Thirteen years ago, Ana Gonzalez wanted to start her own bakery. She had been working from home making cakes for friends and family, but always wanted to have a set location for a shop.
In 2008, Ana decided to open up cake sales to the public. She started “Pasteleria Crystal,” baking cakes out of the basement of her home in Hastings, Nebraska. Ana and her sister Veronica delivered the cakes, and customers also dropped by to pick up their order.
The cakes were custom made for weddings, Quinceaneras, birthdays, or just because. Besides doing the baking and delivery, Ana and Veronica both held part-time jobs outside their home.
“I always wanted to have my own place, my own bakery. More than once customers asked when I was going to open my bakery,” said Ana.
REAP services have been essential to realizing that goal. Ana qualified for two REAP loans: one for the purchase of a van to transport the cakes and the other for remodeling a site for the new bakery.
As REAP’s Latino Business Specialist in southeast Nebraska, I was able provide technical assistance on the business plan and to assist with required permits and services from the electrician, plumber, accountant, and even her attorney.
In 2015, Ana and Veronica finally accomplished their dream. They opened “The Enchanted Bakery” at 418 N Eddy Street in Grand Island. Ana and Veronica now serve 12 menu items, which include Blueberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Cheesecake, Cappuccino, Carrot, and 3 Leches with Peach, among others. The bakery is open all week from Monday-Sunday, 9 am to 7 pm.
Ana gives this advice to entrepreneurs who have the desire to start on their own: “Don’t give up on your dream. Find the resources, ask the questions, and be persistent.”
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