Nancy Flock contributed to this blog.
The owners of La Flor, in Grand Island, Nebraska, strive to offer their customers only the healthiest foods.
From grocery options like snacks, dairy, and fresh produce, to soaps and nonperishable items, the business is a full-service Mexican restaurant and market.
The dual-purpose business has been open for almost a decade, and is a dream come true for the owners, Nancy and Eddy Fernandez.
“My husband has been around small businesses his entire life, with parents who were entrepreneurs,” said Nancy. “He didn’t want to work for companies because there is no flexibility with that, and he has always had the dream to be his own boss.”
They started with selling items door to door and have expanded to the point where the couple found a storefront to hold their business.
And, though the couple feels the pressure of running a successful business, they continue to work hard to make sure their children will have options to be successful in life.
“There is a lot of stress, and we don’t have the luxury of sleeping in, but our children can be cared for,” said Nancy. “We work hard because what I want for them is to study.”
To continue growth and maintain the high standard of excellence they expect of La Flor, the business owners have utilized training events through the Center for Rural Affairs.
The Center’s Rural Enterprise Assistance Project’s (REAP) Women's Business Center and Latino Business Center host various workshops throughout Nebraska to help educate and train small business owners and entrepreneurs. Sessions include marketing workshops, business plan workshops, social media workshops, and more.
The couple has attended courses on social media, food safety, and nutrition, as well as marketing training.
“The food safety class was a great experience,” said Nancy. “The trainings have been very helpful for our business. I’d recommend them to anyone who owns or runs a small business.”
Center for Rural Affairs Latino Loan Specialist Griselda Rendon worked with the business owners in University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Choose Healthy Here program to help promote healthy food items. Nancy and Eddy also participated in the Center’s Business Diversity Walking Tour in October 2018.
“They both have done a great job of staying involved with the community and growing their business through promotions and specials,” said Griselda. “Nancy and Eddy are very outgoing, and are always coming up with new ideas and ways to reach out to their customers by offering a variety of healthy food items.”
The couple also tries to stay ahead of other businesses in the market.
“I like to challenge myself to find lowest prices to pass on the savings to customers for a competitive edge,” Nancy said.
She strives to give her customers the best deals and products she can, and believes there is room for everyone to work together in this business market.
“This country is not anyone’s [melting pot],” she said. “We need to collaborate more now than ever.”
At a glance
210 West Fourth St.
Grand Island, Nebraska 68801
Hours: Open every day, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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