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Success Stories

NEW YORK, NY— Twenty-two years ago, Michael Montenes set out to start his own small business with the primary goal of ensuring that his customers were satisfied.  He knew that in order to do so, he would have to put together and train an all-star team who understood the power of personal customer service and could deliver results. 

Montenes founded M.S. Hi-Tech, a New York-based electronic component distributor located in Hauppauge, New York that specializes in procurement and inventory management solutions for customers in the global electronic supply chain. Montenes credits his father with teaching him the importance of quality control and attention to detail for any product, and he demonstrates this lesson by pushing his company to exceed expectations in its mission and operations.

That doesn’t mean the process was always easy. 

When Montenes opened his business at 2 p.m. on November 20, 1990, he was 29 years old, “with a credit card, telephone and a prayer... Read More

Eight years ago, George Constantinou and Farid Ali-Lancheros opened the restaurant that would turn their dreams into reality and make them role models to small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to succeed in a competitive industry.  Through determination and years of in-depth planning and research, Constantinou and Ali-Lancheros created what would become one of Brooklyn’s most popular restaurants: Bogota Latin Bistro.

Bogota Latin Bistro is a Pan-Latin eatery located in Park Slope, Brooklyn that now serves 2,600 customers weekly after opening in the summer of 2005.  During its opening night, the restaurant served over 250 customers and continued its success to generate over one million dollars in sales during the first year of operations, and today employs over 60 employees from the local community.

Part of Constantinou and Ali-Lancheros’s journey included working with business counselors from the local Business Outreach Center.  They were able to create... Read More

From a young age, Nadine Boudreau dreamed of owning her own business where she could help children. Her passion led to a degree in sociology with a focus on women and children’s studies. Boudreau originally thought she’d be a social worker, but found a different opportunity in 2008 with the purchase of a failing preschool in St. James, Long Island.

Boudreau kept the same location and staff, but completely overhauled the curriculum and materials to turn the business around. Her philosophy that children need challenging and creative experiences to develop their innate creativity and fuel their desire to learn new things is reflected in the school’s new motto, “Where your children grow and learn while having fun.” Boudreau’s commitment to becoming involved at each level of the business, including teaching classes, and focus on getting the children’s writing and pre-math skills ready for kindergarten has been highly regarded by the preschool parents.

The Story Book Hollow... Read More

In early 2007, brothers Hoover and Wilson Zuluaga saw an opportunity with a Long Island bakery that was struggling and about to close. Paisapan Bakery had been operating for a full year but had failed to gain popularity among the community. The Zuluaga brothers recognized the main cause was poor customer service and felt they could turn operations around.

Although Hoover was a network security specialist and Wilson was an industrial engineer by trade, the Zuluagas were able to develop their entrepreneurial skills, change employee training, product quality and variety to get results within 18 months. By 2010, the brothers had the bakery’s profits rising when they noticed a growing demand for Hispanic food specialties in their retail bakery.

“We saw an increased in demand for specialties from Columbia, Peru and Ecuador so we started investigating importers and bringing in more and more products for our bakery,” explained Wilson.

Together they capitalized on the... Read More

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