Business Spotlight: Slow Jam Success

Sarah Cohen is the owner of Sarah’s Slow Jam and a client of the Florida Small Business Development Center at FAU.

Business Spotlight: Slow Jam Success

Creating Plans with the Florida SBDC at FAU

Sarah Cohen, owner of Sarah’s Slow Jam, never thought those outside her family would enjoy her creations of seasonal gourmet jams and jellies. But she was wrong. Cohen, who has made homemade jams and jellies for more than 10 years, officially opened her business, Sarah’s Slow Jam, in 2020, just before the pandemic.

However, other than making jam and designing labels, she had virtually no business training or even the knowledge on where to begin, she said.

When Cohen heard about the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Grassroots initiative, a program that offers business entities access to specialized technical assistance and business resources, she immediately took advantage of it.

Cohen attended the new business bootcamp, hosted by the Women’s Foundation of Florida and Florida SBDC at FAU Grassroots initiative. The boot camp gave her access to various speakers about how to grow of her business.

“Learning about the SBDC during the new business boot camp changed everything for me,” she said. “I went from throwing ideas at the wall to doing actual homework about market research, industry wants and needs and what I bring to the table as a leader.”

Through the program, she completed a SWOT analysis and built relationships. With the goals created, Cohen began expanding her targeted markets. This is a pivotal turning point to help her small business stay ahead, she said.

“It blew my mind to gain this kind of knowledge on the kind of research that I thought was only available to large businesses,” she said. “Those sessions really allowed me to understand my strengths and weaknesses, like how to better improve my shipping cost or how to better serve my customers.”

One speaker at the initiative was Annette Gray, a business management consultant with the Florida SBDC at FAU. “Listening to her speak was amazing, she gave such practical information that I knew I wanted to continue working with her,” she said.

Once the boot camp ended, Cohen connected with Gray to build a business plan for Sarah’s Slow Jam.

“Sitting down with Annette really made the world of a difference. To bounce ideas off a professional who has the experience and knowledge that she does to guide me to the right resources was crucial,” she said. “Every small business owner should know about the Florida SBDC at FAU and the Women’s Foundation of Florida.”

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