La Palapa Cocina Mexicana
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). 


Ms. Sibley first came to the Pace SBDC with her idea in 2000 and has worked with center Business Advisor Greg Callender over the years​ to prepare successful loan packages for her venture The client has also worked with the Pace SBDC to both address business expansion challenges as well as secure financial support following September 11th, when Greg helped La Palapa secure funding from the World Trade Center Small Business Recovery Center Fund.


During 2020, as NYC was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, La Palapa has supported Coronavirus first responders by preparing and donating over 32,000 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 supported by a range of operational and accounting guidance from Greg spanning their two decades-long working relationship, Ms. Sibley and La Palapa have retained 62 jobs while providing much-needed dining options for its dedicated customers.​

Image by Travis Yewell

Pace University SBDC

163 William Street, Room 328

New York, NY, 10038   


Office:  (212) 618-6655


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A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 45 to Fulton St

E to World Trade Center
6 to Brooklyn Bridge


Partnership Program with the SBA, administered by the State University of New York. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

© 2021 Pace Small Business Development Center. All rights reserved.

La Palapa