Lexington Pasta Owner Named 2018 SBA Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year

Lesme Romero Takes Top Honor; Finalist for 2018 SBA National Small Business Person of the Year
Release Date: 
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Release Number: 
18-0406KY
Contact: 
michael.ashcraft@sba.gov

LEXINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration 2018 Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year is Lesme Romero, owner of Lexington Pasta.  Founded in 2009, the company produces pasta for restaurants, farmer’s markets, grocery stores and food distributors.

In 2013, Mr. Romero contacted the Bluegrass SBDC, an SBA Resource Partner, for guidance on ways to improve productivity. The following year, the SBDC assisted him in refinancing debt with an SBA loan.

In 2017, Romero again met with SBDC consultants to develop long term goals. This enabled him to open an Italian Café, bodega and a special events venue in the same building where the pasta is made. Romero also teaches cooking classes and has added a commercial kitchen and food incubator.

We wouldn't be where we are today without assistance from the SBDC and SBA," Lesme Romero said. “The SBDC helped us develop our business plan and get an SBA loan. The guidance and assistance we received made it easier for us to execute our growth strategy."

Living the American Dream, Lesme Romero came to the U.S. to continue his college education and is now a U.S. citizen. He owns four businesses and employs 15. With his rapidly expanding companies, Romero expects to hire many more soon. He also supports the community, serving on numerous nonprofit social service boards in the Lexington area. 

A celebration honoring SBA winners from the Kentucky District Office will be at 10:00 am May 2nd at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort, along with the Kentucky SBDC’s Pacesetter award winners. Other SBA state awards to be recognized at the celebration include Kentucky’s Minority, Veteran Owned and Woman Owned Businesses of the Year as well as Financial Services and Small Business Advocates of the Year. 

The following Kentucky entrepreneurs and advocates will also be honored for Small Business Week:

·        Financial Services Advocate of the Year: Mr. Earl Twinam, First & Peoples Bank and Trust Company, an SBA lender in Russell 

·        Small Business Advocate of the Year: Mr. Tom Underwood, NFIB – Kentucky in Frankfort

·        Minority Owned Small Business of the Year: Mrs. Kathy Mills, Strategic Communications, LLC in Louisville

·        Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year: Mr. Alejandro Ramirez, Universal Spartan, LLC in Vine Grove

·        Woman Owned Small Business of the Year: Ms. Mavis Linneman-Clark, The Delish Dish, LLC in Covington