To mark National Women's Small Business Month we're bringing you the story of Kathleen Daly, former owner of Cafe Zoe in California.
CAFE ZOE'S STORY
Kathleen Daly opened Cafe Zoe, a community coffee shop in the heart of Silicon Valley, in 2008. Kathleen had no prior experience running a small business, but for fifteen years she focused on the joy of community-building. She and her daughter Zoe created a beloved neighborhood establishment where all were welcome. Cafe Zoe hosted live music on the weekends and local art covered its walls.
Kathleen loved creating community and serving her customers, but she had not adequately focused on the financials of Cafe Zoe. She was thinking about selling the business and needed help improving operations and planning for the future.
WHAT DID TAP DO?
TAP’s partnership with San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA), an economic development agency focused on sustaining local economies, led to the work with Cafe Zoe. TAP consultants gave Kathleen the space and opportunity to think about the future of Cafe Zoe and consider different strategic options. They analyzed the cafe’s monthly cash flows to help Kathleen improve its finances. They also presented a source of comparable sale multiples to help Kathleen value the business.
"They showed me that I could increase the value of my business by managing it a lot better. I wasn’t focused on making money[,] … just community building,” says Kathleen. “The work the consultants did was such a gift to me."
Kathleen and Zoe decided they were ready for new challenges and sold Cafe Zoe in June 2023. Prior to her work with TAP, a business broker had recommended that Kathleen sell Cafe Zoe at a lower valuation. Kathleen knew her business was worth more. With TAP’s help, she and Zoe were able to increase sales and profitability, which led to a higher valuation and sale price. Kathleen is confident that Cafe Zoe’s new owner will sustain the culture of community-building that she and Zoe created. Today, she remains an active community volunteer, working hard to support those who work and live in her neighborhood.
“It was so fulfilling to work with Kathleen," says TAP consultant Tom Bochenek. "It’s great that she was able to sell the business she had built. The café will remain such an important part of the community under new ownership.”
TAP consultants speak 23 languages, and fifteen percent speak Spanish. We've served 5% of our clients in Spanish. So, to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we bring you some TAP team members, talking about their work. Watch and share the video below. #hispanicheritagemonth #consultant #consulting #smallbusiness #smallbusinessowner
By Elizabeth Bushaw
Joel Sanchez vividly remembers the day he realized the world was not a level playing field. He was 14, and wanted to join a volleyball team, but his family didn’t have the money to cover the costs. In fact, there was an eviction notice on the door of their apartment in the Bronx, NY. He looked at the notice, and vowed, in that moment, to create an organization tailored to people like him. He wanted any kid to be able to play volleyball, no matter how much money they had. The idea for Legacy Volleyball Club was born.
Located in the Bronx and incorporated in 2011, Legacy Volleyball Club is a non-profit youth empowerment organization. By providing year-round volleyball training and youth programs for ages 5-21, Legacy helps kids achieve their athletic, social, and academic goals.
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, we’re focusing on Legacy Volleyball, and its involvement with the Hispanic community. We're also kicking off TAP's Fall for Small Business® series, where we feature stories of TAP's remarkable clients.
“Our business’ commitment to inclusivity and accessibility truly resonates with the Hispanic community, especially considering the challenges often faced in accessing services like ours,” says Joel. “Our journey with TAP has been guided by the intention of breaking down barriers and making our services available to a broader range of people, including those from the Hispanic community.”
Joel’s collaboration with TAP was driven by a desire to learn, evolve, and transform Legacy into a more agile, efficient, and strategically oriented entity. TAP consultants Marijose Betant, Erin Keys, and Karen Saravia were able to provide Legacy with new and efficient ideas to improve work processes. They also facilitated communication with Legacy’s board of directors, creating a stronger, more focused team. Natalia Alarcon, Director of External Relations and Service Delivery, oversaw the project.
Finally, TAP helped Legacy plan for the future. According to Joel, “We work better, our teamwork is stronger, and we’re ready for whatever comes our way.”
Each member of the TAP team contributed to the overall success of the partnership. “I think this was a great project where each consultant brought a deep understanding of their subject,” says TAP consultant Karen Saravia. “As a result, the value for the client was deep and focused, and the peer learning was invaluable.”
“Legacy Volleyball is an organization that cares about the whole student-athlete,” adds Natalia. “They are committed to their social, educational, and athletic development. Joel is committed to his work and to Legacy’s success. He was a model client, always willing to learn and open to suggestions. We provided him with actionable strategies to improve Legacy as an organization while maintaining its core brand values. It was a pleasure working with someone as professional as he is.
“Our story highlights not only our commitment to making services affordable and available, but also our dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment,” Joel says. “Through our actions, we aim to demonstrate that representation matters and that our business is truly a place where the Hispanic community can thrive.”
#hispanicheritagemonth #hispanicbusinessowner #smallbusiness #smallbusinessowner #fallforsmallbusiness
The consultant and client partnership is a recipe for success
Shelly Flash and Souha Alameddine say working together is inspiring. Shelly is a TAP client, and the owner of 2 Girls & a Cookshop. Souha is a TAP consultant. Together, they've tackled some of Shelly's business challenges, and along the way, they've developed an enduring friendship. So for our second feature for National Black Business Month, we bring you Shelly and Souha, in their own words. Watch the video below.
Elevating Business Opportunities for Haitians Worldwide
Marleen Julien was born in Haiti and grew up speaking Haitian Creole. Fifteen years ago, she turned her native tongue into a business opportunity. Creole Solutions now works with corporate and non-profit clients in the healthcare, legal, education, technology and insurance industries.
August is National Black Business Month, so we are highlighting Creole Solutions and its commitment to raising the standards of Haitian Creole translation services in the U.S. and Canada. The company is also focused on creating business opportunities for Haitians. Haitian Creole is a Creole language with French influence, resulting from a fusion of French, and African and Indigenous languages.
Marleen was introduced to TAP through the Chase for Business® Curated Coaching program, powered by TAP. After participating in her coaching session, she realized she needed more guidance in multiple areas, including marketing, finance, and technology, so she signed up for a TAP Boot Camp.
TAP consultants Carol Campili and Shannon Connell focused on three areas.
First, Carol and Shannon worked with Marleen to understand her financial data and know what metrics to use to manage her projects and customers. Based on the data, they analyzed Creole’s profit margins and pricing by client. They recommended that Marleen increase her prices for projects that were not generating desired profit margins.
According to Marleen, “I used to feel like I should have made (more) money in a month because I was working a lot. Now I know exactly how it happens.”
Second, TAP helped Marleen identify best practices for developing a social media marketing plan. Marleen used this feedback to create a marketing strategy and be more intentional about her social media posts.
Third, Carol and Shannon shared best practices on customer service and how to present Creole Solutions to potential partners and clients. Marleen says she is now successfully targeting and converting prospects into clients.
“She was a very eager learner and put our recommendations into place!” says Carol. And the results are clear. “Creole Solutions quarter sales doubled over last year, and net income more than doubled over last year. Employees (subcontractors) increased by 33%, and new direct clients (a goal we put in the action plan) have significantly increased.”
Marleen credits her work with TAP in aiding her acceptance into the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program for entrepreneurs, as well as Beyonce's BeyGOOD Small Business Impact program.
And best of all? Marleen says she and her husband were able to take a long-planned vacation to Egypt. Now that translates to serious success!
#smallbusiness #smallbusinesowners #womeninbusiness #entrepreneurs #National Black Business Month #blackbusinessowners
Every neighborhood deserves a great ice cream shop.
That’s what high school friends Pam Geiger and Erin O’Keefe thought when they moved back home to White Plains, New York to raise their families. They couldn’t find a fun family gathering place in their area, so they decided to create what they were looking for. Ice Cream Social opened in 2021.
To mark National Ice Cream Day,** we’ve got the full scoop on Ice Cream Social. Both Pam (a special events fundraiser) and Erin (a stylist) knew how to create a welcoming environment, work with commercial partners, and generate the buzz needed to build a small retail business.
They transformed an old gas station into a bright, enticing ice cream parlor. In addition to regular scoops, they have milkshakes, ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, coffee, and of course, Ice Cream Social merchandise.
TAP consultants Julia McClanan and Yvonne Lee stepped in to help when Pam and Erin had the opportunity to buy their building. They wanted to get a better handle on cash flow in order to apply for bank loans and secure financing.
Fortunately, TAP received a grant to support businesses in Westchester County, enabling us to work with Ice Cream Social. "It was amazing to have two people who specialized in different aspects of the business to get feedback on different parts of our business structure, " says Pam Geiger.
The TAP team focused on several areas:
**Also for National Ice Cream Day, check out our blog about Penny Lick.
#icecream #summer #clientstory #womenownedbusiness #smallbusiness #entrepreneur
About this blog
This blog features some of our client engagements.