When Life Gives you Lemons, Make a Lemonade Start-up!


Tatiana Pacheco had reached a fork in the road. She had been laid off and decided to take control of her financial future. Pacheco saw a need for healthier food options in her local community and decided to answer the call. Her home kitchen became her entrepreneurial headquarters for a thriving healthy food delivery service. With the SBDC’s help, Pacheco Prepared Foods evolved into Andrea’s Healthy Kitchen (AHK) – the first pressed juice bar in the city of El Monte.


Tatiana started her entrepreneurial adventure with a $100 loan from her brother. With a lot of hard work, self-learning, and motivation, she transformed this small loan into a thriving home business. Soon, Tatiana realized she needed to move from Pacheco’s home kitchen into a commercial-grade kitchen. Tatiana realized moving into a brick and mortar meant contracts, permits, business plans, and insurance. Pacheco needed wasn’t sure how to proceed, and reached out to LA Small Business Development Center Business Advisors Claudia Shah and Karie Armstrong for help.


Shah was able to help guide Tatiana through the process from start to finish – by helping develop a business plan and translating numbers into options. What was the best long term solutions for the business? Karie Armstrong, SBDC Advisori with expertise in commercial leases, helped Tatiana understand whether she should rent or buy, and how to get the required permits.


Tatiana Pacheco can now add property owner and business owner to her list of accomplishments. With the SBDC’s support, AHK is now a thriving local business in the city of El Monte. The business has been exponentially profitable over the last three years. AHK has repaid all personal loans and is currently investing in upgrades such as a Point of Sale system, refrigerators, and electronics to further enhance the experience of the customer.

Andrea’s Healthy Kitchen is also a big supporter of small businesses. Pacheco pays it forward by helping other small vendors to showcase their merchandise at her location. She knows how hard it can be to start a small business and wants to help uplift her local community in any which way she can. Tatiana always implores them to reach out to the SBDC.

“We would call, and there was always a solution. There was never a no,” is how Pacheco describes working with the SBDC and Claudia Shah.

SOURCE: https://smallbizla.org/stories/when-life-gives-you-lemons-make-a-lemonade-start-up/

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