This story was originally published on sanmateosbdc.org.
Marcos 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.
Eventually, the previous owner was ready to close the restaurant. Chef Marcos became inspired to purchase it and make it his own. When the San Mateo SBDC’s Finance Center Advisor Oscar Garcia met Chef Marcos, Marcos felt discouraged as he had tried for a year to obtain a loan and a few lenders had turned him down. Although he worked in the restaurant for over 20 years, he was entirely out of the loop in terms of administration. He didn’t know how poorly previous management had managed the financials, the profits drained from the business.
Oscar Garcia provided over 30 hours of advising to Chef Marcos. He helped him understand the financials of the restaurant and how the numbers work. Oscar helped him massage the numbers back to where they made more sense. This way, the money was not flowing out for non-excusable expenses. Oscar assisted Chef Marcos in collecting the taxes and interim financials to show a different picture. They then presented this to an SBA nonprofit lender, the California Statewide CDC. Oscar worked hand-in-hand with the lender and Chef Marcos to ensure they were on the same page.
Tapa the World and Chef Marcos received a loan for $250,000 to purchase the business. This saved 21 jobs (including his and his wife’s) and charted a more stable path forward in his dream to own his own restaurant.