2017’s Women in Business Champions are Vanna & Julia Belton, Co-Owners of Flavor in Baltimore, nominated by Business Finance Group.
Vanna and Julia are a dynamic duo; combining Vanna’s front of house knowledge with Julia’s culinary skills to make their mark on the Baltimore dining scene. Flavor is a relatively new restaurant, bar and lounge that reflects the diversity – culinary and otherwise -- of the Mt. Vernon neighborhood. They specialize in small plates and big cocktails with an extensive liquid menu.
America is a melting pot of cuisines and the women purposely selected “Flavor” as the company name so they could easily adapt their menu seasonally and to the tastes and requests of their customers. They strive to be inclusive of all pallets and lifestyles. The restaurant’s upstairs lounge provides a venue for the area’s lesbian community to feel at home along with the general public. On any given day, there is a diverse clientele enjoying food and drink in a welcoming atmosphere.
Working with Business Finance Group, the women secured a SBA 504 Community Development Loan allowing them to purchase and preserve the historic charm of the building they chose. The women contacted the Mount Vernon Belvedere Association and the Baltimore Concerned Residents Association seeking their guidance and approval as they prepared to open their business. These two groups have proven to be great allies as the women grow their business. Through careful planning and assistance from the Small Business Development Center, the women are off to a great start, having doubled their sales in their first two years and now employing over 10.