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Bakery Owner Tastes Sweet Success In Grand Island Thanks to SBA Microlender

There is no simple recipe for success when it comes to starting a small business. Just ask Ana Gonzalez, owner of The Enchanted Bakery, LLC in Grand Island, Nebraska. Ana and her sister originally started the business out of their home in Hastings, Nebraska in 2005. She and her sister Veronica baked and delivered specialty cakes but so many people asked when she was going to open a bakery, she finally did.

In 2015, Ana moved to Grand Island and opened up her store front bakery, where she especially enjoys working on wedding cakes. She says, [a wedding] “is a very important occasion and very special for the person who orders the wedding cake. All the cakes are special, but these are sentimental.”

But starting a small business isn’t exactly a piece of cake.  Ana says that one of her major challenges was going to the bank to get a business loan.

“Banks don’t trust us because it’s a new business,” she says. Luckily for her, that’s where the Rural Enterprise Assistance Center, a micro-lender funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, stepped in with a micro-loan to remodel the site for her storefront bakery.  Ana speaks highly of REAP, and says that she whenever someone asks her about financing, she “sends them to REAP because [she] knows how hard it is to get money in the beginning.”

Now Ana is focusing on marketing.  Word of her specialty cakes spread quickly, and she’s seen a 20-25% increase in customers since first opening. The Enchanted Bakery has become well known in the area, and Ana routinely does 6 or 7 wedding cakes per month, in addition to the eight kinds of cakes she keeps regularly stocked in her front counter that are available for immediate purchase.

The two things Ana likes most about being a small business owner are one, the satisfaction of hearing a client say her cake is really pretty and two, her ability to now separate business and personal life using time management and careful scheduling. Scheduling is important for a mom of three and her two older children help out in the bakery.

Ana has baked her way to sweet success. When asked what she would tell other women entrepreneurs about how to find that same success, she quickly states that they should “look for trainings and prepare themselves.” 

Small business ownership will never be a piece of cake, but the SBA and resource partners like REAP are ready to make it a little easier by offering access to capital like micro-loans, free training and workshops, and  free business counseling.

Company Name: 
The Enchanted Bakery
Location: 
Grand Island, Nebraska