El Burrito Mercado is Minnesota’s 2017 Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year

Release Date: 
Monday, May 1, 2017
Release Number: 
Sarah Swenty, sarah.swenty@sba.gov

MINNEAPOLIS – El Burrito Mercado has been named Minnesota’s Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year for 2017 by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Milissa Silva-Diaz, whose parents started the business, co-owns El Burrito Mercado with her sister and niece Suzanne and Analita Silva.  The St. Paul specialty Mexican and Latino Marketplace features a restaurant, bar, catering, deli, bakery, groceries, a butcher shop, and imported gifts.                                                                                                           

Nominated by Meda, Mexican-American Milissa Silva-Diaz, is a passionate diversity advocate with a vision to unite teams through cultural experiences, food, and music—infusing it all with business savvy. She is the eldest daughter of immigrant entrepreneurial parents and most known for her innovative leadership at the Mercado.

“Supporting minority-owned small businesses adds flavor to our communities, jobs to the economy and benefits us all,” stated Nancy Libersky, Minnesota’s SBA district director. “I am proud of the work SBA does to help all our citizens succeed.”

Before taking on her current role at El Burrito Mercado, Silva-Diaz pursued other experiences to increase her knowledge in private label foods, Latino promotion entertainment, and engaged in business relations with corporations like Target, Supervalu, and General Mills.  Since she took the Mercado’s reins in 2012, profitability and offerings there have greatly increased. A SBA guaranteed loan in 2016 allowed the business to expand its dining space to seating for an additional 40 people, as well as an added buffet, additional restrooms and a server station and upgrade to the existing outdoor patio. The patio opens this summer with live weekend music for customers to enjoy with their families.

“I am so grateful for the opportunities we've been given so these improvements can happen. This growth not only helps increases the business opportunity for my family, it provides jobs and expanded cultural experiences for the community,” stated Silva-Diaz. “I'm so excited to pursue these ventures together. With my business partners, aka my sister and niece, it's only all possible as a team!”

Milissa is an avid community supporter. El Burrito Mercado has donated thousands of dollars to organizations in the community, specifically ones that serve the Latino community. Additionally, Silva-Diaz currently serves on the boards for the Latino Chamber of Commerce and the St. Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation. She was recognized as the 2009 recipient of Minnesota’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 25 on the Rise!

The SBA, along with the SCORE Association and the Small Business Development Center, will honor Milissa Silva-Diaz at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards Luncheon on May 4, 2017, at the Marriott Minneapolis Northwest in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

For more information on Small Business Week, please visit www.sba.gov/NSBW

The Small Business Administration was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The Minnesota District Office provides SBA programs and services to the state of Minnesota. Working with our resource partners across the state, we help businesses start, grow and achieve success. For more information on our programs and services, visit www.sba.gov/mn.