CINCINNATI—April 6, 2022 – Fresh, ready-to-heat meals. Wedding catering. Campervans.

SCORE Greater Cincinnati’s 2021 Client of the Year finalists have figured out what people want and they’re all delivering in a big way. Literally. 

The four finalists are: 

  • Jackie Djordjevic, CEO, and Owner of Heirloom Chef
  • Jennifer Eisenstein, Co-Owner of Dinner to Doorbells
  • DeAnna Bailey, Owner and Creative Director of Bailey Family Catering
  • Emily Bruns and Sofia Mimendi, Co-owners of Aclipse Campervans

The entrepreneurs will be celebrated on April 19, 2022 at 5:50 p.m. at the Children’s Theater in Hyde Park. WCPO Anchor Evan Millward will emcee the event and name the Client of the Year, who will receive a $3,000 prize courtesy of Kemba Credit Union. 

“These small businesses are creating new jobs, driving innovation, and contributing to our local economy in a big way,” said Greg Bedel, chairman of SCORE Greater Cincinnati. “These entrepreneurs have all made great strides by retaining a business mentor through SCORE and following through with their guidance. Twice as many small businesses survive past five years when they have support from a mentor.” 

Heirloom Chef was created by Jackie Djordjevic in 2017 when she realized she needed to take control of her health and wellness. Diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, she discovered food could help her heal, or make her condition worse. With seven employees, she delivers balanced, ready-to-heat meals to households throughout Cincinnati. Jackie is a graduate of Cincinnati State Midwest Culinary Institute with experience at Hilton Netherland Plaza, Whole Foods and Horseshoe Casino, among others. She began working with SCORE mentors in 2019.

Jackie Djordjevic of Herloom Chef working in her kitchenJackie Djordjevic

Dinner to Doorbells is designed for picky kids, health-conscious moms, and meat-and-potato-loving dads. Previously employed by P&G, Jennifer Eisenstein and her powerlifting partner Alison Crowdus purchased the business in 2019 and have grown revenue to support seven employees and four contractors for meal delivery. Jennifer retained a SCORE mentor in 2020 to help with financial planning, marketing, and other areas of the business. 

Jennifer Eisenstein and Alison CrowdusFood containers with meals prepped

Bailey Family Catering originated in 2013 when Ariston Bailey, a trained chef, catered his own wedding. When he passed away unexpectedly 10 months later, his wife DeAnna stepped up and fulfilled his scheduled events. She left a full-time job in healthcare to focus on the business. In 2017, she joined Findlay Kitchen and soon after retained a SCORE mentor. The business has found a niche in catering weddings but also serves corporate events.

Bailey Family Catering food set up at an event

Aclipse Campervans is the brainchild of Cincinnati native Emily Bruns and Mexico City transplant Sofia Mimendi, who met through a local running group. In 2019, they put their shared love of hiking, mountain biking, travel, and other outdoor activities to work. The entrepreneurs wanted to provide a unique travel experience that caters to people who care deeply about nature but reside in urban areas. The business has grown from renting the original “Martha Washington” van to a fleet of seven, housed in a 2,000-square-foot warehouse. The women won Aviatra Accelerators Flight Night competition and were awarded a Leap Grant from Main Street Ventures. They have been working with SCORE mentors since spring of 2020.

To be considered for SCORE Client of the Year, business owners must have been in business at least one year, embraced the SCORE process, and be an enthusiastic partner with his or her mentor.

SCORE Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana Chapter is a nonprofit organization with approximately 100 experienced volunteers who offer free mentoring in all aspects of business development and operations. The chapter offers low-cost educational seminars and maintains an extensive library of business briefs and online webinars. SCORE is the oldest and largest free business mentoring organization in the US with over 12,000 volunteers nationwide who are motivated to give back to their local communities through their support of small business.