By Jerry Ackerman and Ronald Rosenberg

As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, US Senator John F. Kerry often tells audiences that he once owned a small business and understands their needs. "But the story usually ends there," one old friend said.

Last week, after a visit to Roxbury to help bestow US Small Business Administration honors on Clayton Turnbull, owner of five Dunkin' Donuts shops in Boston, Kerry disclosed some details about that foray.

The business was, and still is, Kilvert & Forbes, a cookies-and-muffins stall in Quincy Market, founded in 1976. Kerry at the time was practicing law, which he says he found "quite predictable and very boring." Fond of chocolate, he conceived the idea of selling cookies made from family recipes and got K. Dun Gifford, a friend and longtime Democratic party operative (and brother of BankBoston Corp. chairman Charles K. Gifford) to be his partner. They named the shop after their mothers.

Kerry says he worked in the shop only occasionally. "I loved doing the brownies," he said. Then it was back to law, politics, and, in 1980, election as lieutenant governor. Kerry said he bought out Gifford in 1982 and sold that share to Stanley Klein, a former law client, and Klein's wife, Linda. He sold his share to the Kleins a few years later, he said - selling because he feared someone might make political hay out of the fact he was leasing space in a building owned by the City of Boston.

The Kleins still own the shop; Stanley works full time as a biotechnology plant manager while Linda is at Quincy Market almost every day overseeing operations. And Kerry, reminded of the success of the Mrs. Field's Cookies franchise, thinks of what might have been: "I might have been a cookie czar." Biotechnology Drug hits market

For an estimated 150,000 people who suffer debilitating bone pain from advanced prostate and breast cancer, DuPont Merck Radiopharmaceuticals has begun marketing an injectable drug, Quadramet, made in the company's North Billerica plant. Costing between $ 2,000 and $ 4,000 per dose, the drug is said to relieve the pain for up to four weeks. It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in March and will compete against Strontium, made by the British drug company Amersham Ltd. Marketing QVC in Mass. offering

Two years ago, when two small Vermont farmers got a chance to sell their organic oatmeal on the QVC Home Shopping Network, they racked up 1,200 orders, a total of 12,000 pounds of porridge-makings, in five minutes.

Can your product match that? Here's a chance to find out. QVC is setting aside three hours of air time next September to give 20 Massachusetts companies home-shopping exposure. The network will be in Boston on June 10 to audition Massachusetts vendors and products, at the Black Falcon Terminal in South Boston.

Some basic rules: The company must be Massachusetts-based and a new supplier to QVC. The product must be US-made. It must be distributed only locally or regionally. The price can't be less than $ 12.95. And there are more. A complete set is available from the Massachusetts Office of Business Development at (800) 522-7482. Applications are due this week.