In 2004, ACE made its first loan to a Hispanic couple. The $25,000 meant they could own their restaurant themselves, rather than with other family members.
They have since expanded to 3 restaurants and 1 franchise in Georgia and a franchise in Uruguay. No longer a micro-business, Sergio and Laura Moreria employ 125 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.
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 in the eyes of the non-Hispanic community, and they and 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 Morerias.
For more information, visit www.pueblosmexicancuisine.com