Napa Sonoma SBDCSanta Rosa and Napa, California
Gia Sempronio

In the spring of 2007, Gia Sempronio came to the NVC Small Business Development Center with an idea to own a high quality, healthy and mobile quick service take out food business. Her idea was to take off of the traditional motor catering truck known better for visiting construction and office sites with a healthy alternative to be called Phat Salads and Wraps. Early on Gia identified that fresh and healthy are critical keys to success.

Gia first found a vendor to customize the mobile kitchen. Then, the many issues of starting business around food service became apparent. Gia needed a county approved commercial kitchen to prep her food in. She needed to cost out her recipe and strategize her pricing. The first call to action was to identify the cost of her salads and wraps.

Actions taken
Gia had taken several of the business foundation classes in the spring such as business start up, marketing and bookkeeping while she arranged to purchase and outfit her truck. The SBDC worked with Gia to install and set up QuickBooks and determine her opening sequence. She obtained the commercial kitchen and all licenses required. The SBDC also worked with her on menu costing, pricing, ordering and tracking sales. They created projections of revenue and expense as well as a break even budget. Questions regarding licensing, sales tax and employee compliance were also reviewed. The SBDC revisited her opening months and made recommendations on Gia’s marketing and operations while the SBDC also reviewed her sales and cost of goods, with both witnessing good progress.

In September of 2007, the truck was delivered and her equity investment was realized. Gia painted the truck and opened for business. She has now been open a full year and is regularly positioned near HealthQuest and other routes on certain specific days of the week. Gia also participates in events in Napa and adjoining areas. Her web site is up and running and she is emailing customers and prospective customers alike with offers, information and special menus. It has been a dynamic first year and as Gia looks toward her second year, she is anxious to push her idea of serving healthy, tasty food fast in Napa to new heights!

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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.