"Opening our restaurant was a monumental undertaking and without our SBDC' Business Advisor's help it would have been so much harder, in fact it is safe to say it would not have been such a success. We are where we are because of the hard work of our SBDC Business Advisor and the team at theSBDC, we owe them both a debt of gratitude."
Benjamin and Sarah Sims
Co-owners Ben and Sarah Sims worked together at Santa Cruz’s hugely popular Ristorante Avanti, where Ben was the chef for 7 years. He previously worked under the famous culinary luminary Alice Waters at Berkeley’s famed Chez Panisse. They decided they were ready to open their own restaurant, and approached the Central Coast SBDC in 2010 to begin business planning. An SBDC Advisor began working with them to develop their business plan, find a location, and determine financing needs.
The Sims immediately were challenged with locating a suitable site for the new restaurant. They had wanted to build a restaurant, but found that in order to open quickly, they would have to enter into a lease in an existing space. They also needed to qualify for a loan to help with the startup financing.
They worked with the SBDC to review three sites, and were able to make a decision and begin their tenant improvements in 2012. Lighthouse Bank, a local lender, came on board quickly to process their SBA loan application to help fund the remodel and start-up restaurant.
The Sims were able to complete their remodel and open their restaurant in 2012. They obtained the SBA loan for $150,000 and provided private investment of $275,000 to fund the improvements, opening and operations. Fifteen new employees were hired. They received wonderful reviews from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Good Times and Santa Cruz Weekly.