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Success Stories

Aurora AutoPros

The Aurora AutoPros mission guides owners Edgar and Reneé Leon’s daily operations:  to provide the highest quality mechanical repair solutions in a professional, honest, and transparent manner.  They keep their environment clean, educate car owners and are family-friendly.  Their customers value AutoPros’ personalized service given by ASE certified technicians.  As a TechNet Professional Repair Shop, AutoPros’ customers receive a nationwide 36-month/36,000-mile warranty on all repairs that also includes roadside assistance for all invoices of $25 or more.

With just two bays at the start on April 1, 2013, over the last seven years, they’ve added four full-time employees and two more bays, working on 150 cars per month on average.  They also started a towing business, Regal Towing, LLC, in 2019.  With a lot of questions at the beginning, they could lean on the expertise and support of the Aurora-South Metro SBDC.  Reneé Leon explains, “The SBDC staff was fantastic about following up and answering questions—from understanding financial statements to marketing.  The consultants’ passion for helping grow small businesses is evident in how they present ideas and look for helpful opportunities.”

The Leons realize that people are keeping their vehicles longer, so they build on their customer relationships, receiving glowing reviews and referrals.  They hold their competitive edge in several ways.  Aurora AutoPros keeps up with ever-changing advancements in automotive technology by updating their equipment.  They are members of the ASA (Automotive Service Association).  They offer six-month no-interest financing to those who qualify.  Most importantly, they maintain high-quality repairs and quick turnaround with their fleet accounts and individual customers.

Their goal is to add another technician and eventually purchase a building.  Aurora AutoPros is an active member of the Aurora Chamber, and they serve on the 7-20 Memorial Foundation.

During the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Leons have adapted to COVID-19 by keeping family, health and community as top priorities.  Automotive repair was deemed an essential business, and Aurora AutoPros is grateful to be able to support the community by providing access to reliable transportation.  They immediately updated their procedures to ensure safety to both customers and workforce.  In addition to their practice of wearing gloves, they disinfect keys and fobs, use disposable floor mats, steering wheel and seat covers, and disinfect each vehicle.  They’ve eliminated many face-to-face interactions by using text and email, sending digital inspections with videos and photos, accepting payment on the website, and more.  They added pickup and delivery service to those who need it, especially during the pandemic for first responders, medical professionals, and other essential businesses and their employees.

Pictured: (lft-rt) Owner Edgar Leon with employee Jose

Banh & Butter Bakery Café

“The SBDC helped me better understand and prepare my business plan. Growing up in a family business, a business plan was all about going with the flow.  I never knew what a cash flow was, but support from the SBDC has increased my business knowledge.” – Thoa Nguyen   CEO and owner Thoa Nguyen is a pastry chef by day and a culinary chef by night.  Branching out from the family’s restaurant, she studied baking and

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Havana Street Tattoo and Legacy Tattoo Collective

Havana Street Tattoo opened 15 years ago in Aurora.  The tattooing industry has shown its potential for significant growth in the past 10 years and continues to do so, because the customer base and artists offering the service have evolved past an old stereotype into a market of true professional artistry and serious collectors. In mid-2019, business partners and co-owners, Larry Foussat and Gilbert Ledesma decided to open a new location in Aurora to expand the shop’s client base and

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Colorado Safety Supply

Starting out as a dream in 2012, Valerie Boyd developed her knowledge and contacts within the safety equipment industry to move forward with confidence in 2014. Valerie started to make the dream a reality. Coming from a family working in the structural steel industry, Valerie’s top priority is to keep families safe by keeping workers safe. Colorado Safety Supply does just that, providing safety training and equipment for construction job sites. Located in Aurora, Colorado

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GradePower Learning

Robert and Olga Mead, the owners of GradePower Learning, started out with a vision to help build children’s confidence and self-esteem. They found an opportunity to do that not only through tutoring students, but also in teaching them how to learn. The LEADING EDGETM Strategic Planning Series was the perfect tool for Olga to test her business model. She graduated from LEADING EDGETM in 2015 and continued on as a client at the Aurora-South Metro

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Dry Dock Brewing Company

The award-winning Dry Dock Brewing Company is Aurora’s first microbrewery. Established in October 2005, Dry Dock is co-owned and operated by Kevin DeLange and Michelle Reding. The brewery began with just two employees in a 900 square-foot space with less than 20 seats in the back of Kevin and Michelle’s homebrew supply shop, The Brew Hut. They brewed less than 500 barrels of beer in 2006. How-ever, Dry Dock has enjoyed tremendous success and growth

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Petersen Custom Glass

After 15 years in the glass industry, Kris and Valerie Petersen opened Petersen Custom Glass, LLC in 2014. Kris has extensive experience designing and installing custom glass products. His specific areas of expertise include high-end frameless shower enclosures, ADA accessible showers and other custom glass projects. With his leadership skills gained from the military and her executive skills, Petersen Custom Glass has become a successful local business in Parker, CO, serving a 25-mile radius in

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