Entrepreneur Profile

Entrepreneur Profile

Penny Baldado, Community-Minded Chef and Entrepreneur

Now in our third week of #WomensHistoryMonth, AnewAmerica features Penny Baldado, who brought together talent, hard work and a sense of social responsibility to create Cafe Gabriela in Downtown Oakland. She runs a green business that provides healthy food to the local community while giving back in creative ways.


 

Business Name: Cafe Gabriela

Type of Business: Oakland community cafe serving local, love-inspired coffee and food

Location: Downtown Oakland

Since 2010, Penny Baldado has served up delicious espressos and pulled pork adobo sandwiches to the public at Cafe Gabriela in Downtown Oakland at Broadway and 10th Street. She donates to the local community, mentors foster youth in culinary skills, and uses her space to feature local artists at no cost. Having established herself in her first location, Penny now wants to open a second cafe and begin roasting her own beans. She plans to buy her beans directly from farmers in the Philippines.

 

An art exhibit commemorating the victims of police brutality, featured until May at Cafe Gabriela

Realizing Her Vision

Penny moved from the Philippines to the U.S. in 1999. As an immigrant, she struggled at first to find employment. She began by bussing tables at a restaurant, but she felt exploited and unsupported.

Penny persevered, and through her talent and industry, she became the Head Chef. This experience gave her the confidence to realize her own vision of an environmentally- and community-friendly restaurant. So in 2007, she sought out AnewAmerica's business development program.

The art gallery inside Cafe Gabriela

Growing A Business with AnewAmerica

Through the intensive training provided in the business classes and follow-up 1:1 technical assistance, she learned how to write and implement marketing, business and asset plans that incorporated social responsibility. With the help of AnewAmerica, Penny found the perfect site for Cafe Gabriela in Downtown Oakland. She named her restaurant after Gabriela Silang, a Filipina hero who fought against oppression.

To help cover her start-up expenses, AnewAmerica enrolled Penny in its matched savings program, through which she earned $6,000, and assisted her to obtain a 360Microfinance business loan. In addition, AnewAmerica gave Penny an AnewAmerica Business Grant made possible by the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Job Opportunities for Low-income Individuals program.

Penny, proud owner of Cafe Gabriela

A Thriving Cafe Focusing On Community, Health and Environmental Sustainability

Penny's cafe opened in May of 2010. In the spirit of being environmentally-conscious and saving money, she purchased second-hand equipment and materials. She made contacts with suppliers that shared her commitment to green business practices. During her menu-creation process, she remains dedicated to using local, fresh, and organic products.

Penny credits AnewAmerica in helping her dream cafe become a reality. She states, "AnewAmerica is very instrumental in bringing Cafe Gabriela into fruition. They have supported me through the whole endeavor. They've provided me with incredible classes, and contacts that are vital in the business preparation stages, such as legal services, grants, loans, and teaching me how to manage my budgets. I am definitely lucky to be a part of AnewAmerica. They have been with me from the very beginning."

For aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, Penny has the following advice:
1) Never stop educating yourself, and
2) Ask for help.


You can check out Cafe Gabriela's Facebook page or visit Penny at 988 Broadway, Oakland, CA.

To find out more about how to start your own business, go to our website: http://anewamerica.org/

For the rest of March, follow us on Facebook, check us out on Twitter or join us on LinkedIn - we'll be bringing you stories about our awesome women entrepreneurs, as well as useful tips on how to start and grow your own business!

Green Cleaning Entrepreneurs- Lourdes & Fatima Lara

This week, in honor of #WomensHistoryMonth, we feature another inspiring entrepreneurial journey: the Lara sisters, Lourdes and Fatima, who have built a thriving green cleaning business in San Jose, Lara's Green Cleaning. They create jobs, provide a valuable, highly marketable service, and continue to build a future for their families.

Business name: Lara's Green Cleaning
Type of business: Cleaning business that uses eco-friendly, non-toxic products
Location: San Jose

Turning Obstacles into Opportunity: The Journey to Entrepreneurship

The Lara sisters emigrated to the United States from Guerrero, Mexico in 2004 to pursue greater economic opportunities. Once in the United States, though, they found that their then limited English skills added new difficulties first in finding work, then in advancing. Both mothers, they also needed flexible time off to care for their children.

Fatima's background in managing a cleaning business in San Jose inspired the sisters to open their own cleaning business. That's when Lourdes and Fatima connected with AnewAmerica.

Lourdes and Fatima, shown from left to right, graduated from AnewAmerica's business planning class in 2010.

A Lasting Connection: AnewAmerica and the Lara Sisters

Through AnewAmerica's intensive training and 1:1 on-going technical assistance, Lourdes and Fatima gained the skills and resources required to create a cleaning business that incorporated green business principles and eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products that are safe for themselves, their workers, and their clients. Says Fatima, "It's our responsibility to help the environment, which is why we dedicated ourselves to take care of it by utilizing natural nontoxic and biodegradable products."

 

Today, five years after starting Lara's Green Cleaning, Lourdes and Fatima are in expansion mode, creating jobs, generating income, and building a future for their families. They are in the process of updating their visual identity and further developing their on-line presence. And AnewAmerica is there, helping make their dreams a reality every step of the way.

Set Goals and Believe You Can Achieve Them

Fatima and Lourdes like to advise others who are thinking about becoming entrepreneurs. "Cuando alguien propone una meta, siempre tiene que pensar que si lo puede lograr, con esfuerzo y con mucha dedicación."

When you set a goal, you must always believe that you can achieve it, with effort and much dedication.
- Lourdes Lara


 

To contact Fatima and Lourdes at Lara's Green Cleaning, please go to their Yelp page or call them at (650) 391-7438.

To find out more about how to start your own business, go to our website: http://anewamerica.org/

For the rest of March, follow us on Facebook, check us out on Twitter or join us on LinkedIn - we'll be bringing you stories about our awesome women entrepreneurs, as well as useful tips on how to start and grow your own business!

Creating Economic Opportunities Through Our Matched Savings Program

Meet Inshirah. She's been an AnewAmerica client since 2011. Inshirah is a graduate student; she also owns and operates WataWaty (We are the Ancestors, We are the Youth), a fashion and design company. Inshirah designs her own clothing, jewelry, and prints. She sells her merchandise at a variety of festivals all year long.

To do all this she has to stay mobile. Unfortunately, earlier this year her car broke down and her business suffered. That is, until she joined AnewAmerica's exclusive matched savings program!

Inshirah's savings were matched dollar per dollar and in only 6 months, she was able to purchase a new vehicle. This vehicle helps Inshirah carry her tent, table, chairs and merchandise in her trailer when she participates as a vendor at festivals — helping her grow her business and generate revenue. She's also practicing the healthy savings behaviors learned in the program and strengthening her family's financial well-being!

The matched savings program is offered to AnewAmerica clients in the process of starting or growing their businesses.

Oakland Artist-Entrepreneur Xochitl Guerrero

Happy #WomensHistoryMonth!

This March, AnewAmerica celebrates women who have used entrepreneurship as a creative way to advance their passions. Today, we feature an artist-activist who has worked in Oakland for decades: Xochitl Guerrero.

Business name: Taller Xochicura
Type of business: Artist/activist/teacher
Location: Oakland

Xochitl is an Oakland artist-activist-teacher whose creations include studio fine art, murals, gourd decoration, and mosaic/tile art. She has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally.

Her career in Oakland began over 35 years ago working with youth, and she has re-invented herself by opening Taller Xochicura. To find new patrons, she uses social media and displays her work at festival booths, cafes and galleries. She has also contracted with communities and the City of Oakland to undertake mural projects. Besides the Bay Area, Xochitl has patrons and interested buyers quickly expanding to other areas including Los Angeles, New York, Florida and Hawaii.

AnewAmerica & Taller Xochicura

As a growing business, Xochitl sought out AnewAmerica to guide her to a successful transition. She says that AnewAmerica has not only given her the confidence she needs to sell at fairs, but also keeps her accountable for the goals she sets in coaching sessions.

Xochitl participated in our Savings Match Program, funded by Y&H Soda Foundation. Once she hit her target of $2,000 saved in December 2014, AnewAmerica matched her dollar for dollar so that she could put a total of $4,000 toward purchasing a laptop, camera and printer. These business assets increase her opportunities to sell her work online and showcase her portfolio. Xochitl plans to use them to grow her social media capabilities.

Inspiring Future Women Entrepreneurs

As a woman business owner, Xochitl is proud to stand up for herself and let everyone know that she owns Taller Xochicura. She hopes to inspire other women to find ways to do what they love, follow their dreams, and not give up!


To check out Xochitl's work, please email her: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To find out more about how to start your own business, go to our website: http://anewamerica.org/

For the rest of March, follow us on Facebook, check us out on Twitter or join us on LinkedIn - we'll be bringing you stories about our awesome women entrepreneurs, as well as useful tips on how to start and grow your own business!

Client Vendors at AnewAmerica's 2014 Expo

Owners of Smoke Berkeley

Tina Ferguson-Riffe, SMOKE Berkeley, and N. Jed Riffe.

36 of AnewAmerica's graduates participated as vendors at our Expo, showcasing an amazing array of products and services. These ranged from delicious sliders and gourmet ice cream to construction services, day cares, upholsterers, art galleries, jewelry makers, spas and more.

 

2014 Expo Food Vendors:

Elvio Colombana, Lobo's Ice Cream
Nancy Rosales, Abel 1950
Elton Brown, EB Cakes (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Lourdes Espino, Sweet Thoughts
Carmenza Rengifo, Arepas La Calenita
Tina Ferguson-Riffe, Smoke Berkeley
Christian Perez, Cortez Catering (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Mireya Baez, Milohas Pastries
Penny Baldado, Café Gabriela
Tai Tran, Simply Garlic (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

 

2014 Expo Non-Food Vendors:

J. Jeremias Martinez Rivera, Martinez S.J. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Elisabeth Cruz, Benitez Produce (408-991-2063)
Vicente Rico, Alex's Upholstery
Xochitl Guerrero, Taller Xochicura (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Betty Bedregal, Betty's Butterflies Day Care
Margarita Serrano, Margarita's Notary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Olga P. Romero and Jaime Camacho, My Little Bunnies
Juan Torres, La Saludable
Cam Binh "Cammy" La, Vi Gallery (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Irma Villa, Villa's Tailor Shop
Sonam D. Thukhotsong, Essence of Tibet (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Rahwa, Ethiopian and Community and Cultural Center
Sunita, CA State Board of Equlization
Carlos Martinez, Intra Upholstery
Thelma Howland, Simply Sweet Supplies (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Karla F. Amador-Daza, Little Wishes Spa & Wellness Center
Rebekah Peterken, Lwanga Designs (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Elton Brown, Aikane Care CPR First Aid and AED
Luis Marquez, Marquez Landscaping (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Lida Noori, doTerra (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Rahela Nayab, Rahela's Tailoring and Custom Jewelry (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Yan Liu, Lireille Gallery of Comtemporary Jewelry & Art
Nina Roberson, Ms. Nina's Charm & Etiquette "Manners for Boys and Girls" (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Tekeste Tewoldebehan, TT Bee By Product (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Claudia Valencia, JCC Painting
Mathias Lule, Ras Limo Service

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