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
It's Fall. The leaves are turning. Days are getting shorter. As for us, here at The Acceleration Project, we're falling for small! Welcome to our annual Fall for Small Business® series.
Over the next month we'll bring you stories of our amazing clients. To get started, read about about Legacy Volleyball, Pabade Bakery & Cafe, and Jade Garden Design in New York. We'll bring you stories about our consultants, too. They'll share what they love about working at TAP.
In the comments below, let us know what you love about the fall, and why you Fall for Small Business.®
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
By Elizabeth Bushaw
Like most restaurants, Pabade Bakery & Cafe faced challenges during the COVID 19 pandemic. The Carvajal siblings — Yolfer, Dahyanna, and Donny —had launched their business as a wholesale bakery in 2016. Then in 2019, the trio opened a café on East 110th St. and Lexington in East Harlem. Then in 2020, the world shut down.
When they eventually reopened, their business felt uncertain. Sales had taken a hit, operational expenses were high, and employee recruitment was challenging. Fortunately, the Carvajal siblings had TAP on their team.
To celebrate Hispanic Heritage month, we’re highlighting Pabade’s story. Consultants Nurit Praeger, Sabrina Silva, and Amy Lai provided guidance on increasing sales as well as marketing strategies. Claudia Uribe, Chief Program Officer oversaw the project.
“TAP helped us with suggestions on how to diversify our products and provided marketing tips that eventually brought more exposure to our brand,” says Dahyanna.
Born in Venezuela and raised in Colombia, the siblings were determined to keep their commitment to using the best ingredients. They wanted their products to be fresh and represent the best of fusing French pastry techniques and Venezuelan baked goods. With TAP’s help, Pabade Bakery expanded its product line to offer lunch options and implemented delivery services to further maximize sales.
“We learned that we have to be very open to ideas that can help your business succeed,” says Dahyanna. “We need to have a ‘think-out-of-the-box’ mentality and be as creative and confident as we can when making decisions that will help us achieve our goals.”
Pabade not only survived Covid, but came back stronger than ever. They hired more employees and increased revenue and profitability. And so, the Pabade story is just one of many clients we're featuring during TAP's Fall for Small Business® series.
“The Carvajal siblings’ grit, commitment to excellence and willingness to go the extra mile to make their business succeed is contagious,” says Natalia Alarcon, TAP’s Director of External Relations and Service Delivery. “At TAP we are very proud of Pabade Bakery and Cafe’s success and celebrate their continuous growth.”
#hispanicheritagemonth #smallbusiness #food #fallforsmallbusiness
About this blog
This blog features some of our client engagements.