Milagros Escuela is the owner of MamaArepas, along with her husband, Fidel Lozada. They have worked tirelessly to bring Venezuelan Arepas to every dining table in South Florida since 2015. Made out of corn dough, Arepa is a typical food in several Latin American countries. It is different in each region and is very important in the traditional Venezuelan cuisine.
FiestaBowls, located between 18th and 19th streets, is an example of the tenacity of the Mission’s business community. In challenging times, this community found ways to carry on in the pursuit of their dreams. This year, the Mexican snack business was one of the initial recipients of a loan from the Racial Equity Lens (REL) fund.
After a trip to Ethiopia to visit family, Dagne Tedla brought a leather messenger bag as a gift for his daughter Xiomara. After countless compliments and inquiries from friends and strangers about the bag, Dagne suggested the two should start a business. Initially, Xiomara resisted as she was focusing on her corporate career and busy personal life. Soon after, friends and co-workers asked when Dagne was heading back to Ethiopia and asked if they could place pre-orders!
Lashawnda Scaccianoce has been passionate about food and feeding people since she was young. In fact, she was only 11 years old when she had her first catering “job”. As a mother of 5 children, she has always participated in her community. She has served on school PTOs and volunteered with various community-based organizations, including the Rotary and Children’s Services Network. In her previous career, she was a pre-school and substitute teacher.
Mina Wilcox comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. Her grandfather was a printmaker, and her parents ran a restaurant in Japan. So, with her husband’s encouragement of her artistic abilities, and despite the challenges of having English as her second language, she decided to open her own business in 2014. Art Mina features her beautiful hand-printed artwork on California Eco-Friendly items.
Tana Harris had been in the construction industry for nearly 20 years when she started thinking about starting her own business. In 2013, she attended Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center’s introductory business class. What started as just an idea came to fruition as Harris Hoisting, the only African-American woman owned hoisting company in the city of San Francisco.
Wanda Blake’s cooking apprenticeship started in her mother’s kitchen. It then continued in the kitchens of great aunts, aunties, grandmas, and cousins. In 1981, Wanda attended City College of San Francisco to study hotel and restaurant management. In 2015, she launched Wanda’s Cooking.
Despite the language barrier, Reina Morales and Agustin Gomez have been able to bring their business to success with the help of the New Women’s Business Center.
Gladys Mondragon is co-owner of Sunshine Organics farm in Watsonville. With the help of Tania Zuniga from Kitchen Table Advisors, she has been able to expand production and bring stability to her business.
Lorenzo Rota recently graduated from West Business Development Center’s Startup Mendocino program. He provides specialized drone services for agriculture and construction.