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Success Stories

Pirate Chef LLC

“Aurora-South Metro SBDC gave us the empowerment, guidance, and connections to realize our dream of owning our own business with sustainability.”

Ian and Vanessa Reeves believe that sharing good food is the best
way to show love.  Pirate Chef specializes in bespoke catering, private parties, in home, and corporate dining. Taking experience from lives well-lived, they bring their clients a gastronomic encounter unlike any other.   Their business venture has been a longstanding dream, and they can’t wait to share it with you!

Ian, also known as Pirate Chef, has been cheekily operating pop-ups under this name since 2012. He hails from Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK. His love for cooking
began at age nine helping his mother make family meals. He honed his skills at
various well known gastro pubs in the west country of England and London. After moving up and down the east coast working for the likes of Stephen Starr and the Mandarin Oriental hotel group, he landed in Denver in 2019 and was the Head Chef at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He transitioned to crafting menus for his own business.

Vanessa has varied front-of-house experience in event management and restaurants. Her main professional background is in higher education and museums.  Prior to moving to Denver, she held various roles supporting private and nonprofit organizations with process improvement, which is a great skill to add to the small business mix.

From the success of their delicious breakfast burritos, chicken pot pies and shepherd’s pie, they realized they could launch something full time, opting for a ghost kitchen with three different menus plus catering.  Opening Pirate Chef in August 2021, the Reeves quickly pivoted strictly into catering and have found their footing and market.  The Aurora-South Metro SBDC consultant helped them make an objective decision to make this transition by looking at the numbers and influencer features.

The SBDC also helped Pirate Chef hone their business plan. “The introductions that were made through the SBDC, including funding and market research resources, not to mention the encouragement, is incalculable.  The program is our backbone when we need advice or thoughts on decisions.” 

Pirate Chef received an SBA-approved loan to support their growth.  They are now in the process of hiring their first part-time employee and received their first large contract.  The goal is to keep growing, and while doing so, be a part of the local diverse Aurora community, donating to Project Worthmore quarterly, an immigrant/refugee charity.  The sky’s the limit for 2023.

Food is life and everyone needs it.  So, check out Pirate Chef, www.piratecheffood.com, enjoy some good food and live a little while you’re at it!  (above photo credit: From the Hip)

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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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Colorado Safety Supply

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Prieto’s Catering

Prieto’s Catering is an Aurora-based food truck selling authentic and delicious Mexican food.  Prieto’s serves a variety of tacos, including the famous birria tacos that everyone is excited about!  They also serve other popular Mexican dishes made fresh, such as tamales, tortas and burritos.  Fully aware that the business needs to be responsive to customer needs during the pandemic, they offer home delivery and pick up from 9AM to 3PM daily. As a family business

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