El Cuate

Spanish advising helps a client achieve his dream

Ricardo Lopez had been a chef in The Dalles for more than 10 years before the restaurant where he was working was sold. Ricardo chose to open his own food truck instead, and he mentioned this to an ESL instructor at Columbia Gorge Community College. She referred Ricardo to the SBDC for help.

At the SBDC, Ricardo found an adviser who spoke Spanish and helped him understand the steps required for starting his own business, including registering with the state. In addition, the SBDC helped with food cost and pricing. All of the advising was done in Spanish, Ricardo’s first language.

“Their support is amazing. I am able to learn every time I attend a class or work on a specific piece of my business,” said Ricardo. “Last year I was able to create a profit and invested in a second food truck.”

He is looking forward to having the second food truck working at the same time. His dishes are named after his children.

“I love my business is because I like to interact with customers and it is rewarding to see how customers react to my food. I enjoy how happy I make them.”

Connect with us today

You’ve got the idea and the business, let us help you take it to the next level.

Clutch Hair Co.

Can I make this work? “Yeah, I can” with SBDC support

Kalyn Benaroya had been a hairstylist for 10 years when a friend suggested in 2015 she open her own salon.

Kalyn went to the SBDC to find out if her business idea for Clutch Hair Co. was feasible.

“Really how I got into business is I sat down with them and said ‘Can I do this?’ Kalyn said. “’Can I actually make this work as a functional business?’ They showed me, ‘Yeah, I can.’”

She met with an adviser, who helped her write a business plan and talked her through financing options. In a whirlwind, she opened her Hood River salon in 2016. Kalyn hired two fellow stylists. Together, they specialize in cutting, coloring and styling hair for men and women.

Kalyn said she appreciated SBDC’s honest advice. She was also impressed by how accessible the program was.

“Seeing them made the reality of opening the salon happen,” she said.

She continues to work with the SBDC for advising and uses her business plan to improve her business. And as she meets others in the community, she refers people to the SBDC when they need help with their businesses.

Connect with us today

You’ve got the idea and the business, let us help you take it to the next level.