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Los Angeles District Office

Success Stories

Success Stories

Owner and CEO Kelly Chapman

Mac-O-licious is a small restaurant in the Valley Village area. It was founded as a food truck by Kelly Chapman in 2012, and it has successfully grown into a beautiful storefront in less than two years. After receiving a loan from VEDC, as well as business training and consulting services from the Women’s Business Center, Chapman was able to take her restaurant to a whole new level. Since the opening of her first storefront Chapman's cheesy comfort food has received nationwide notoriety. Mac-O-licious has now been featured on CNBC’s Restaurant Startup, as well as Locale Magazine, and the Real Mom of SFV blog to mention a few.

One of Chapman’s secrets of success is her constant effort and passion to serve the community. Chapman has hired 9 individuals from varied ethnic backgrounds, many of whom were unemployed or homeless before having the opportunity to work for Mac-O-licious. The comfort food, combined with the Mac-O-licious unique team creates a welcoming environment that... Read More

Sugarbird Sweets & Teas: Delectable Delicacies Owner Kei Okumura

Sugarbird Sweets & Teas: Delectable Delicacies

It’s not uncommon to end up in a career far afield from your college major.  Kei Okumura took this phenomenon to an extreme and now owns her own thriving small business.

With a college degree in political science, you’d think Okumura would have found herself working for an elected official in Washington, D.C.  But instead of flying to our nation’s capital, she worked in the film industry for her first career then Okumura flew to Paris to study French pastry baking.

Following her culinary passion, in 2002 she immersed herself in the Ecole Superioure du Cuisine Francaise, a bakery/catering program where she graduated at the top of her class.  Returning to Los Angeles, she gained baking experience at local restaurants and then launched her small business dream in 2008 – Sugarbird Sweets and Teas, featuring her products at farmer’s market stands in South Pasadena and Larchmont.

Sugarbird Sweets specializes... Read More

JSL Technologies, Inc.

Joseph T. Black III, CEO/President of JSL Technologies, Inc. (JSL), researched SBA certifications and discovered the 8(a) program when he attended an SBA Los Angeles District Office onsite seminar in 2010.  Being a Veteran, a minority and from a disadvantaged background, Black spoke with a Business Opportunity Specialist and began the 8(a) certification process.  JSL was formed in 2008, and while business survived, once it became 8(a) certified, it thrived.  “The company’s numbers are staggering.  In 2014, we won over eight contracts as a Prime contractor for both 8(a) sole source and competitive Unrestrictive contracts with the DoD Federal Government,” said James Savage, Executive Vice President for Business Development. Savage, who joined JSL in 2010, added, “This span of contracts contributed to over 30% growth of JSL.” 

JSL provides Program Management, Systems Engineering, Test and Evaluation (T&E), Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) and In-Service Engineering (ISE)... Read More

Printing Palace owner Mark Moralez prints a stack of posters on the Akiyama four-color, large-format offset press.

Mark Moralez came to Los Angeles in 1989 in hopes of fulfilling his dream of being a professional dancer.  As fate would have it, he ended up becoming a printer working his way up the ladder and today is the owner and operator of ‘Printing Palace,’ a  state-of-the-art, full-service printer and only printer in California still using offset printing.

Mark Moralez began his work as a printer 35 years ago going from shop to shop working in various capacities. Ten years ago he met the owner of ‘Printing Palace,’ and started working as a customer service representative for $10 per hour.  Eventually Moralez became manager of the shop, but in 2014, his boss and owner of the printing shop said he was selling the business. Moralez did not know what would happen to him, his job, nor the fate of the nine employees he managed, and although he had not thought about owning his own business before, with the encouragement of friends and family, he decided to go for it. 

Unfortunately... Read More