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Gusto Bread

Arturo Enciso and Ana Belén Salatino

2710 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814

(562) 343-1881

gustobread.com

Gusto Bread

 

Gusto Bread is an organic panaderia: They bake and sell artisanal breads and pastries, drawing on Latin American and European baking traditions. Their shop is located in downtown Long Beach, but they started out as a cottage business, operating out of their home. The partners had no experience with leasing a commercial space. In co-founder Ana Salatino’s words, “It was a huge leap.”

 

Solutions

The Gusto co-founders took the six-week Brick-and-Mortar 101 course with SBDC advisor Karie Armstrong. Following the course, Armstrong worked one-on-one alongside Gusto through the entire process of financing and leasing their retail space. Salatino could not be more appreciative. “Our advisor offered critical support for creating our executive summary and projections in order to secure the SBA loan for our bakery build-out. She was also a big help in negotiating our lease and understanding the multi-step process from that point all the way to opening our doors nine months later.”

Applying for the loan involved both writing and number crunching. Salatino described crafting the executive summary as an exercise in looking at the business from the outside. A narrative for thinking about the business more objectively. Then there were the spreadsheets. The co-founders worried about the financial risk they were taking on with a business loan, but their advisor helped them understand how they could reduce their risk by preparing projections of their income and expenses, month by month. This clarified what size loan they could take to maximize their early growth but still afford to pay the loan back.

 

Results

Since expanding into the brick-and-mortar space, Gusto’s revenue has grown over three times. In addition to their own jobs, Enciso and Salatino have created 10 full-time jobs. They are proud to be offering health, dental, and vision benefits–not a given in their industry.

They have also been winning lots of awards, locally and even nationally. They were recognized in the 2020 LA Times 101 List and voted the 2021 Reader’s Choice Best Bakery by the Long Beach Post. The online press has ranked them, too. Gusto was named one of Food & Wine’s Top 100 Bakeries in America, one of LA Eater’s 38 Essential Restaurants in Los Angeles, and one of Thrillist’s 33 Latino-Owned Businesses in Los Angeles. Enciso, who is self-taught, was honored as an LA Rising Star baker for Restaurant Week 2021.

According to Salatino, running a business at this stage is “like parenting a one-year-old. It’s all-consuming.” But as the business matures, the partners are looking forward to gradually building more time into their schedules to author a cookbook. And they continue to formulate new spreads and snacks. They plan to check in with their SBDC advisor from time to time for a session to “maintain their intentionality” in aiming to become a more sustainable, community-minded business and supportive workplace.

Salatino observes that “some people access SBDC advising for critical moments like starting a business or getting a loan,” but she recommends building a long-term relationship with an advisor. She appreciates “the perspective and experience of the counselors. Someone who can really listen. It’s like going to a therapist for business owners.”

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