The UP Start Syracuse initiative helps entrepreneurs launch their ideas and start new businesses despite obstacles. Seven entrepreneurs are testing the pilot program.


Axum Earth Management

Ethiopian immigrant Fesseha Kahsay wants to expand his landscaping business to help his clients better connect to nature through their yard and garden.

Bhutan House Restaurant

Refugee Hari Adhikari hopes to open Bhutan House Restaurant, which would be a community gathering spot as well as a place to enjoy culinary dishes, traditions, and entertainment from the Southern Himalayas.

Northside Messenger

Emma Voigt’s business is an accessories line that features handcrafted bags made from a variety of fabrics from around the world, many of them cultures represented on the Northside.

Salt City Coffee

Aaron Metthe’s dad hooked him on pour-over coffee, and now he aims to open a Northside Syracuse coffee shop with a community vibe, offering organic, fair-trade products.

Sole of a Diva

Loretta Bachus plans to open a shoe boutique specializing in hard-to-find sizes, along with welcoming, particularly, the transgender and cross-dressing communities.


Leslie Morris is working on a product line of engraved jewelry to raise money for cancer research and awareness. The enterprise honors and remembers her sister Coretta, who died in 2007 after battling cancer.

That’s What’s Up

While much of what Curtis Washington does has a Southern influence, this lifelong foodie will “infuse” the creations for his mobile food truck and catering business with ingredients that reflect diverse cultures.