VTW Leverage & Launch Winner- Maria Bregatta

Congratulations to Maria Bregatta!

Winner of VTW’s Leverage & Launch Contest

We are exited to announce the winner of our first Leverage & Launch Contest. Our tribe of womenpreneur mentors will be working with Maria Bregatta, who will be launching Café Mamajuana, a full-fledged restaurant with catering that connects Burlingtonians with Dominican, Afro-Caribbean, and Spanish culture by using food as a vessel of tradition, nostalgia, and identity.

Maria was among 16 applicants who shared their business ideas and start-up stories with our partners / mentors. Each applicant answered a series of questions to share their motivation for building their business AND how they would best utilize our robust package of services.


The idea for the Leverage & Launch contest came from womanpreneur, Julia Atherton of Atherton & Co., early this fall. We excitedly recruited awesome women business owners and resources to participate in this contest package. The L&L package included:


Maria’s Excitement to Lead as an Entrepreneur

Maria had a compelling application cause her drive to start a restaurant business is palpable through her responses to our contest questions. She is driven and has quite a few things in the works for Café Mamajuana. The L&L package is an extra supportive measure to ensure she gets good start to launching her business. When asked “what excites you most about your new business?”, Maria responded:

“ I am extremely motivated to create space for women of color in the Vermont Food Industry. A deep spiritual connection to my histories as a Dominican woman drives my fight to bring food diversity and cultural awareness to our community….”

Her response to “what excites you most about being an entrepreneur?”:

“I am excited to serve as a role model for young people of color who often do not see people that look like them in positions of power or prestige…I look forward to taking risks and plan to turn the restaurant industry on its head.”

Upon receiving the news on winning the Leverage & Launch Contest, she shared her elation on the opportunity to work with and receive mentorship from women business owners:

“I just finished a dance lap around my kitchen. What a feeling of pure happiness I felt upon opening your email. This wonderful tribe of women have afforded me the opportunity to get ahead when it can often feel like I am fighting against the current.  Women supporting Women is a force to be reckoned with and now I feel invincible! “

Our tribe of women mentors are excited to work with Maria on the launch of Café Mamajuana. Mamajuana is currently catering in the area and received some excellent press from Seven Days. Maria also started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the start-up costs for the restaurant. Please check out the links below.