Explore stories from immigrant/BIPOC*/women business owners who have adapted during the pandemic. The purpose is to learn and connect through shared experience. In this interview, Teresa Luengo Cid (Project Specialist in Diversity Services at KCLS), spoke with Eddy, owner of a catering business and a food truck.
*BIPOC means "Black, Indigenous, and People of Color."
Meet Eddy, a Catering Business and Food Truck Owner
In 2015, Eddy, a native of Michoacán, Mexico, began working on an idea for a business, which he has been operating for the past 2 years.
Before the pandemic, Eddy devoted himself to offering banquets and catering services, with 70% of his clients being Hispanic. His business was conceived to be the central core of fiestas, offering food with respect, passion, and heart for all kinds of events: weddings, baptisms, quinceáñeras, etc.
“My priority has always been to offer excellent service with a commitment to the client,
reliability, punctuality and a variety of dishes.” He says that his star dish is Chicken habanero, which was created in part by “mistake.” “It was going to be a soup and wound up being a sauce to go with chicken. “It is a Mexican-Italian fusion, with roast chicken and many vegetables, in which the Italian-style sauce shines forth but with a Mexican touch.” He is also known for his goat's meat in tatemada sauce, which is characterized by the use of quality ingredients, such as fresh goat.
Then COVID-19 hit
With the coming of the pandemic, his business was closed for three months. During that time the Start Zone program helped him by providing him an unlimited grant to pay business debts through a bank.
He reopened his business in July, but reactivating it has not been easy.
A turning point
With all that COVID has inflicted upon us, Eddy has had to make considerable changes. As is logical, fiestas and events have been affected by the social distance situation. Now his business is centered principally in growing sales from his truck. He wants to establish a market and strengthen this part of his business. He works Sundays and follows the sanitary rules of the Public Health Department.
The road ahead
Eddy believes that small businesses of color need to become qualified in a business environment with computer classes or courses to adapt themselves to the changes brought by COVID. “For example, establishing a platform in response to the growing need of clients to make orders by phone or to have meals brought to their homes.”
Given the times in which we live, it is also important to Eddy that people help each other in an altruistic manner. “In this way a unity can be effected, and we can strengthen one another and support ourselves in common.”
Eddy’s Business Tip:
We should create ties among friends and discussion groups between Hispanic businesses.
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