New class of entrepreneurs graduate from microenterprise program

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Members of the recent Microenterprise Assistance Program class graduated in ceremonies Tuesday night at Lockstone. Seated, from left, are Beth Miller of Albion, Deloris Mosher of Kent and Lindsay O’Connor of Kendall. Standing, from left, are Steve Thomas of Albion, Ryan Jenks of Holley, MAP coordinator Diane Blanchard, former MAP graduate Michelle Gallo of Holley, Sada Mills of Medina, mentor/instructor Dorothy Daniels of Albion and Dan Conrad of Albion. To date the MAP has graduated 544 prospective business people.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 22 November 2021 at 6:15 pm

ALBION – With the recent graduation class, Orleans Economic Development Agency’s Microenterprise Assistance Program has catapulted 544 prospective individuals on their path to success.

Tuesday night at Lockstone in Albion, seven more graduates celebrated completing the class, managed by Diane Blanchard.

Lindsey O’Connor of Kendall presents her business plan to the Microenterprise Assistance Program graduating class on Tuesday night at Lockstone in Albion.

As usual, the class represents a unique number of innovative business ideas by these budding entrepreneurs.

Those who presented their business plans were Ryan Jenks, who plans to start a machine shop; Sada Mills, who runs a quilting and crafts business out of her home in Medina; Lindsay O’Connor of Kendall, who does furniture refurbishing; Danial Conrad, who has opened Toyz N Kandy in Albion; Elizabeth Miller of Albion, who plans a bakery and deli; Deloris Mosher of Kent, who plans Deez’s Cupz, which will sell printed signs and clothing with her designs; and Steve Thomas, who has a catering business.

Ryan Jenks of Holley works as a mechatronics engineer for Zweigles. He took the MAP class to help him with his desire to open a machine shop. Perspective customers can reach him at

Sada Mills of Medina is calling her new business Sadas Spirited Stitches and Such. She does quilting and crafts and makes quilts from jeans scraps. Her target market is women between the ages of 30 and 65 and she is gearing up for the holiday season.

Everything is hand made using repurposed materials, including jeans and sweaters. She said key chains are a big seller and her porch signs made with chalk are unique. Her e-mail is

She strives to retire from her full time job by 2025.

Sada Mills of Medina receives her graduation diploma from the Microenterprise Assistance Program class Tuesday night at Lockstone. Mills plans to open a quilting and crafts business in Medina.

Elizabeth Miller had been living in the Adirondacks when she made the decision to move back home to Albion. She had a job working in a restaurant, when it closed due to Covid and she was out of a job.

She plans to open a bakery and deli, where she eventually will have meats and cheeses which she will slice to order. She has acquired space in the former Albanese’s Restaurant.

“This is more than a bakery,” Miller said. “I make all my own mayonnaise and dressings from scratch.”

Favorites are her maple mayo and pepper mayo. Her deli menu will change daily, with items such as white bean chicken chili, clam chowder and special sandwiches.

She said the support from her boyfriend, family and friends has been incredible.

Deloris Mosher of Kent does printing of textiles and linens at her home. She specializes in sports teams, such as the Buffalo Bills, using designs she has created herself. She will also do printing from designs her customers provide.

“I still work full time at Walmart, and this was a hobby which I really liked,” Mosher said. “I now want to do it for other people.”

She can be reached at

Lindsay O’Connor and her husband James love restoring old furniture and want to make a business out of it, transforming old furniture into quality and value-oriented pieces. They currently work out of their home, but hope to have a physical location by March 2022 with a grant from Orleans County EDA. That way customers can view furniture in a gallery setting, as if it were in their own home.

James is a truck driver and brings home pieces of furniture he may spot along the road, and family and friends bring furniture items to them.

Lindsay said they like to combine the old with the new, the classic with the contemporary. Since going into business in March last year, they have sold 300 pieces out of their home. They can be contacted at

Steve Thomas of Albion previously had a food truck, and through trial and error he found out what worked and what didn’t. He hopes his new venture will be more successful – running Hot Spot Catering from his location on West Avenue in Albion. He had set up a tent and grill in front of Ace Hardware and did very well, he said, making him hopeful for his new venture.

Dan Conrad receives his graduation diploma from Dorothy Daniels and Michelle Gallo, program mentors and instructors. At right is MAP coordinator Diane Blanchard.

Daniel Conrad’s new business Toyz N Kandy sprung out of his experiences in the local candy store as a kid.

He has rented space on East Bank Street in downtown Albion, where he has set up a Foosball table and air hockey. He sells retro candy, including penny candy, and even quarter candy. He said Gary Withey who ran Fischer’s Newsstand has been an inspiration to him.

The program concluded with a success story by Lynn Palmer, who took the MAP class two years ago and has since grown a very successful overstock business in Albion.

Also in attendance at the graduation were Jon Costello and Sam Campanella, class mentors with SCORE, who have since retired, and Paul Hendel, chairman of Orleans County Economic Development. New mentors and instructors are Michelle Gallo, who took the class in 2018, and Dorothy Daniels.

Gallo has returned to speak to several classes since she graduated with her husband. They started out with a junk yard and towing business. She said they will clear more than $1.5 million this year in the junk yard. She has repeatedly told the MAP classes how the course has helped her and her husband succeed. They recently purchased a third business, the former Hamlin Station, which they opened two weeks ago as Gallo’s Bar.