Find joy with artisan candies you’ve never tasted!

By Hye June Park

Traditional Mexican candy is a great treat that all families and friends can eat together. Local made artisan candies by Sweet Tsopelik have a variety of ingredients from fruits, nuts, honey, syrup, flour, and corn which makes it perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Daniela Ariza, the owner of Sweet Tsopelik, specializes in creating her own artisan candies that people may have not seen in the United States before.  Tsopelik means sweet or candy in Nahuatl, an ancestral language from Mexico.  She uses organic ingredients and less sugar than the original candies from Mexico. She also gives the option for vegans as well. “I didn’t want to use ingredients that need refrigeration like milk or eggs. So now, anyone from a toddler to a senior can try my candies.”

She started her business after taking one of Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) workshop series, “I took the class which helped me find business ideas.”

“I created “Garapiñados” which are peanuts covered with sugar from my town. Even though it is my first time to make candies, I read books, did research, and taught myself. I had many failures to make perfect ones, but what I needed was more patience. Finally, I shared good ones with my sisters in law and they loved the sweet treats. That is how I decided to make my business about candies,” she explained.

Starting a business was not always easy and Daniela had some obstacles. Due to her lack of transportation, the venues she could sell her products to were limited. EGBI connected her to organizations such as The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Las Comadres para las Americas, and Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas. Daniela has received help and support from those resources and the community to reach more customers. Her next goal is to reach a broader, worldwide audience that will buy her products.

These special artisan candies can be found when shopping at HOPE Farmer’s Market located in 412 Comal St, Austin every Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm.  For more information about Sweet Tsopelik, visit

Mexican food truck with plenty of Amor to give

By Hye June Park

Austin’s own Alicia’s Tacoriendo adds something extra to their food; amor! 

Max Varela, owner of Alicia’s Tacoriendo, cooks all of the meals with passion and love for great tasting food. Alicia who is famous in Mustang Ridge for tamales is his mother, so he used her recipes. His local, family-owned business specializes in authentic Mexican food from Monterrey, Mexico at an affordable price. He offers catering for any type of occasion or venue, along with, readily available tamales made to your delight.

“I have worked alongside my mother at many food vending festivals and events. My mother has over 30 years in the food serving industry and owned her own food truck. I want to provide opportunities for my family as we continue to grow,” he said. The community that visits his food truck receives the love he puts in every dish.

Although he had experience before, it was not easy to establish and promote his business. To solve the problem, Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI), helped him refine his business plan and provided him ideas on marketing. More importantly, they continue to offer him business advice and counseling. By completing the EGBI small business workshop series, he was eligible for a free year’s membership to the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce(GAHCC). Being part of the GAHCC will give his business more exposure to potential customers.   You can visit his food truck which is located in 8503 Hillmoore Drive, Austin, Texas 78719.  For more information about Alica’s Tacoriendo visit

Mexicna food

Planning for the future

By: Barbra Boeta

March was a horrible month for me personally – my car decided to leave me on the side of the road and I lost two beloved family members. Car repairs, funeral and travel expenses just about pushed me to the edge. It’s times like these I realize the importance of having an emergency saving account.
As small business owners, we rarely take the time to put money aside for a rainy day. Mainly because we’re too busy trying to keep up and when we have a little extra we want to reinvest in our businesses. Investing I. Your business is great but you also have to invest in yourselves.
We all know we need a savings, account, and a retirement account. But knowing we need something and actually doing it are two VERY different things.
Here are a couple of my tips to start a personal savings account.

  1. Set a reasonable goal – setting and accomplishing goals is a great way to feel like you are moving forward instead of just going in circles. Example: I want to save $200 over three months. I need to add $30 to my savings every two weeks to reach my goal.
  2. Where to put your money. When I’m putting money in my emergency savings I try to keep it at a different bank than my personal checking. This way I’m less likely to spend it. I believe in the out of sight out of mind theory.
  3. Follow your schedule – if you plan on putting money in your account make sure you do it. But. If something happens that you can’t one week don’t beat yourself up and give up. Get back on track and continue to save.
  4. Once you accomplish that goal set another one. You don’t have to increase the amount you are saving. If you aren’t ready, just continue to save. Your new goal could be in 3 months I want to have a total of $400 in my savings.

Think of putting money in your savings like paying your rent. It’s not an option. Once you get in the habit of adding money to your savings account you won’t even miss the money your saving. And then when you have that emergency, you will have a little extra to help ease your stress.

Good Luck My Friends!

Horizons, Better Days. budget


By: Monica Peña

We are consistently encouraging our alumni to increase their circle of influence by attending professional events in the area. We are proud of the community partnership that we have with the four chambers; including Austin Young ChamberGreater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce (GAACC)Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce (GABC), and Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC). When our clients graduate from the Build Your Business PLAN workshop series, they qualify for one year membership to one of these chambers. Each chamber has unique opportunities for business owners.

Here are some of the opportunities the chambers have this month to learn something new or meet other business owners.

March 20th- Coffee Connection Presented by Rudy’s

March 22nd and 23rd- Asian Eats Night Market

March 28th- Small Biz U


Por: Mónica Peña

Constantemente alentamos a nuestros alumnos a incrementar su círculo de influencias atendiendo a eventos profesionales en el área. Nos sentimos orgullosos de la asociación comunitaria que tenemos con las cuatro cámaras de comercio; incluyendo, Austin Young ChamberGreater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce (GAACC)Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce (GABC), y Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC). Cuando nuestros clientes se gradúan de la serie de talleres; Construye tu PLAN de Negocios, ellos califican para una membresía de un año a cualquiera de las cámaras. Cada cámara tiene oportunidades únicas para dueños de negocios.

Aquí están algunas de las oportunidades que las cámaras tienen este mes, para aprender algo nuevo o conocer a otros dueños de negocios.

20 de marzo- Coffee Connection Presented by Rudy’s

22 y 23 de marzo- Asian Eats Night Market

28 de marzo- Small Biz U


Por Hye June Park

La primavera es un buen tiempo para aprender a cocinar. Te recomiendo que visites la página web Tye Cooks Austin la cual tiene muchas recetas.

Tye Lewis, dueña de Tye Cooks Austin le encanta enseñar a la gente a cocinar comida gourmet saludable, utilizando materias primas que se encuentran en la mayoría de las despensas. Su negocio combina su entrenamiento como maestra y su pasión por la comida. Ella ofrece clases de cocina personalizadas y en grupos pequeños. Además, ofrece clases de cocina en grupo a equipos de organizaciones del área de Austin. Ella se siente feliz cuando sus clientes se dan cuenta de que pueden cocinar platillos saludables y sabrosos en su propia cocina.

Sin embargo, no siempre ha sido fácil comenzar un negocio. Ella enfrentó obstáculos: cómo desarrollar una misión clara, encontrar a su “cliente” y obtener fondos para la puesta en marcha. Ella obtuvo ayuda de Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI). EGBI le ayudó a aprender los conceptos básicos de cómo crear una empresa desde cero. “También el valor del seguro, la fijación de precios, el refinamiento de mi propuesta de ascensor y ver el valor total del servicio que ofrezco a mis clientes” Tye se ofreció. “Ahora mis metas son expandirme dentro de más mercados aquí en el área metropolitana de Austin, así como también otra ciudad de Texas. Estoy trabajando en la publicación de un libro de cocina multicultural orientado a quienes padecen alergias e intolerancia alimentaria”. Puedes encontrar sus recetas en su sitio web, las cuales consisten en ingredientes encontrados en la mayoría de las despensas de las personas, pero también de un ingrediente que puede ser encontrado muy fácilmente en cualquier tienda local, pero es muy versátil. Cualquiera puede probar una de las recetas gratuitas y aumentar su confianza en sus propias habilidades culinarias.

Para más información acerca de Tye Cooks Austin, visita

The joy of trying out new recipes

By Hye June Park

The spring is a good time to learn how to cook. I recommend you visit Tye Cooks Austin website which has plenty of recipes.

Tye Lewis, an owner of Tye Cooks Austin loves teaching people to cook a healthy gourmet meal using staples found in most pantries. Her business combines her training as a teacher and her passion for food. She offers highly personalized one-on-one and small group cooking classes. Additionally, she offers on-site team building cooking lessons for organizations in the Austin area. She is happy when her clients realize that they can cook healthy flavorful entrees in their own kitchen.

However, it has not always been easy starting a business. She faced obstacles like developing a clear mission, finding her “client”, and startup funding. She got help from Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI). EGBI helped her learn the basics of how to set up a business from scratch. “Also, the value of insurance, pricing, refining my elevator pitch, and seeing the full value of the service I provide to my clients.” Tye offered. “Now my goals are to expand into more markets here in the Austin metro area as well another Texas city. I am working on publishing a multi-cultural cuisine cookbook geared for those who have food allergies or intolerance.” You can find her own recipes on her website, which consist of ingredients found in most people’s pantries, but also one ingredient that can easily be found in a local grocery store but is versatile. Anyone can try one of the free recipes and building confidence in your own cooking skills.

For more information about the Tye Cooks Austin, visit

Unity within the community leads to business growth

By Hye June Park

The number of black-owned businesses in Austin is growing. February is Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history. To celebrate Black History Month, Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) recognizes two clients that operate an African food mart and a nonprofit that highlights black history. One brings Ethiopian food to the Austin community, while the other helps youth shape their identity and learn from their past.

Sitotaw Degefaw, one of the owners of Selam International Mart & Café on North Lamar, sells imported Ethiopian and East African foods and spices in his grocery store. Visitors can explore East African culture while enjoying traditional Ethiopian food without the need to travel to Ethiopia. Selam International Mart & Café is a place where the East African community in Austin can come and enjoy their native Ethiopian culture, as well as a place for non-Africans to try something new in a very friendly environment. Degefaw’s favorite part of owning his business is meeting new people and having a place where his community can gather.

He started his business with just an idea. He came to EGBI to get the support he needed for his small business, with the idea of starting a slaughterhouse for a particular type of beef important to Ethiopian food. EGBI helped him to understand the governmental regulations around processing meat, and as his idea got better defined, he had the opportunity to purchase a grocery mart that had space to add a butcher shop for his specialty meat.

He worked with Joni Foster, EGBI’s Program Director, through one-on-one coaching sessions. “She connected me to the supplier that slaughters the specialty meat according to my country’s custom,” Degefaw offered. “She worked with me side by side to make my dream happen.” He continues to visit with Joni once a month to talk about this business. For more information about Selam International Mart & Café, visit

The Living History Foundation was founded in February 2018 when the first group of people sat around the table and called the meeting to order. In the past year, the organization has received its 501(C)(3) status from the IRS and presented three living history programs in Central Texas. Edgar B. Garza, the Board President of Living History Foundation, said, “The mission of the Foundation is to inspire children and the young-at-heart to learn about the contributions people of color made in the building of this great nation from the time before the first Europeans to the present day.

“History is an important part of our personal lives,” Garza continued. “It is the key to understanding who we are as humans. The youth will ultimately develop their own perspective on human life and society. One that is based on stories about ordinary people just like the youth that are in the program. They will also learn from ordinary people lessons in courage, leadership, and constructive protest.

It is the first time for many of the board members to be a part of a non-profit organization, but EGBI meets with directors a couple of times per month to help them put everything together. The board gathered in December 2018 to make plans for 2019, and Joni Foster, Program Director at EGBI facilitated the conversation. Keep a lookout for one of the 12 living history programs the organization will offer in the months to come. For more information about the Living History Foundation, visit

Board members of Living History Foundation
Black History
Salem Mart