Bernadette… Cooking with a Twist on Success!

Occupation: 
Entrepreneur - Ma Ma Rella’s Fine Foods/ Rella’s Original’s
Picture of Bernadette

Bernadette is a highly motivated individual who has managed to overcome many obstacles in her life. When Bernadette applied for ACCES-VR services, she was interested in starting her own business. Bernadette worked closely with her ACCES-VR Counselor, Darren Pohorecki to evaluate what services, equipment and products she required to be successful as a Food Entrepreneur. Bernadette had created an Italian Marinara Sauce that she felt could be marketable. Some aspects of planning and setting up a business were challenging for Bernadette, however, her perseverance and determination drove her to successfully seek assistance from a variety of sources to achieve success, including ACCES-VR.

After reviewing and approving Bernadette’s business proposal, ACCES-VR purchased business consulting services to assist her with learning to use QuickBooks, ingredients to make the sauce, jars and packing supplies, including labels. This provided Bernadette with what she needed to produce several cases of initial startup sauces for her to market.   Following this, she then arranged for Glen Industries, a division of The Arc of Schuyler, to create the sauce per her recipes, as well as bottle the sauce, label and pack the jars. Supplies to do this are purchased by Bernadette and shipped to Glen Industries to use.

Bernadette’s business, Ma Ma Rella’s Fine Foods, has been operating since 5/1/14. Bernadette has now created two products, the Italian Marinara Sauce and a Spicy Riggie Sauce. These sauces are sold in several local stores throughout the Utica/Syracuse area, as well as the New York City area. In addition she markets her products at farmers markets throughout the area, such as the CNY Syracuse Regional Market, Whitesboro Farmers Market, Clinton Farmers Market and More Than A Market. She also sets up taste testing events in the food stores currently selling her sauces. The company is currently in the process of rebranding its name to Rella's Original's.     

Bernadette describes herself as self-driven and a perfectionist. She is passionate about the sauces she creates and sells. This passion has assisted her in maintaining consistent sales of her products.

Patti Williams, IES I
Utica District Office

Worker Success Stories