Pueblos Mexican Restaurants and Grapevines – Sergio And Laura Moreria
In 2004, ACE made its first loan to a Hispanic couple. The $25,000 loan meant they could own their restaurant themselves, rather than with other family members. They have since expanded to 5 Pueblos Mexican Cuisine restaurants in Georgia.
No longer a micro-business, Sergio and Laura Moreira employ over 150 people instead of four. They have had very little employee turnover. In the restaurant industry, that track record is practically unheard of. Pueblos routinely earns rave reviews and media accolades for their tasty recipes, continued success and their work in the community.
The Moreira’s have expanded their restaurant line. They have opened an Italian restaurant in Dahlonega called GrapeVines where they employ 35 employees. Grapevines is always crowded and collecting excellent reviews as well.
What’s their secret? “Pay fair wages and treat employees with respect and dignity,” they say. ” Help them learn to speak English and file legal documents. Teach them about the American financial system.”
The husband-wife entrepreneurs are respected community leaders not only in the eyes of the Hispanic community, but also non-Hispanic, and they serve as an informal employment network, providing both employers and potential employees with leads. Many Hispanic job-seekers have found vocations and a better way of life through the efforts of the Moreira’s.