Nurturing life from the earliest moments is the heart of The New York Milk Bank. By collecting and pasteurizing donated human breast milk, the New York Milk Bank plays a vital role in helping premature babies get all the nutrition they need during the earliest days of their life. Julie Bouchet-Horwitz is The New York Milk Bank’s executive director. “We knew New York wanted a milk bank,” she said, “but we didn’t know how much they wanted one!” Since the Milk Bank’s grand opening on September 21st, the organization has collected more than four times the amount of milk they expected.

How do you open a business? Ask SCORE Westchester.

“SCORE was recommended to us, so we went to them very early in the process for business advice,” Bouchet-Horwitz said. “We met with Alan Kelsey every Wednesday for weeks, developing a business plan, our budget, and cash flow.” The New York Milk Bank’s leadership team has extensive clinical skills and healthcare expertise, but “None of us had the type of business experience we needed. It was nice to have a lawyer and business man there to guide us. Bouncing ideas back and forth with Alan was very helpful.”

The Milk Bank’s process began by considering how the organization was going to be structured. “We hadn’t even thought about that, but it was clearly the right place to start,” Bouchet-Horwitz explained. “How do you open a business? We talked about all of it, from the number and type of employees we’d need, the equipment required, how we would market ourselves, fundraising.” As for any new business, cash flow was a concern. “Creating the budget and knowing what we needed for salaries, supplies, and rent helped us plan for those couple of months we had to get through before the cash started coming in.”

We didn’t expect such success!

The New York Milk Bank is a non-profit organization. SCORE Westchester is here to help all types of established and aspiring business owners with one on one mentoring, educational workshops and more. Find out more about how SCORE Westchester can help you!

Julie Bouchet-Horwitz of The New York Milk Bank