Gonzalez honored as Center for Rural Affairs’ Latino Business Center Entrepreneur of the Year

Release Date: 

03/03/2017

Contact(s): 

Juan Sandoval, Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Latino Business Center director, juans@cfra.org, 402.371.7786; or Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager, rheal@cfra.org, 402.687.2100 ext 1025

Update March 13: For a high resolution photo from the award ceremony, please click here.

Lyons, Neb - The Center for Rural Affairs has chosen Ana Gonzalez of Grand Island, Neb., as the recipient of its 2016 Latino Business Center Entrepreneur of the Year award. Center staff will recognize Gonzalez at an award ceremony on March 10 in York, Neb.

The Latino Business Center Entrepreneur of the Year Award is presented annually to an entrepreneur who has effectively utilized the services of the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Latino Business Center, is successfully operating and growing their business, and who best exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit that is so crucial to Latino-owned businesses and the rural Nebraska communities they call home.

Gonzalez opened The Enchanted Bakery in 2008, baking cakes in her home in Hastings. She took deliveries to Grand Island twice a day because the cakes would not all fit in her car. She received a REAP loan for the purchase of a van, cutting her trips to one per day.

“Ana was very excited to work with us and to receive technical assistance and training in addition to her loan,” said Juan Sandoval, REAP Latino Business Center director. “Her bakery’s mission is an enchanted experience for every bite her customers take. These are cakes you won’t find in any other store.”

In November 2015, the business owner received a second REAP loan to move the bakery to a storefront in Grand Island. Since opening in Grand Island, her sales have tripled.

Gonzalez has participated in the Nebraska Passport Program, and has also been featured on television and in magazine articles. She participates in REAP’s Coffee Tables, a training for entrepreneurs, and continues to receive counseling for her accounting needs.

“For Ana, the bakery is a dream that became a reality,” Sandoval said.

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