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Pupuseria Gemelos, San Francisco

Maribel and Luis Ochoa (owners) of “Pupuseria Gemelos” are the first and newly assigned food concession operators for the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields in San Francisco. By the end of this summer 2008 “Pupuseria Gemelos” will be operating at a newly built food concession stand located within the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields; Maribel and Luis Ochoa will be the only food vendors allowed to operate at the field. The food concession will serve refreshments, snacks, and healthy ethnic and local dishes to all the soccer teams and patrons visiting the fields.

This past May 2008 Oscar Fernandez, Sr. Business Consultant for San Francisco’s SBDC, was contacted by Maribel and Luis Ochoa to request assistance with an RFP to be presented to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission. They had been selling food at the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields. Now the City had decided to offer exclusive rights to only one vendor. The Ochoas do not speak English very well and they would have to respond to this RFP if they wanted a chance to continue their business in that location.

Oscar originally met with the applicants to provide them with an overview of the application process, and the type of work to be done. During the different subsequent meetings held with Maribel and Luis Ochoa; Oscar shared with them information about the different aspects of running a food concession business including, start-up capital, business planning, operations, marketing, potential customers, and other pertinent information to run a profitable business.

There were different challenges during the application process including the applicants’ language barrier and their understanding of the RFP application itself, which they had never experienced. After several meetings, the RFP was completed, submitted and approved by the Recreation and Park Commission early July 2008.

Without SBDC assistance the Ochoas would have lost the ability to sell at Crocker Amazon. Now, armed with the exclusive concession, their sales will increase and jobs for the entire Ochoa family have been saved. The exclusive five year contract will mean nearly half a million dollars of revenue and the retention of five jobs.

“We are very grateful with SBDC, who helped us with the long application process,” says Maribel Ochoa. To this end, Oscar Fernandez, Sr. Business Consultant for San Francisco’s SBDC commented that he was “thrilled to know that his clients were able to win the contract despite the language barrier.”

Through the SBDC, he said, “we were able to provide Maribel and Luis with free one-on-one business counseling services so they could learn to run a healthy and profitable business.”