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Success Stories

When Ron Heskett was hired five years ago to revitalize Borga Steel Buildings and Components, a 30-year-old manufacturing company in rural Fresno County, he turned to the U.S. Small Business Administration for help.

He completed the SBA’s Emerging Leaders entrepreneur training program as he began purchasing Borga Steel’s assets. Then he used an SBA-guaranteed 7(a) loan to buy the business from the previous owners. Later Ron used an SBA-guaranteed 504 loan to purchase the 9.5 acres of land in Fowler where the business is located.

Since then, Borga Steel Building and Components has created 12 new jobs. They increased their staff from 28 to 40, and will be hiring four more employees. They expanded into new markets, improved employee retention, and decreased supply chain costs.

In recognition of these accomplishments, the SBA is proud to honor Ron Heskett as the Fresno District’s 2017 Small Business Person of the Year.

As head of the U.S. Small Business... Read More

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced its winner for the SBA’s 2018 Small Business Person of the Year for Central California and the Central Coast: President of Deli Delicious Franchising Mohammad Hobab.

Hobab is originally from Iran, where he was a successful banker and engineer. He left the country in the 1980s to find a better life for him and his family in the United States.

In 1995, the Hobab family bought a small sandwich shop in Fresno and kept the name of “Deli Delicious”.

Deli Delicious started franchising in 2008, and now has 53 locations across 28 California cities, and plans to have at least 150 locations in the state by 2021.

“Mohammad Hobab is an inspiring example of the American dream of owning a small business,” said Dawn Golik, Fresno SBA district director. “The Small Business Administration is honored to be part of Deli Delicious’ success story. SBA programs supported Deli Delicious as they got going in Fresno, and kept... Read More

Andrea Wasko and Meaghan Gilbert started their woman owned small business Connoisseur Creations in 1996.  They learned everything about the food industry through the school of hard knocks.  They completed all aspects including R&D, Product Development, Product Safety Testing, Packaging Design, Component Procurement, Manufacturing, Intellectual Property, Marketing, Advertising, Incorporation and Sales.  After introducing several products in the late 1990’s, they added an International Brokerage and Development Division that successfully pioneered over 1000 food and non-food products from 20 different countries into distribution. 

Connoisseur Creation’s flagship creation, the Quick Pickle Kit, is a Safe, Quick, Simple, Natural way to make pickles that are ready to enjoy in just a few days.  It is a great gift for cooks, DIYers, vegetarians, vegans, family, dieters, snackers and gardeners.  Reduce food waste and pickle any vegetable in a fraction of the time and with... Read More

Mid Valley Foods, Inc. the 2012 Central California Small Business Person of the Year knows the importance of streamlining business procedures and processes.  The company (formerly E&E Meats) was started in 1979 by Earl Casey and wholesales various processed and packaged meat products to grocery stores, restaurants and deli’s.

In 2000, Les and Cheri Casey purchased the business from Les’s father.  They incorporated, modernized and began to expand sales and distribution at a Riverbank facility.  By 2005, it became apparent to the Casey’s that the business had grown to the limits of the old and antiquated facility and additional operational space would be needed for the company to be successful.  Also important was their need to develop new innovative techniques and streamline and simplify existing processes to improve their overall operational efficiency.


Over several months the Casey's met with the Alliance Small Business Development Center in... Read More