San Mateo SBDC

“Our SBDC Advisor has consistently been here introducing new ideas on marketing and supporting our Hispanic Business Group.  He has helped with City legal paper work.  He seems to always be readily available to help improve our business."                           

Pedro and Elsa Alavarez

Background: Snacks – Antojitos Mexicanos specialize in Mexican “fresh fruit/ice-cream” snacks.  They offer a simple menu of about 25 snacks.  They are located in a predominantly Hispanic business community.  The owners immigrated from Mexico, labored for 15 years before deciding to open their own business.  The owners were raised eating fresh fruits daily in Mexico.  Now, they make a living selling fresh fruits.

Challenges: There were a number of issues when the owner contacted the SBDC.  One of the main concerns was declining clientele because of increasing housing costs forcing local clientele to relocate.  Another factor was the perceived level of crime in the business corridor.  And, of most concern to the owner was the depression in sales.

Actions Taken: The owners met with an SBDC Advisor and shared their concerns and expressed their desire to improve business and increase sales.  The owner’s perception was if low-income clientele relocates, new clientele, who also like fruits, would have to be attracted.  The advisor, working together with a new Hispanic Business Group representing the business corridor encouraged the owners to join the business group.  Now, the business group meets monthly together with the police department, to deal with crime issues, and they also meet with the San Mateo Business Association, to leverage their resources in support of the new Hispanic Business Group.  The owner is now very active with this Hispanic Business Group.  The advisor has also been working with the Snacks business owners on merchandising and marketing.  Specifically, the advisor intervened with the City Planning Department to facilitate the expansion of seating tables to the sidewalk on front  of the store, creating a more attractive store front.  

Results: Over this past year, Snacks-Antojitos Mexicanos has retained two jobs, added four new jobs, and increased revenues by 20 percent. Their greatest satisfaction is they are business owners and their customers are very satisfied with the services provided.  Now, only 50 percent of their clientele are Hispanic.

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Funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the California Governors Office for Business and Economic Development, and other private and public partners;  and nationally accredited by the association of SBDCs.