In the heart of San Angelo, a culinary legacy was ready to transition after 40 years as the original owners sought to retire until Anita G. Dominguez, a disabled retired veteran, stepped in to buy the business. Mrs. Rios Corn Products, a once-thriving tortilla manufacturing plant, faced uncertain times before Anita's intervention. This intervention and her journey with the UTSA SBDC, alongside her dedicated Business Advisor Lisha García, became the catalyst for an inspiring resurgence.
Anita, a seasoned SBDC client with previous business ventures, seized the opportunity to acquire Mrs. Rios Corn Products in the fall of 2021. Anita's vision stretched across Texas, with business interests in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley, aligning perfectly with her ambitious plans for the San Angelo-based plant.
The initial challenges were formidable: the company's finances were in disarray and a conventional bank loan wasn't feasible. Undeterred, Anita navigated the complexities of a private sale, diligently immersing herself in the factory's operations months before the purchase. The acquisition involved both real estate and business, setting the stage for a remarkable turnaround.
"Thank you a million times over...couldn't have done it without your expertise."
Anita's strategic moves were swift and decisive. New accountants and a revamped chart of accounts brought financial clarity, while divesting the distribution component streamlined operations. Uncovering regulatory concerns, Anita worked tirelessly to rectify compliance issues with USDA, IRS, and state inspectors. Her commitment to quality and compliance paid off, with the company increasing production and expanding its product line to include corn and flour tortillas, chips, tostadas and taco shells.
Full Turn Interior Solutions, LLC's owner, Yvonne Vasquez, transformed a garage startup into a flourishing enterprise through passion, hard work, and commitment. After graduating with an interior design degree from El Paso Community College, Yvonne set her sights on several creative, hands-on careers. She wanted to start her own company but knew she first had to gain real-world experience. Yvonne began working with a local furniture upholsterer and applied her academic knowledge to learn the skill of upholstery. She developed an affinity for reviving antique furniture, modernizing outdated pieces, and creating new designs. Noticing her attention to detail in every stitch, the business owner asked Yvonne to work as his sales representative. Knowing the level of craftsmanship involved, Yvonne could sell high-quality upholstered furniture. In 2011, Yvonne decided to launch Full Turn Interior Solutions, LLC. With minimal financial resources, she purchased a vehicle, office furniture and began working out of her garage.
"The SBDC services and training programs have helped me evolve as a business owner and grow my business."
Recognizing the need for financial support, Yvonne began working with EPCC SBDC Business Advisor Hector Espino. They worked on developing a business plan, financial projections, and marketing strategies.
In Ganado, Texas, Mauritz Hardware stands as both a testament to history and a beacon of modernization. Founded as The Ganado Hardware Company in 1902, the store has weathered changes in ownership and adversity, emerging stronger each time. Today, Mauritz Hardware continues to be a cornerstone in the community. Originally established by the Shutt Brothers in 1902, the store passed through various hands until the Mauritz Brothers took charge in 1933. A devastating fire in 1947 led to the construction of a new building, solidifying Mauritz Hardware's presence in this rural community. Over the years, the Mauritz family and Selby family descendants have carried the torch, offering a diverse range of products, from hardware goods to appliances, lumber, and more. In 2022, the Mauritz Hardware team engaged with University of Houston – Victoria SBDC business advisors Ty Zeller and Mark A. Martinez to propel the company into the future. The advisors, recognizing the store's deep reliance on traditional pen-and-paper operations, initiated the business's journey toward digital transformation.
"The SBDC has been an invaluable resource for us! Being a small business in a small town, we didn't know where to go for the kind of information we were looking for. Ty Zeller and Mark Martinez are very knowledgeable and have been able to offer suggestions/advice on everything from a new point of sale system to marketing strategies that fit our situation and clientele. We've also reached out many times with questions about QuickBooks and always get a quick response. We're so grateful for their time and expertise".
The UHV SBDC advisors focused on marketing strategies, new product introductions, branding, and advertising. However, they soon realized the need for a fundamental shift in operations. Mauritz Hardware, accustomed to manual record-keeping, required a modern update.The move to modernize involved harnessing the full potential of QuickBooks. Mark assisted the team in transitioning from paper files to digital, streamlining processes and reducing reliance on manual paperwork. As Mauritz Hardware adapted through the digital transformation, the focus shifted toward a comprehensive point-of-sale (POS) and inventory control system. After careful consideration, Square Retail POS emerged as the ideal choice for its user-friendly interface and adaptability. The SBDC advising duo embarked on the setup process, inventory conversion, and extensive training to implement these systems alongside company leadership. Today, Mauritz Hardware operates efficiently in the digital realm, a far cry from its pen-and-paper origins.
The positive impact of the digital evolution on the small business is tangible. Mauritz Hardware, once reliant on manual processes, now boasts streamlined operations, a modern POS system, and dynamic inventory control. The store has not only retained seven positions, but has also expanded its workforce, creating 12 new jobs. These 19 employees contribute to Mauritz Hardware's continued success, bolstered by a $53,000 owner infusion which funded the company's modern update.The Mauritz Hardware story is a testament to the harmonious coexistence of heritage and modernization. This team, supported by SBDC advisors, has not only preserved the legacy of the company, but has propelled it into a new era of prosperity, demonstrating that with the right guidance, even the most traditional businesses can thrive in today's modern business environment.
- Business Expansion
- 12 Jobs Created and 7 Jobs Retained
- $53,000 Owner's Investment