Local Business Wins Award for its Success and Growth with Help from William Paterson University’s Small Business Development Center and MBA Students

Giannella’s Bakery in Paterson, a client of William Paterson University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and counseled by the University’s MBA students, was among 13 businesses recognized for its growth and success at the 17th annual NJSBDC Small Business Growth Awards Luncheon in December 2019.

As Giannella’s business went through a growth phase, Kate Muldoon, regional director of the William Paterson SBDC, recommended that they partner with the University’s Cotsakos College of Business and have their business analyzed by MBA students.

According to Rajiv Kashyap, professor and chair, marketing and management sciences, the students conducted a thorough audit of the company’s web pages and social media content. They developed recommendations for the website, customer acquisition, retention and expansion, web analytics, and a mobile app. They also made digital branding strategy recommendations for the company’s newly acquired retail establishment, the New Venice Bakery, in Garfield, NJ.

“The students were very helpful from the minute they walked in the door, which goes to show the caliber of the work by the professors,” says Jessica Frias Colli, business manager of Giannella’s Bakery. “One team of students helped us make our online presence more cohesive, and another group of students visited New Venice Bakery, which we had recently acquired. One student in particular, Nicole Gnudi, made some immediate recommendations regarding “grab and go” items. The very next day we implemented some of her suggestions, which were a big hit. At the end of the semester, we visited the campus and the students made additional recommendations regarding online marketing strategies. The work that they did with us is immeasurable.”

“Giannella’s Bakery was very deserving of this award,” says Muldoon. “They increased their sales, devoted time to marketing and website improvement, and were striving to do so much with the resources provided to them.”

William Paterson University’s SBDC and Cotsakos College of Business students have successfully partnered together for several years to help local businesses develop a digital marketing plan under the guidance of their professors.