La Palapa Cocina Mexicana is an East Village-based restaurant owned by Pace SBDC client Barbara Sibley. The restaurant focuses on Mexico City tacos and authentic regional Mexican cuisine and has been a neighborhood favorite since opening in 2000. And since that time, Ms. Sibley has expanded her business with two additional locations in Midtown (Urbanspace Vanderbilt Market) and Hell’s Kitchen (Gotham West Market).
To support Coronavirus first responders, La Palapa has prepared and donated 32,500 meals to front-line medical professionals in collaboration with World Central Kitchen, The Gotham Organization, and others. La Palapa continues to donate 450 meals a week to nursing homes, hospitals, shelters for teen youth, and soup kitchens.
By embracing a business model shift post COVID-19 that features expanded delivery services and a vibrant outdoor dining scene, La Palapa has re-envisioned this successful 20-year old business. Further, with financing through the federal Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and empowered by a range of operational and accounting guidance from Pace University SBDC Business Advisor Gregory Callender, La Palapa retained 62 jobs while providing much-needed dining options for its dedicated customers.