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Success Stories

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 start-up, Prieto’s provided catering services in 2017 with sales of just $3,000 in the first year.  In 2019, owner Erika Rojas bought a food truck and realized an immediate jump in sales.  Working with one full-time employee and two part-time employees, Erika was determined to work hard, find new customers, increase sales and hire at least two more employees.  She reflects on her experience with the SBDC:

“I have been taking SBDC classes and consulting with an Aurora-South Metro SBDC business consultant. From the beginning, I have felt supported with resources to resolve my doubts and learn how to manage the business, as well as how to promote my business.  The most valuable service of the SBDC, above all, is the support of not feeling alone.”  With a lot of effort and loyal customers, Erika realistically projects an increase in sales of 350% by the end of 2021.  She is going full steam ahead!

There’s nothing like having steady customers for consistent cash flow.  Prieto’s Catering serves breakfast burritos to a business.  School parent boards, teacher training events and student events is another regular source of sales.  Ten percent of Prieto’s clients are at “Movie at the Park” events.  They also do private parties.  “We want to expand again by finding a stable location in the city of Aurora in the coming year,” says the optimistic and hard-working owner.

Giving back to the community, Prieto’s Catering is a staple at school sporting events, purchasing the food with a special discount and serving young people in soccer between 12-17 years old—at no charge.  When there is food left over, they put together dishes for itinerant people on Colfax Avenue.  Some of their honors and certificates include:

• Best Food Truck 2021 from Lady Boss
• Certificates for finishing entrepreneurial classes

• Training for two years in business management at
El Comal Heritage Food Incubator
• Certified in Food Handling
• The Receta food business training program certificate

The business continues to grow. Prieto’s installed a larger stove in the food truck and purchased equipment to cook in an iron and steam food cart.  CEDS Finance provided Prieto’s Catering with a loan which allowed the business to purchase a vehicle to pull the food cart.  Check out their menu items here and enjoy authentic Mexican food:  https://prietos-catering.business.site

Also, read the story in Spanish (en español: lee esto).

Rustic Nomads

Starting a business in 2020—during the COVID-19 pandemic—has been a journey to say the least, but the owner of Rustic Nomads, Nathan Wiersum, will have bragging rights for life.   “The support received from the SBDC is why I continue to move .” With a loan from DreamSpring to purchase a food truck, the rest of the business has been self-funded.  Originally, the plan was to grow into a restaurant as soon as possible.  With the pandemic, goals were reevaluated.  The

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Cranelli’s Italian Restaurant

In the restaurant world a successful business often begins with family. When Cranelli’s Italian Restaurant, a new hotspot in Lone Tree, opened, the whole family pitched in to help owners Jim and Lasinda Crane make their dreams come true. Hours after the ink was dry on the restaurant lease, the couple began updating the décor and kitchen with the help of friends and family. Lasinda’s father David, a retired electrician, helped build a bar and

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Vintage Theatre Productions

Starting out 15 years ago in a basement as a touring theatre group for small audiences, Vintage Theatre has grown from that “tiny” beginning to currently reaching over 20,000 patrons each production season. “It has been amazing to see the growth,” beams Cr aig Bond, Founder. Since moving to Aurora in 2012 into an existing black box theater, Vintage immediately added a second more intimate theatre to augment the season’s offerings. Creating a greater draw

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ContractsRx

ContractsRx is on a mission to make legal contracting seamless, accessible and repeatable.  Shannon Leonard and Ramon Rhymes, co-founders, make it their aim to reduce the time, cost and risk associated with business contracting and business outcomes. The abrupt uncertainty that COVID-19 brought to ContractsRx and other small businesses resulted in an overnight shift from the known to the unknown.  While Shannon and Ramon are fortunate to be in a technology industrywith the tools in place to work at home, they

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Trunk Nouveau | Squadron

Trunk Nouveau /t^nk/ ‘nju:’veo/ noun:  A curated monthly showing and sale from an independent maker who offers handcrafted wares.  Trunk Nouveau in Aurora started with a remarkable dream:  a busy aviation studio, industrial in nature, doused in the smell of engine oil and creativity.  In the back, a room with steam trunks and suitcases filled with forgotten treasures–the kind that people hold on to, handcrafted and meaningful. A trunk showroom was created at Aurora’s Stanley

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Launch Pad Brewery

The end of an unexpectedly volatile 2020 is a great time to tell the success story about one of Aurora’s prized businesses.  David LeVesque spent about a decade perfecting his technique of home brewing with some help from The Brew Hut and visiting Colorado breweries.  The idea of opening a business location started ‘brewing’ about six years ago, and Launch Pad’s mission came together after working on the start-up’s financials over several meetings with an

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