Success Stories

When very small businesses succeed, they create jobs, they build their neighborhoods and communities, and transform lives so that California can thrive.

Annually CAMEO members serve about 21,000 very small businesses with training, technical assistance, and loans. These firms – largely start-ups with less than five employees – support/create 37,000 jobs for California’s economy.

When very small businesses succeed, they create jobs, they build their neighborhoods and communities so that California can thrive.

Find success stories based on the following categories:

Men | Women | Regions | Veterans | Immigrants | Minorities | Green Micro-Businesses  | Faces of Entrepreneurship


2019 Faces of Entrepreneurship Winners

Ricardo Rocha, RVS Technology Group

Ricardo Rocha of RVS Technology Group

When owner Ricardo Rocha was a teenager, he dreamt that he became a business owner. Years later, after immigrating from Mexico and working in the fields, he made his dream come true by opening a small computer service shop in Watsonville. Through El Pajaro CDC’s Business Incubator Program, RVS Technologies grew into a full-service provider that employs 12 people and works with small and mid-sized businesses.

Calvin Andrews, Lena’s Soul Food

Lena’s Soul Food has become a pillar in its community of East Oakland. Not only does owner Calvin Andrews employ dozens of people, including formerly incarcerated folks, but he also gives back by giving away unsold food to locals in need, many of whom are unhoused. Calvin is a client of Main Street Launch and one of CAMEO’s 2019 Faces of Entrepreneurship Award winners!


Our Latest Success Stories

  • Marcos Murrilo, Tapa the WorldMarcos Murrilo, Tapa the WorldMarcos Murrilo came here from Mexico in 1996. His first job in the U.S. was working at Tapa the World restaurant in Sacramento. There, he was the executive chef for 11 years. Marcos created several of the specialty dishes that are still on the menu today. 
  • Monica Martinez, Don BugitoMonica Martinez, Don BugitoIn 2010, Monica Martinez had a vision for a highly sustainable, insect-based snack company. She wanted to honor the indigenous, pre-Hispanic culinary traditions of Mexico. Over the course of the next decade, Monica got the company off the ground mostly with her own funds. She worked as the sole employee of Don Bugito.
  • Jennifer Sutherlin, Delta Glass Co.Jennifer Sutherlin, Delta Glass Co.Delta Glass Co. was founded in 1953 by Nelson Palmer. Kenneth Frost later joined Palmer as a partner in the business. The business was originally located on Main Street, only one block east of their current location.

More Stories

  • Michael and Deborah Baldini, Biordi Art Imports
    A leading importer of the finest Italian Ceramics from Italy, Biordi Art Imports offers hand-painted dinnerware and home décor from artisans in Italy. Biordi Art Imports has been a historical treasure in San Francisco’s North Beach for 75 years.
  • Soichi and Raechel Kadoya, Soichi Sushi
    Chef Soichi Kadoya was a highly respected fixture in San Diego’s sushi scene. After 25 years of training in Japanese cuisine, he and his wife Raechel were ready to branch out and start their own restaurant.
  • Ariana Marbley, Esscents of Flowers
    Inspired by her grandfather’s love of gardening, Ariana Marbley decided to open her florist shop, Esscents of Flowers, in Oakland, California in 2016. As an East Oakland native, she is proud to own a business in a community that is rich in culture and political awareness.
  • Lina Mills, Creative Ideas Catering
    Lina Mills worked in the catering business for 25 years. Then she had to go on disability leave for three months due to a back injury. While out on leave, her clients kept calling to ask where she was going next. They wanted to hire her again.
  • Sana Javeri Kadri, Diaspora Co.
    Everything about Diaspora Co exudes passion. From the company’s growing line of consciously sourced and sustainably grown spices and its vibrant digital media channels to several creative product partnerships.