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Hartford, CT
Hartford, CT
Imani Zito
Alchemy Juice Bar Cafe

We opened Alchemy Juice Bar in 2002, and this is the first year we're not operating at a loss. Hartford is a challenging place to be a small business owner. There's so much potential here, but you need endless energy.

If you're a visionary, you can do almost anything because there's almost no competition. We're really committed to revitalizing the area. We spent $50,000 on a parking lot and $150,000 on a renovation, but if we didn't own the building where we live and work, we probably wouldn't still be here. Taxes for small business owners just went up, which will continue for the next five years.

What is attractive is the city's central location. Most of our business comes from outside Hartford, from as far as New York and Boston -- people driving by who stop in. The location is also a factor in our next growth phase: We're launching a statewide delivery service -- local produce and raw food -- though our Growing Green Co-op. -Sara Pepitone

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