Success Stories

Picture of Owner, Marlen Saenz

When Marlen Saenz began selling picture frames at a local flea market 12 years ago, she never dreamed her little business would grow to where it is now especially after receiving a SBA 504 Real Estate & Equipment Loan for $1.3 million dollars.

Marlen explains how a divorced gentleman enjoyed her frames and needed to add a feminine touch to his house.   The gentleman enthusiastically asked her if she’d be willing to decorate his home, and the rest is history. Guests at his housewarming party for Thanksgiving soon asked for her services and from there she started decorating schools, hospitals, attorney’s offices and the courthouse in the small rural town of Rio Grande City. She does not charge her customers for this service as long as the furniture and accessories are purchased from her store.

After two years at the flea market, she leased a location in Rio Grande City, Texas for two years before finding her current location that she owner financed and has been at... Read More

Mirna Davis

When Mirna Elizabeth Davis received a 30 pound box of pecans as a gift, she never imagined that gift would grow into two pioneering food businesses.

Davis owner of Nuts and Cows since 2015 and a mother of two began making pecan pralines as holiday gifts.  After receiving positive feedback from family and friends she decided to try her pecan creations at the local farmer’s market under Cottage Law. 

With an initial investment of $89, Ms. Davis began selling healthier versions of unhealthy snacks such as a pecan pie with 40% less sugar, double the pecans in a lightly sugared filling as well as vegan pecan products and natural, sugar free, no additive pecan butter.

“The result was amazing. My first weekend selling, I sold mostly pecan pies to Winter Texans. Then each weekend starting in September, I sold 135 pecan pies to Winter Texans. I was busy baking all week. I baked so much that now I like baking,” Davis said.

As demand for her products increased,... Read More

Positioned to Build Up from Industrial to 8(a) Contracts

NVS Corporate Services, Inc. was established in 2002 by Nick Soto and Oscar Loredo. A newly formed company targeting the industrial sector, it became very clear early on to Nick and Oscar that the industrial market in the Lower Rio Grande Valley was preparing for a major recession. This led to their decision to re-focus and strategize their business plan and enter into facilities services with the federal government. By 2005, over a period of establishing themselves as experts in the industry, the Texas-Mexico border in South Texas was a target market for the NVS team. They quickly built a positive reputation for quality service in property development, facilities/property management, maintenance, and construction on the Texas/Mexico border.

By 2006, NVS received its first federal contract with GSA to provide janitorial and maintenance services for a large office complex that housed various Department of Homeland Security agencies. In 2007, GSA recognized NVS for receiving... Read More

Phillip's Automotive Services -Back to Business with MREIDL

Phillip's Automotive Services, owned by Felipe Herrera, has served the Corpus Christi, Texas community with quality automotive repair, diagnostics, and tune up services for over 15 years.

Herrera first learned about the automotive repair service while in the U.S. Marine Corps and taking classes in the automotive field. He started his first automotive repair business in Austin, Texas in 1994. While the business was successful, he decided to move to Corpus Christi, Texas and start Phillip’s Automotive.

Stamina, determination, commitment, as well as many long hours helped Herrera build the company to what it is today. From the very start Felipe spent 100 percent of his time operating and managing day-to-day operations, supporting his family while serving in the Army National Guard.

One of the biggest obstacles he faced was when he was called for active duty and deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom in Kosovo.  He had to leave his business behind.  Herrera's... Read More

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