ROC IT OutI was struck today by the contrast in two very different stories about two local businesses. One long standing mainstay in town shutting down (potentially for good) – and another achieving huge success.

The fall of Mr. Dominics

Mr. Dominics is (was?) a mainstay of the robust Italian dining scene here in Rochester. What it lacked in atmosphere it made up for with fantastic food. I heard complaints about the noise, crowds, and service – but never once about the food. It all seemed to be enough since they were always packed. In fact, I was there on a recent Tuesday night and the place was full – we got the last empty table. Officially, they’re just closed for remodeling. However, one of my favorite local blogs, The Rochestarian has different information. (Note – the blog is written by local TV favorite Rachel Barnhart.) Apparently they weren’t paying their taxes – either because they couldn’t afford to or didn’t want to.

The rise of Dollop

Dollop, a bakery in Penfield, won Cupcake Wars. Apparently it was filmed last fall, but owner Heather Saffer had to keep the good news private until today. While the $10,000 prize was probably a great one time boost for the 28 year old and her nearly two year old business – I’d have to assume the prestige and resulting business are better aligned for her long term success. In the interview I heard with her today on WHAM 1180 she seemed both enthusiastic and humble.

What does it mean?

I wonder if there is anything to take away from these two seemingly unrelated news items about local small businesses. Could Ms. Saffer’s passion for her emerging business be the catalyst to her success where Mr. Dominics had grown complacent? Is it possible that the aging Charlotte neighborhood caught up to Mr. Dominics, while Penfield’s relative affluence contributed to Dollop’s success?

I don’t know that either of these are the main factor in today’s news, but as a small business owner in the community these simultaneous stories were of interest here at ROC IT Out. What do you think?