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Peas of Mind, San Francisco

Finding the niche in healthy kids food

BACKGROUND
Helping a friend feed her toddler something healthier than canned green beans turned into a full time job for Jill Litwin, founder and CEO of Peas of Mind, a healthy frozen-food company for growing kids. Jill found her niche in creating foods for the 1 to 8 year-olds, or “growing child.” Moms had little more than Cheerios and Goldfish for their 1 to 8-year-olds to snack on; Jill soon had a line-up of healthy and tasty Puffets, natural and organic wholesome meals.

Susanna Frohman Photography, Bay Area

Susanna Frohman is an international and national award-winning photojournalist and visual storyteller who creates and licenses custom photographic print and web products that help corporations, media organizations and non-profit clients illustrate the heart of their mission.

www.susannafrohman.com

San Jose Kitchen Rental, San Jose

San Jose Kitchen Rental, LLC (SJKR) is a commercial kitchen facility located in San Jose’s enterprise zone that opened in March 2010.  Owner, Annette Galetti, has over 20 years of professional baking experience and knew first-hand that a large, untapped market existed for a premium commercial kitchen.  It is the first in Silicon Valley to offer three individual kitchens plus almost 1000 square feet of preparation area as well.  The kitchens and prep areas are available 24/7 and provide a unique, low-cost alternative for start-up caterers and bakers as SJKR is the only commercial kitchen in the region that does not require a monthly minimum payment.

River Song Natural Foods, Willow Creek

River Song Natural Foods is a natural foods store in the rural area of Willow Creek, California, and is the only natural food store within 32 miles. The store provides 100% natural foods and beverages, with 90% of those foods and beverages being organic.  Most of their products are from local producers and are of the highest quality. River Song Natural Foods strives to achieve total customer satisfaction by offering specials and welcoming customer feedback.

SF SBDC Client is National Cover Story in BizJournals

Photo: Paolo Vescia

Minding her peas and carrots wins investors
by Susan Smith Hendrickson

Jill Litwin, founder and CEO of a healthy frozen-food company for growing kids, is a typical entrepreneur in many ways. She works (all the time). She gets overtly excited about the launch of her third product, Peas of Pie pizza with vegetables baked into the crust (and stresses about it). And, like most small-business owners, she has to, by default and natural desire, have her hands, or at least her head, in all aspects of her company, from product development to checking whether the delivery trucks are on running on time.

Read more: Business Success Stories - SBA Small Business Administration

Read the original SF SBDC Success Story

Valle Translations, San Francisco Bay Area

BACKGROUND
Valle Translations is a woman-owned, SBA 8(a) certified business that provides English-Spanish translation services globally. What began in 1994, as a translation company focused on birth certificates and other forms of personal documentation has grown into a sophisticated business serving some of this country’s best known companies including Blue Shield and Oakwood Worldwide.

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.

Savantis Group, Inc., San Francisco

When Deniz Mater came to the SBDC in late 2006, she and her husband, Roel Deuss, were managing a one year old company, SAP Headhunter, Inc., from their home office. The company provides IT services to customers of SAP, a German company that is one of the leaders in Enterprise Resource Planning software. Deniz and Roel are providing consultants to these customers and conducting job searches for them. They also engage in a number of in-house projects for their clients. They were receiving a reasonable amount of revenue but the SAP market presented them an excellent opportunity for growth.

Regalito Rosticeria, San Francisco

Thomas Pena had spent several years refining family recipes and, as he was preparing his restaurant project, he traveled for months in Mexico researching new menu items and cooking techniques. He also had studied baking and pastry at the California Culinary Academy.

Rain All Day Books, Fortuna

Monica Hubbard had been working at a local bookstore in Humboldt County. She had been gaining more responsibility at the book store, when she realized, “I could do this on my own. I like this life of books and people.” In September of 2006, Monica went into business for herself and opened up a used book store called Rain All Day Books. 

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