My husband, David, and I worked in the restaurant industry for a long time. We had a dream to run our own business. Family pulled us to Hartford where we bought a food truck and Lucky Taco was born in 2011.
Buying our first food truck was scary financially and then the brakes didn't work! But with David as the executive chef, the food truck was successful from the beginning, teaching us about business, catering and great customer service. Then a newborn baby and the New England weather (too cold or too hot) added to the normal business challenges. So we decided to try our hand at a more reliable, fixed restaurant.
We bought our facility in Manchester in 2014, an existing restaurant that closed, opening Lucky Taco two weeks later. We started slowly, building the business with a breakfast and lunch menu, then lunch, dinner and adding a 'cantina' when our liquor license was approved.
Although we're still refining costs and labor, we getting ready to expand. As we think it through, we'll probably return to SCORE for their wonderful, professional advice.
Without SCORE, I wouldn't be where I am. There was lots of encouragement; they helped me believe we could really do this. We saw our mentors every other week over a six month period. They guided me, taught me and 'held my hand' through the process of developing a business plan and finding financing.
And they had resources, lots of resources. One, DECD (Department of Economic and Community Development) ended up giving us a job creation grant (which we had to match with our own financial resources). This grant didn't come easily, it was a long process, but we learned to be persistent!
Our mentors were our 'saviors'. They were gracious, patient and kind. They taught me how to write a solid business plan that a bank would want to support, while building my confidence.