Veronica Reyes Spindola contributed to this blog. Para la versión en español de esta historia, por favor oprima aqui.
Spending time with family is a top priority for Marina Gomez and her daughters, Wendy Alfaro and Marta Gomez. The three women have always cherished their time baking together as a family. Their love of creating confectionery treats is so strong that it led to them opening their own business.
In 2017, the women took a chance on their dream and opened Lupe’s Bakery, in Columbus, Nebraska. At their establishment, they offer fresh-baked Mexican breads and pastries, wedding and birthday cakes, custom orders, and much more.
“We always wanted our own family-run business, and we love baking and decorating cakes,” said Wendy. “We thought there was a need for a bakery in our area, and we decided to take the opportunity in front of us.”
Before they opened the doors to their bakery, Marina, Wendy, and Marta looked to the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project for all the information they’d need to run a business.
“We got advice from professionals, the experienced people at the Center, who could guide us on the correct path to get things set up according to the laws and rules of the state of Nebraska,” Marina said.
Veronica Reyes Spindola, Latino loan specialist with the Center, has worked with the women since May 2017, when she assisted them with start-up counseling. Later on, they also received assistance with different aspects of running the business, including registering their bakery as an LLC, preparing for inspections, taxes, and more.
“These three ladies are hardworking, self-driven women,” said Veronica. “They don’t wait for opportunities to show up at their door, they go out, chase them, and make them the best they can be. They take calculated risks and evaluate the different situations very thoroughly. It has been a pleasure to work with such an amazing family, and I look forward to continuing coaching them and tasting their delicious creations.”
Because of their dedication, the women have been successful in their business endeavors.
“We are blessed,” said Marta. “From the very beginning, things have gone quite well. The Center guided us step by step and has always supported us.”
Marina, Wendy, and Marta split up shifts at the bakery and take on the responsibilities equally. They take pride in their secret family recipes, and, along with one other employee, have run the business by themselves since opening.
By making a few improvements along the way, including upgrading the quality and variety of their products, the women hope to continue down a successful path. They know they always have the Center to turn to if they need any further assistance.
“Working with the Center has been very good,” said Wendy. “We can always count on them for what we need. The Center is a good support option for people who want to start their own business and do not know how to do it. I highly recommend it.”
Feature photo: Wendy Alfaro (pictured), her sister Marta Gomez, and her mother Marina Gomez always wanted their own family-run business and love baking and decorating cakes. They opened Lupe’s Bakery in Columbus, Nebraska, in 2017. | Photo by Kylie Kai