TENNESSEE STATEWIDE AMBER ALERT: Elizabeth Thomas | Click for details from TBI.

Success Stories

Real People. Real Businesses. Real Success.

A Cut Above the Rest

For as long as she can remember, Stephanie Cofer has been interested in being a hairstylist and perhaps one day, owning her own salon. In 1998, when her uncle, Mike Sheldon, opened Hair & Body Image Salon in Kingston, Tennessee, it only furthered her interest in this field.

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Starting from Scratch

Thomas and Laurie Pavlou have been baking cakes since 1988 in Cleveland, Tenn. From what began as a simple desire to go into business for themselves has since grown into the T&L Baking Company, built by Thomas himself with the help of a local contractor, housing nine ovens and the capacity to produce 10,000 cakes per week.

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Barbeque Dreams Come True

"BERO was such a help to us. Besides the BERO loan that we got, which helped us pay our bills that first year, we had such a wealth of information and assistance readily available to us to guide us and instruct us in. I attended many great workshops that BERO put on throughout the state."

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Recipe for Success

Ravens began this journey as a part-time beekeeper, but having a family inspired her to create “Appalachian Bee” in 2001, taking the company to the next level.

“I wanted to do something that kept me close to home, where I could be available to our young children,” Ravens explained. “Working with honeybees had always been enjoyable and challenging.”

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