Leo Molina has been a client of the Pace University SBDC since 2009, when he was working to launch his first restaurant, Arepera Guacuco in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. The restaurant was named after Playa Guacuco – Isla Margarite and features arepas, pancake-like and filled corncakes from his native Venezuela.
Mr. Molina worked with his Pace SBDC Business Advisor to develop a business plan and budget, as well as secure financing needed to open his first restaurant. The business was an instant success, building a committed base of customers as well as a range of positive press. Then in 2012 Mr. Molina returned to the Pace SBDC to seek assistance with raising the funds needed for his second restaurant, Guacuco Hotdog. His business advisor helped him develop financial projections and secure a larger loan from the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union.
With nearly twenty years of industry experience, the resources available from operating two successful restaurants and lifelong knowledge of northeast Brooklyn, Mr. Molina decided to move into the rapidly expanding Bedford Stuyvesant area. Mr. Molina started scouting locations and as he did with his first two locations, sought the assistance of the Pace SBDC to accomplish his goals.
Senior Business Advisor Rawle Brown worked with Mr. Molina to develop the startup budget, assess the project cost and amount of working capital needed for this venture. Rawle also reviewed the cash flow from existing operations with the client to help determine whether to draw down an additional small business loan offer. And in January 2018, Guacuco Bed Stuy opened, creating 15 new jobs. Most recently, Guacuco won the award for the 2018 NYSBDC Impact Business of the Year.