When Kim Shkapich re-located to the Lower Cape from New York City almost a decade ago, she was prepared to ‘reinvent’ herself. She had had a thriving career in the city, but it was time for something new. Her background and expertise is in architecture and design. But, she had life-long talents for cooking and preserving—skills she had learned as a pre-teen from her working mother. She knew she wanted to incorporate these skills into her new livelihood. So shrubs and rubs, drinking vinegars, spices, and jams and jellies became her focus.
Creating the products came naturally to Kim, but on the business side she needed some support. Early on she participated in the Community Development Partnership’s Smart Start workshop and SCORE Cape Cod’s business planning series. From these she learned some business basics to kick start her business—Lola’s Local Food Lab. After that she started meeting monthly with SCORE mentors at the Community Development Partnership offices. During these sessions she received individual guidance for her business. “The mentors have been helpful with the business structure and financials. They keep me on track", said Kim about the meetings. "They have also been so enthusiastic and supportive. With thought provoking conversations that provide me with a different perspective on the business, they have been a tremendous resource as my business has grown.”
And that growth has included branching out in a variety of ways. She participates at local Farmer’s Markets (you can find her at the Orleans Winter Farmers’ Market right now). And—new this summer—Kim will be opening her own retail space. She’s thrilled to be able to have a home base from which to sell her products. And she's excited to expand her products and services to include food classes and foods to go. Also stay tuned for her new website, which she’s working on with a professional services grant the Community Development Partnership offers via the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation. This grant helps business owners access professional services at a more affordable rate. By using local resources, prudence, and lots of hard work Lola’s Local Food Lab and the new life Kim had envisioned for herself have flourished.