotional triggers and offer support to those in recovery.

BloomBox founders see explosive growth in online sales, in-person delivery

Chase Hafer didn’t know much about plants when he launched BloomBox. That was business partner David Zablocki’s realm. The decision to merge online sales with an in-person touch helped the duo build a one-of-a-kind online plant retailer.

Mount Zion Offroad revs up operations in Dover facility with help from PeoplesBank

Mike Cashman, co-founder of Mount Zion Offroad, built a successful vehicle maintenance and customization company and recently expanded his shop with the help of PeoplesBank.

York-based startup uses personality tests to tailor cybersecurity training regimens

Serial entrepreneur James Norrie’s startup cyberconIQ offers a unique solution in the fight against cybercrime.

Keystone Merge helps Our York Media founders find new ways to tell stories

Rebecca and Will Hanlon had a vision for presenting local stories differently through The Founder Beat. The Keystone Merge community helped them make their idea viable.

Sustainability becomes a community effort at York College of Pennsylvania 

In November 2022, the institution brought on Daniel Kreiman to coordinate its environmental, economic, and social equity and justice efforts.

Master Felicia is not playing: York woman kicks kids into shape with Tae Kwon Do

Dr. Felicia O. A. Dennis wields a fifth-degree black belt, holds a Ph.D. in theology, and will soon serve as a York City Councilwoman. As an entrepreneur, she’s using the lessons of Tae Kwon Do to change the lives of York students and their families.

Owner of Strathmeyer Christmas Trees branches into orchard business

Last year, Gerry Strathmeyer got into the pick-your-own fruit business when he and his partners bought Orchard Valley Farm in Seven Valleys.

Lancaster-based social space innovator offers help for adoptive parents

Isaac Etter’s paid parenting platform, Identity, caters to foster and adoptive parents, with subscribers across the U.S., Canada, and even New Zealand.

‘Wired differently’ and agile, founder of K2 Kinetics finds success in York County

Kevin Keller built his Springettsbury Township business by focusing on what he does best: problem-solving.

From basement salon to bridal makeup business, founder connects through beauty 

As a child, Maggie King was enthralled by the transformative power of beauty and the sense of confidence it evoked in women. That sensation would become the cornerstone of her bridal beauty ventures MKUP The Beauty Studio and BLEND Beauty & Spa.

Gamut Theatre Group founders celebrate 30th season

Melissa and Clark Nicholson brought together their love of theater 30 years ago to create a one-of-a-kind organization in Harrisburg.

Rocoto Peruvian and Mexican Grill owner finds ingredients for success in Red Lion

Edgard Ayala opened his restaurant a year before the pandemic and built a reputation with customers that led him to sustain and eventually expand his business.

After hatching from York College’s business incubator, HomeVision AR eyes next steps

The J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship at York College of Pennsylvania helped CEO Andy Lynch hone his augmented reality company’s business plan.

Founder breaks with past to go ‘all-in’ on Harrisburg-based circuit board company

Dan Thau scaled Millennium Circuits Limited from a basement business into a multi-million dollar global company.

Mommy In Heels brings a message of self-acceptance to fashion lovers

Fashion influencer Rebecca Wattenschaidt transformed her love of fashion into a career path that didn’t exist until recent years.

Harrisburg-based founders turn high school project into global vape-detection business

Triton Sensors grew out of a science competition project for brothers Lance and Garrison Parthemore and their friend Jack Guerrisi. Their vaping-detection sensors are used in 49 states and over a dozen countries.

York entrepreneur finds himself cut out for both mowing and motivating

After failing out of college, serving a prison sentence, and losing his brother, Tavon Parker found the motivation to rewrite his story, re-commit to his lawn business, and help other York City teens do the same.

Lehr Labs creates customer connections with the help of Keystone Merge

Evan Lehr and Marcos Rivera were ready to grow their 3D printing business. Keystone Merge helped them take the next step.

As Harmony Café opens in York, barista’s journey hits ‘surreal’ moment

Robert Thomas has transformed Molly’s Courtyard Café into his own space with his own vibes.

Founder’s cross-cultural experience helps her make a difference in her community

Tannisha Fuentes dreamed of creating work opportunities for marginalized York residents that provided a path to fulfillment and growth.

Global learning produces career-ready graduates at York College

The school’s Strategic Plan 2.0 paints a vision of graduates prepared to compete in global environments. Global learning initiatives are helping to make that goal a reality.

Family shares Mexican heritage in West York’s ‘hidden gem’ taqueria, El Sol

Tucked behind a Mexican retail store called El Sol is a family-run restaurant that’s serving up traditional dishes, from carne asada to tortas.

Shank’s Mare owners share love of outdoors with future generations 

Since launching Shank’s Mare Outfitters, Liz Winand and her husband, Steve, have educated tens of thousands of people about sustainability.

How ReturnLogic’s founder built a $100M tech company — in Central Pennsylvania

Beyond building a successful software company, founder and CEO Peter Sobotta hopes he’s improving the tech ecosystem in the region.

Couple shares moments of brightly colored frozen joy with York County 

For nearly two decades, Gill and Myra Gillis have delivered sweet cold treats for York communities through their purple food truck window.

Rolling billboard company presents unique mobile advertising opportunity 

Mid-Atlantic Media Hub’s Tom and Jamie Vranich recently launched Central Pennsylvania’s only locally owned LED mobile billboard truck operation, and PeoplesBank has been there to boost their business.

Blazin’ J’s founder expands spicy chicken kingdom to fifth location in three years

Lancaster native Jabron Taylor’s next big dream is to franchise the concept and open 100 restaurants over the next five years.

Frank’s Marble & Granite owner carries on father’s legacy as company celebrates 50 years

Helping his dad at work was Frank’s Marble & Granite owner Carmine Pantano’s first job.

In changing economy, what tools will help businesses thrive?

PeoplesBank is launching its first webinar as part of a business banking series.

After 40 years, founder prepares to pass construction business to next generation

Michael Delp will transfer M. J. Delp Construction to son-in-law Ryan Noll at the end of 2022.

Cookie connoisseurs savor success with high-tech tools and a culture of kindness

Doug and Sara Taylor spent their dating journey baking together. They never imagined it would turn into a multi-location cookie empire.

Southern York County entrepreneurs open Aces Axe Throwing

Amanda Bobby and her family’s business pivoted after the pandemic to open their own axe throwing venue in Shrewsbury.

York CPA empowers her clients to take control of their financial future

Grace Quartey of Grace & Associates helps her clients understand how taxes and financial systems affect their lives.

From Gambia to Harrisburg-region, child care founder connects across cultures 

Haddy Saho made affordability — especially for fellow immigrant families — a priority when launching HMC Child Care in Harrisburg.

Business is BLOOMING in York County

YCEA launches the BLOOM Business Empowerment Center.

A childhood spark leads to a lifetime of business building for Harrisburg entrepreneur  

Kumba Saho’s entrepreneurial spirit developed early and traveled with her when she emigrated from Gambia in 1999.

Local PGA pro and owner of indoor golf centers tees off franchise opportunities

Matt Keller, founder of York and Lancaster Indoor Golf & Training Centers, recently began licensing his high-tech golf centers.

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Owner of newly opened Gather 256 brings a sense of home to former i-ron-ic space

A French-trained chef is the driving force behind York’s newest coffee shop in the building previously occupied by I-ron-ic Coffee Shop in the WeCo district.

Artist opens studio to help marginalized creatives in York’s WeCo district

Artist and educator Ophelia Chambliss plans to use her new studio space — Ophelia’s Making Agency — not only to create art but to assist artists of color with the business side of creative work.

3 York County female entrepreneurs taking their dreams to the bank

Launching a business is a big endeavor. When it came to financing their dream, these three businesses in York County turned to PeoplesBank.

New Freedom cigar shop owner builds community that goes beyond business

Therina Himes has grown her tobacco shop and lounge, Freedom Cigars & Tobacco, over the past year, adding a walk-in humidor and thousands of premium cigars.

McNees Accelerator invites entrepreneurs to apply for free business guidance

The program at York College of Pennsylvania, which provides training to early-stage company owners and people with business ideas, is accepting applications for 2023 until February 15.

Outgoing York College president saw strategy become reality 

Dr. Pamela Gunter-Smith recently unveiled Strategic Plan 2.0 as she prepares to retire after the spring 2023 semester.

Muhly & Cedar in Shrewsbury blooms out of pandemic

Jen Lubman’s free spirit and eye for design led her to open her borough shop a little more than a year ago.

Crafting a new life, contractor builds his American dream

Ulises Salinas has relied on patience – both in learning his craft and the ways of a new country – to help him grow his business.

Rynn Caputo, co-founder of mission-driven cheese business, on what makes a good entrepreneur

Rynn Caputo, the co-founder of Caputo Brothers Creamery, has cried in her spilled milk. The pandemic has pushed the entrepreneur into more challenges than she could have anticipated, but her determination carries her forward.

The Unkommon Chef finds freedom in crafting fine cuisine in York

Chef Schan Gladden’s path to opening his own restaurant in York started almost 30 years ago.

Chef’s past bridges cultures at Dover’s newest burger joint 

Ethan Greer, owner of Taqueria El Camino in Dover, is planning to open his second restaurant, Greer’s Burger Garage, in early spring.

Teleosoft founders hand over leadership reins to create longevity and a legacy 

In the middle of the dot-com boom, three entrepreneurs laid the foundation for York-based Teleosoft, a software company that would come to support county governments around the country. Then they turned over leadership responsibilities to their team.

How businesses can get creative during this year’s Give Local York

York County businesses of all sizes can be part of the annual day of giving in their own way.

EsoArts founders create a space for creatives of all backgrounds in Lancaster

An unlikely foursome’s dream of a gallery that welcomed all forms of expression by artists from all walks of life became a reality this year when they opened EsoArts.

Brothers celebrate 30 years since launching tech company in their York basement

Scott and John Dolmetsch launched Business Information Group from their basement before personal computers were the norm.

From home kitchen to franchise path, The SteakOut eyes continued growth

Rob Bryant remembers when the York City Health Inspector sat him down with a folder of evidence on the business he operated without license. Today, he’s doing it right — and growing.

Mom hopes soap business inspired by her kids leads them to take chances of their own

Cresha Drayden started making her own soaps years ago to help her children get through a skin condition. Today, she helps others feel their best at her Central Market York stand, Our Sons and Daughters.

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Aviator Brew Hub takes flight in Stewartstown 

Marine Corps veteran David Elwell and his wife, Katie, hope Aviator Brew Hub can be an anchor for growth in their community.

Harrisburg designer empowers women through fashion

Amma Johnson couples her love of art and fashion with her drive to strengthen women through her brand, AMMA JO.

York College alumni transform senior living with smart-home solutions 

York College of Pennsylvania graduates Alex Louderback and John Gallo are creating smart solutions for older Americans to age in place.

Lancaster homeschool mom blends past skills into running Keystone Coffee House

Donna Shenk says the skills she honed while homeschooling her four kids apply to operating her shop inside the Lancaster Amtrak station.

Upcoming webinars entrepreneurs should keep on their radar

Looking for some financial help? Check out these two webinars.

Did you donate during Give Local York 2021? Don’t forget your tax break!

Any cash contributions you made to qualifying charitable organizations in 2021 count toward a special deduction.

As Neilly’s hits Whole Foods and beyond, York County-based founder stays resilient

Julie and Albert Ndjee’s company, Neilly’s Foods, manufactures rice mixes and other healthy-focused foods. Their key to success so far? Facing growing pains with grace.

Co-owner of Skillet2Plate Soul Bistro makes entrepreneurship a family pursuit

When Lauren Days opened Skillet2Plate Soul Bistro with her husband, Terrence, and their blended family of six kids, she knew it would be a family venture.

Urban winery Mark and Val Wines in Penn Market finds niche with familiar faces

Mark and Val Rhodes started making wines as a hobby five years ago. Today, they operate a stand in Penn Market and are considering expanding throughout the region.

After closing her storefront in 2020, Claudia’s Artistry draws up comeback

Claudia Salazar is a self-taught artist whose work can be found on sneakers, t-shirts, leather jackets, and more. Her childhood trauma led her to create and find opportunities for healing.

York man’s jump into entrepreneurship connects him with his community

Anthony Moore was an engineer who bounced throughout the country and sometimes the world. He was always on the move until he found York.

New canning line cracks open opportunities for Tröegs and its founders

Chris and John Trogner’s innovation will allow them to experiment with new packaging and beer styles at Tröegs, the home of Perpetual, the state’s best-selling IPA.

As Blue Heron in East York closes, French restauranter isn’t bidding adieu to industry

Citing challenges related to the pandemic and an ongoing struggle with liquor licenses, David LeHeron closed Blue Heron on Aug. 27. While his future’s unclear, he says he’s not ready to give up entrepreneurship.

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Couple brings love of literature to new downtown York book shop

Founders Sarah Timmcke and Chuck Blair are excited to share their love of a good story and a savored moment together at Bound Books.

Founders’ early struggles fuel later success

These three founders overcame hardships along their journeys to build what are now thriving businesses in York County.

Bake shop founder creates vibrant café experience in Springettsbury Township

Creative whimsy goes into every one of Crystal Caron’s pastry delights at The Sugar Rose Bake Shop.

Connections early intervention clinic brings hope to families with help of PeoplesBank

Co-founders Liz Jones and Rande Fregm set out to make a better life for families with atypically developing children. From that dream grew services provided by 40 therapists and 20 staffers at their York clinic.

York College’s Graham Fellows innovate across disciplines and cultures

The program offers unique opportunities for interdisciplinary exploration, international experiences, and career development.

Refillism owner works to inspire change at sustainable refill shop

Before launching Refillism in York, Elizabeth Bower, NCIDQ, spent 15 years as a licensed interior designer and six years in the Air National Guard.

Entrepreneur with two tech companies downtown asks, ‘Why not York?’

Kevin Cramer’s life sciences software company Sapio Sciences and sales and marketing tracking business Veloxity stand out in a city not necessarily known as a technology hub.

From India to Lancaster, entrepreneur redefines fashion with purpose and passion

Timbrel Chyatee is bridging cultural divides and welcoming diverse clientele to celebrate their identities through her fashion brand CHYATEE.

When her dream hit a wall, York fashion designer found a new way forward

Armino means warrior. That word embodies luxury streetwear fashion designer Aliyah Jones’ mindset toward struggles and adversity.

Keystone Merge helps founder bring business training to African entrepreneurs  

Christine Titih of EmergeHer says Keystone Merge helped her think outside the box when planning her next steps.

True to her roots, York woman builds business creating charcuterie boards

Marie Fisher started Nature’s Platter with little experience but an abundance of passion. As her business has grown, so has her sense of pride—in both the business and herself.

2 The Tee Outfitters owner seeks to make impact over impression

Chris Markey has created a culture of teamwork as he’s grown 2 The Tee Outfitters from his basement into a 17,000-square-foot facility in Emigsville.

How intrapreneurs at C.S. Davidson helped modernize a century-old engineering firm

Bridge engineers Jordan Good and John Petro led a C.S. Davidson division to build a software solution that revolutionized the way municipalities managed their infrastructure.

York barber’s troubled past shapes life as entrepreneur

Didi & Smiling John’s co-owner John Shilling embraces the unconventional path that’s led him to where he is today.

Harrisburg tech CEO unlocks business potential with new AI platform 

Nearly Human founder and CEO Jamison Rotz finds artificial intelligence-driven solutions for companies seeking to automate complicated processes.

Next generation continues father’s excavating legacy with help of PeoplesBank

When Usner Excavating founder Rodney Usner died in 2019, his children had a choice: sell the business or work together to keep it running.

From campgrounds to cybersecurity, these 4 York County founders leaned on CGA Law Firm to launch their ventures

CGA Law Firm is committed to helping entrepreneurs get their businesses started—and keep them growing—by providing top-notch legal services.

Need business funds? PeoplesBank launches new online application process

Expand your small business in 15 minutes.

Graham Center for Collaborative Innovation ‘a real difference-maker’ for York College

The Graham Center for Collaborative Innovation will promote collaboration throughout the entire campus on York College’s distinctive focus on experiential learning.

York doctor revives ‘old fashioned family medicine’

Dr. Christina Doll went into medicine to make a difference in people’s lives. When working for the traditional system didn’t fit her style, she decided to craft her own family practice.

Farm-raised trio launches agricultural engineering and design firm GroffJulius

The York County based founders provide the agriculture industry with a turnkey solution to feed and grain processing challenges.

York native’s livestream platform empowers local high school athletes

Dew Jones brought together his passion for youth sports and video production to launch Sports Shooting Stars, which livestreams Central Pennsylvania high school athletics, such as basketball and football.

New owners at Moonlight Café find their way with help of PeoplesBank

Shaye and Tyler Merryman kept the classic Italian menu exactly the same when they took over Moonlight Café in Dover in May.

York Flea founder sees event as incubator for micro-businesses to bloom

Kristen Dempwolf hosted the first York Flea in 2015 in the rain with 10 vendors. Today, she has a list of 100+ micro businesses who have been part of the event.

Leg Up Farm founder steps back to help his organization move forward

Louie Castriota opened the therapy center for kids who have special needs in 2010. To ensure the organization’s success outlives him, he’s been stepping back ever since.

Former pastor expanding Hanover-based coffee company into McSherrystown

Staying true to his no-debt ethos, Jordan Britton has grown Britton Coffee Co. from a trailer into a multi-location business.

Former surgeon pioneers cannabis revolution after career-changing accident

Ten years ago, Steve Groff never imagined starting what became Groff North America, a global leader in cannabis research.

E-bike entrepreneurs keep on rolling, open second location in Lancaster County

Capitalizing on the growing popularity of e-bikes, Let’s Roll founders Tim Hill and Ryan Finger launched a second shop in Columbia.

CEO of The Program finds fulfillment offering ex-offenders a second chance

AliceAnne Frost gave up a lucrative career to help ex-offenders restart their lives. She doesn’t regret it for a moment.

Navy veteran takes holistic approach to coaching at his Harrisburg gym

Rogue Sol Training owner Austin Qualls defines an athlete not as someone who plays sports but as someone who has a goal they want to achieve and the drive to make it happen.

Mom and daughter living dream running New Freedom Coffee Roasting Company & Deli

Through decades working as a nurse, Carol Sieling always wanted to open a restaurant with her daughter, Danielle.

How an entrepreneurial mindset shifted the York County SPCA’s narrative 

Steven Martinez, Executive Director of the York County SPCA, led a team of dedicated leaders who increased the organization’s animal save rate from 53% to an unprecedented 95% in just three years.

York Federal Fellows builds next generation of leaders

One participant said the program gave her more confidence in myself and made her more comfortable taking on emotional and mental challenges.