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Chepo's Tamales, Elmira

BACKGROUND
Chepo’s Tamales and Groceries is located in Elmira, CA. The business conducts both retail sales at its market in Elmira, CA and wholesale sales of tamales to vendors in Solano and Yolo counties. Chepo’s Tamales produces and sells authentic Mexican Style homemade Tamales. The recipe for the tamales is based on those from the Northern Mexico territory which puts a lot of emphasis on the corn and the grind into corn meal. Each tamale is tied with a corn husk at each end rather than just folding it over.


CHALLENGES
Mr. and Mrs. Leyva were originally referred to Charles Eason, Director of the Solano College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) by Travis Credit Union. They were seeking funds to renovate their facility so that they could apply for a USDA wholesale license. They needed funding to purchase a walk-in refrigerator/freezer, kitchen hood, and to do other renovation work.  The SBDC assisted them in securing a $25,000 SBA Community Express Loan.  However, this was not enough funding to purchase the major equipment such as the walk-in refrigerator/freezer or kitchen hood which cost over $30,000.

ACTIONS
After assisting Chepo’s Tamales in securing the $25,000 SBA Community Express Loan, the SBDC also helped the company apply for a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) microenterprise loan program through Solano County. In applying for the loan, the SBDC helped Chepo’s Tamales update their Business Plan and create a revised financial projection to demonstrate their ability to grow the business and repay the loan.

RESULTS
Chepo’s Tamales was successful in securing the $50,000 CDBG loan. The company is now in the process of finishing the proposed renovations that will allow them to expand both the retail and wholesale operations. They plan to hire additional employees to support the expansion of the business. Chepo’s tamales was also selected as one of the pilot video success stories that was professionally produced by the Northern California SBDC network. 

“We did not have a Business Plan and the SBDC helped us to put that together. They also provided us the technical assistance to fill out the loan application.”

Chepo’s Tamales and Groceries
Jose J. Leyva and Maria O. Leyva
(707) 469-7820
bonitaleyva@hotmail.com