Pilot program aids small restaurants in Houston

BakerRipley and HOPE Clinic’s Bite of HOPE Program, developed an initiative to help small restaurant owners stay afloat.

The BakerRipley Small Business Program and HOPE Clinic’s Bite of HOPE Program developed an initiative to help small restaurant owners stay afloat.

The program focuses on using this time to reignite and implement strategies to allow for quick recovery. In addition, it helps improve general health outcomes in Houston.

In this test run, eight women-owned businesses participated in the pilot program.

The program covers five areas

The virtual program led by BakerRipley’s Small Business Coach, Alexis Rios, and Bite of HOPE’s chef, Joseph Brozovich covers five areas.

Access to COVID-19 small business loan and grant programs; menu development and packaging; marketing and branding; food safety; and adapting to future food and restaurant trends.

The class also counted with input from business experts and industry mentors. Furthermore, thanks to our generous partners, participating businesses obtained donated kitchen equipment.

This first group of women entrepreneurs is anxious to reopen and put into practice everything that was learned. The BakerRipley small business team is currently working on future plans for this program.

Alexis Rios, BakerRipley Small Business Coach.

Restaurants will never be the same

All industries are suffering, but small restaurants in Houston are some of the hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking forward, the recovery will be challenging and it will not happen overnight

It is evident that small restaurants will never be the same, and that restaurant owners must adapt quickly to the constant changes. The owners will need to figure out what the post-coronavirus customer will want to eat, spend, and expect.

Women-owned restaurants

These were some of the participating restaurants:

Sabor & Sazon – A mother-daughter owned Peruvian restaurant that offers a healthy and authentic menu.

“This class is perfect to keep us on track with this unstable market and economy.” 

Peruvian Ceviche from Sabor & Sazon.

La Fogata Tex-Mex – A restaurant owned by two savvy women who believe that super-authentic and fast-casual make a great combination.

“We’re grateful for this class. It took us from our comfort zone and brought to us the management mindset in crisis time.”

A Million Cakes – A bakery owned by a passionate Peruvian who believes that her employees are the heart of the company. It’s also the secret behind every one of its gorgeous and delicious cakes. 

“The strategies mentioned in this class have been eye-opening for all of us and it’s helping me create new things for our store.”

De mi Fogón – A Colombian arepas business that has quickly scaled due to the quality and flavor. It’s definitely a favorite at numerous farmer markets in Houston.

“What it’s been very interesting is the different approaches to the food industry and new concepts, strategies, and trends”

Pupuseria Mine – Founded by a woman victim of domestic violence who used her cooking skills to sustain her family. This authentic pupusas business will soon be one of the best pupusas spots in Houston.

“This class has been very important for me, it’s making me feel the next step to grow my business”

Mr Sweet USA Bakery and Catering – A business built by a strong Venezuelan woman that prides herself on bringing the most freshly baked pastries and the best-tailored menu to every event.

“This class was a shaking “wake up” and it made us be proactive in this time of crisis.”