REAP News

Latino-owned businesses in Nebraska almost doubled in five years, according to report

Husband and wife business partners, Diego Leon and Jenny Lopez, rely on their memories of Colombian fruit and juice stands to recreate the vibrant and unique dishes of their homeland. These thoughts inspire their restaurant, FRUIT, in Grand Island, Nebraska.

The couple immigrated to the U.S. in 2014, and opened their business in January 2016. Diego says starting their venture was an intensive process, but a labor of love.

Staff spotlight: Laurie has big goals and high hopes for new position

Since 1990, the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), has provided services to micro businesses throughout Nebraska. Because of financial assistance, and/or training provided through REAP, countless small businesses have grown and thrived, and just as many eager entrepreneurs have seen their dreams come true by opening their own businesses.

To lead a program which offers that much opportunity and gives so many people hope is a giant undertaking, but it’s one that Laurie Donnell is excited to begin.

Chatterbox flies again: from skies in WWII to a soaring business venture

Every small town has that one place locals love to hang out; that business where everyone gathers. There’s something about the comfort of being in a home away from home that draws people in and keeps them coming back for more.

In Tekamah, Nebraska, that business is Chatterbox Brews.

“When you walk out onto our back patio, you feel like you’re walking into someone’s backyard – it feels like home,” said Cindy Chatt, one of the owners of the business.

Wheels down: Family food truck is cooking up success

Fifteen years ago, a fairgrounds manager was looking for someone to do concessions at events. Dennis and Wanda Pace and their daughter, Jodi, agreed.

They didn’t realize the request would eventually turn into a career.

After running fairgrounds concessions for six years, then trying jobs that weren’t seasonal, they saw a need for food trucks in Nebraska.

Mexican food from scratch: Taqueria Max embraced by community

In May 2003, Norma Avalos and her family established Taqueria Max, an authentic, premium Mexican restaurant located in Lexington, Nebraska. They offer homemade quesadillas, gorditas, sopes, and more.

Starting a business in the U.S.

The Avalos family had been in the restaurant business for more than a decade in Mexico, so they were familiar with entrepreneurship and delicious cooking from scratch.

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