PIDC Clients You Need to Know – Women Business Owners

March 24, 2022

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This Women’s History Month, we’re honoring women business owners by highlighting our PIDC client businesses owned by incredible women. Check out their success stories and testimonials below. We’re proud to support local businesses through financing, education, and other services for business growth.  We encourage you to support these clients and other women-owned businesses throughout Philadelphia.

Silvia Lucci

Co-owner of LUHV Food

LUHV Food is a woman- and Hispanic-owned manufacturing company dedicated to producing 100% nutritional vegan foods.The company was started out of necessity as owners Daniel and Silvia Lucci were experiencing personal financial hardship and health issues. Daniel, having experience as a restaurant chef of many years, decided to incorporate a plant-based diet to heal their family. Silvia came up with the idea of packaging the foods for those looking for flavorful vegan foods. LUHV Food now has a vegan deli in Reading Terminal Market, wholesale in various stores, two storefronts, and is now looking to develop a building for further expansion.

Experience working with PIDC:

“The relationship had already been established. [PIDC] followed our growth, financials, and opportunities for a while, so when we had the opportunity to develop this building, it was an extremely comfortable and productive relationship.”

Ellen Yin

Founder & Co-owner of High Street Hospitality Group

High Street Hospitality Group is responsible for some of Philadelphia’s award-winning restaurants such as Fork Restaurant, + bar, High Street Philly, High Street on Hudson, and High Street Provisions. As a notable leader in the Philadelphia restaurant scene for more than two decades, the founder and co-owner of High Street Hospitality Group, Ellen Yin, has consistently earned praise for her work in the culinary industry. Ellen was recognized as an honoree in the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Inspiring Excellence Awards and was included in the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Women of Distinction 2020. She was also recently nominated for the 2022 James Beard Award in the category of outstanding restaurateur. According to Philly Voice, she is the only one of Philadelphia’s nominees to be named in a national category.

Experience working with PIDC:

“The low-interest rates, commitment to economic development and job creation has always been a great appeal to me. I am so grateful for the support PIDC has provided to local businesses over the years, but especially so for PIDC’s help in the wake of COVID-19.”

Lisa Robinson & Ronda Winfield

Co-founder of My Independence at Home

My Independence at Home is a Black-owned full-service home care agency that provides certified nursing assistants, home health aides, personal care attendants, prescription delivery services, personal emergency response systems, and life preparedness consultations. As a stroke survivor, founder and CEO Lisa Robinson, understands firsthand that her recovery was very much impacted by the quality of care she received at home, so she and co-founder Ronda Winfield made it their mission to ensure that anyone in need of home care receives the care they both need and deserve. My Independence at Home has been featured in Oprah magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Philadelphia Tribune, and more.

Experience working with PIDC:

“PIDC allowed us to receive financial support very much needed for small businesses, and at a fair interest rate.” – Lisa Robinson

Tess Hart

Co-founder of Triple Bottom Brewing

Triple Bottom Brewing is a Certified B Corp mission-driven craft brewery that was co-founded by Tess Hart, Bill Popwell, and Kyle Carney in 2016. True to its name, Triple Bottom Brewing has a triple bottom line: beer, people, and planet. The brewery is powered by renewable energy. It is also a fair chance brewery — actively seeking to hire people who may otherwise be excluded from the mainstream economy, including people who have experienced homelessness or incarceration.

Experience working with PIDC:

“The process of obtaining a loan from the state is fairly opaque, and PIDC coached us through every step of the way. It felt like we had someone in our court when working with PIDC.”

Allegra Derengowski & Rasa Stirbys Benefico

Co-founders of Birchtree Catering

Birchtree Catering has made it a primary mission to maintain a sustainable business and give back to the community through local sourcing, composting, employee wellness, and economic stability. From humble beginnings as waitresses to using rental kitchens as a head start, co-founders Allegra Derengowski and Rasa Stirbys Benefico are now award winning chefs. Their team won “Best of Philly” for Party Food in 2015 and their food quality standards have been recognized by Grid Magazine, the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia, The Chamber of Commerce, The Knot, and Philadelphia Wedding.

Experience working with PIDC:

“When an entity like PIDC is introduced into our lives, the financial and mental boost that comes with that kind of big win has long-lasting effects that make it possible to get through the next hurdle, and the next, and the next.”

Maria Olivieri

Owner of Olivieri & Associates

By operating a successful heavy-highway construction company based in South Philadelphia, owner Maria Olivieri is stretching the scope of what a woman-owned business can accomplish in a male-dominated field. Notable projects include the Robert Nix Federal Building, SEPTA’s Overbrook Station, paving at Citizens Bank Park, Children’s Hospitals, and stamping concrete on Broad Street in downtown Philadelphia.

Experience working with PIDC:

“PIDC provided financing for job equipment and job financing.”

Rosemarie Certo

Owner of Dock Street Brewery

Home to award-winning beers and hand-tossed, wood-fired pizza, Dock Street Brewery is a woman and immigrant-owned brewery. Founded in 1985 by Rosemarie Certo, it is Philadelphia’s first all-grain brew-pub and one of the first post-prohibition craft breweries in the country. Dock Street Brewery boasts a multitude of medals earned in brewing competitions in the US and abroad throughout the company’s three decades in business. They are widely known for their fearless experimental beers like the Dock Street Walker and Bohemian Pilsner — their Rye IPA that Beer Advocate ranks among the Top 15 Rye Beers in the World.

Experience working with PIDC:

“PIDC helps a lot of small to medium-sized businesses, as well as larger businesses. They are very thoughtful of where they get involved, I’ve always loved working with PIDC.”

Read More About These PIDC Clients

March 17, 2023

Client Feature: Highway Construction Company Olivieri & Associates Expands by Purchasing Available Land in Eastwick

PIDC client, Olivieri & Associates, is a woman-owned heavy-highway construction company founded in 1999 with notable projects that include the historic street reconstruction of the 300 block of South Philip Street, which won the 2019 Preservation Achievement Award from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. Olivieri & Associates also just completed the PennDOT Riverfront Gateway Sidewalk Design Project along

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March 17, 2023

Client Feature: H&Mcare Breaks Ground on $13M Project for Home Care Support Services

Last month, PIDC client H&Mcare – a Black- and immigrant-owned home care support services business – celebrated a groundbreaking at 71st and Woodland Streets in Southwest Philadelphia. The $13 million project will provide critical services for the community, including housing to more than 22 individuals over the age of 65, an urgent care, a pharmacy, and residential

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March 17, 2023

Client Feature: Made Institute Fashion School Celebrates 10 Years in Business

Made Institute Fashion School CEO, Rachel Ford, started teaching couture sewing classes out of her live/work loft space in the Old City neighborhood in 2012. She wanted to share techniques she had learned working 10 years at the Philadelphia Opera to this city’s growing number of makers and designers.   Now, after 10 years in business, Made

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February 21, 2023

PIDC Client Spotlight: Silvia’s Bakery

PIDC client Silvia’s Bakery is a Hispanic-, immigrant-, woman-owned bakery that specializes in making Dominican cake, Hispanic desserts, custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and cake pops from scratch.  Owner Silvia Paulino grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. Her mother was a seamstress, and her father owned a grocery store in the Dominican Republic in which she often

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October 27, 2022

Torrado Construction

PIDC client Torrado Construction is a Hispanic-owned general construction firm specializing in commercial construction, renovations and rehabilitations, concrete, removal services, and painting services. Luis E. Torrado, who established the company in 1995, has devoted his time to working on projects that bring positive change to underserved communities.

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August 25, 2022


PIDC client YOWIE is a Black-, woman-, and millennial-owned home and life shop focused on curating small collections from founder Shannon Maldonado’s friends, independent artists, and designers. Founded in 2016 as an online business, YOWIE attracted a cult following for its eclectic items and workshops and events. Shannon relocated from New York City to open

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Visit our website to learn how PIDC resources can help your business grow


National Association of Women Business Owners

As one of the largest and leading chapters in the country, National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Philadelphia Chapter has a key program that is designed to increase the growth and profitability of women owned businesses – the ATHENAPowerLink® program. ATHENAPowerLink® strives to help women business owners navigate hurdles and barriers to growth by providing them with an advisory panel of professionals who have the expertise to address the specific challenges of their business. This program provides women entrepreneurs opportunities to achieve access to new networks, mentors, business capital, best business practices, staff/employee management issues, and more.

Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers — Targeted Services for Women

The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) provide services to all small business populations and make special efforts to reach members of historically underrepresented and underserved populations, including women. In fact, women-and jointly owned businesses consistently represent over half of their client base. Understanding the unique challenges women face, the SBDCs provide services tailored to their specific needs.

U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership

Since it was established in response to an executive order in 1979, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) has fostered the participation of women entrepreneurs in the economy, especially those who have been historically under-served or excluded. OWBO reaches out to women entrepreneurs through a number of programs that are coordinated through every SBA district office. OWBO’s programs provide business training and counseling, access to credit and capital, and marketing opportunities, including federal contracts.

Women’s Opportunities Resource Center

The mission of the Women’s Opportunities Resource Center (WORC) is to promote social and economic self-sufficiency primarily for economically disadvantaged women and their families. WORC provides training, individual business assistance, incentive savings program, job placement, and access to business and financial resources. WORC empowers its constituents through various self-help strategies including savings, a self-employment network, and access to its local and national affiliations. Additionally, WORC encourages community awareness and responsiveness concerning issues impacting economic equity and independence.

Women’s Business Enterprise Center East

Women’s Business Enterprise Center – East (WBEC-East) is an advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania, from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, as well as Delaware and Southern New Jersey. WBEC-East believes diversity promotes innovation, opens doors, and creates partnerships that fuel the economy. That’s why the center provides certification standards for women-owned businesses, as well as entrepreneurial training and education – combined with powerful tools and networking opportunities – to help them succeed.

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