Celebrating 15 years of success: Tamale Addiction

A pleasure to provide fresh, organic, local tamales!

Every year, we celebrate the achievements of our clients and their contribution to the local economy at our annual success celebration. This year, we will celebrate EGBI’s 15th anniversary of providing training, coahing, and support services to area businesses with the vision that all businesses be profitable, sustainable, and an asset to the community. Leading up to our big anniversary celebration, we have been interviewing clients every week to feature a total of 15 success stories.

Adrian Paredes and Mariana Paredes are the owners of TAMALE ADDICTION, making each tamale by hand using the highest-quality ingredients. They use 100% organic masa and 0% gluten, lard, trans-fat oils, food additives, or preservatives.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Adrian.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: Tamale Addiction is a manufacturer of hand-made, artisanal, gourmet, organic-masa tamales. We sell our products in various distribution channels, Famer’s Markets around Austin, small retailers, and food trucks. We also sell in big events such as ACL Music Festival, SXSW, and Trail of Lights.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: This career has totally transformed us. We are totally committed to the business. Our customers have become our friends and the same happens with our suppliers and vendors. Our employees are more like a big family and we celebrate with them their big moments in life. We participate actively with our fundraiser program with schools and organizations sponsoring or sharing with them with a percentage of our sales. This has been of enormous impact for the organizations at the same time that we brand our company to make it more and more recognizable.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: We have been working with EGBI since 2011. EGBI helped us map a more understandable route to navigate all the different areas of entrepreneurship by connecting us with mentors and experts. Finally, we got a better picture of where we were standing when creating a business plan and acting accordingly, taking off hesitation when deciding and making business operations more easy to manage.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Our best accomplishment is to keep our business thriving, our challenges have never been how are we going to survive but how are we going to grow and that is such a difference.

Adrian Paredes and Mariana Paredes are the 12th of the 15 clients we will share stories about each week leading up to our 15 years celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we serve.  If you would like to further encourage these businesses, contemplate using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

Celebrating Success Luncheon is less than a month away, on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Never too late to learn to swim

By Hye June Park

As summer approaches, water activities in Austin are very popular. Before enjoying in on the summer fun, you should learn to swim and take into consideration if the places you are visiting have a lifeguard for extra safety.

Seeing the need in these areas, Miranda Melendez, the owner of I AM Ready Swim, offers pool monitors, lifeguards, and teaches swim lessons. Her ideal customers are people or organizations in need of these aquatic services.

She has tips to handle clients who are afraid of water. “We try and get on our client’s level such as holding their hands and going underwater together, or doing minimal things that they are comfortable with until we can achieve the next level,” she continued. Her favorite moment was when she had taught a 68-year-old woman how to swim after being so scared of the water after a traumatic experience. It was on her bucket list before she died to learn how to swim. “Now when I go to the pool I see her swimming laps with her grandson and it brings me so much joy. I love that there is no age limit on a person learning how to swim.”

Although she knew about the aquatic business, she was limited on how to get started. Her lawyer referred her to Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) and everyone there pitched in to help her. “I learned how to build a new business module, budgeting skills and how to run my books. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without these guys.”

One day she would like to open her own indoor pool facility. Her goals for this business is to reach as many lives as possible by teaching water safety, and prevent as many drownings as she can. As long as she can change clients’ perspective of the water and make them less afraid of it, her job is done.  For more information about I Am Ready Swim, visit www.iamreadyswim.com.

I am ready swim

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 sweetsopelik.com.

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 www.facebook.com/aliciastacoriendo.

Mexicna food

Ice Cream Cone or Fruit Cup?

Las Mangonadas opened it’s doors in December of 2016 to serve customers a variety of their forty homemade flavors of ice cream,  cakes and pastries made daily, fruit cups, and other tasty snacks.  Claudia Sanchez, the co-owner of Las Mangonadas, learned about the business from her uncle, Alfredo Sanchez,  who was already an entrepreneur. Claudia gained experience through a similar business she helped her uncle with in Illinois until she decided to move back to Austin.  Both created the Austin business to provide the assortment of sweet to salty munchies that also include corn cups, smoothies, Doritos locos, and so much more.  In business for less than a year, they have already started to see growth in sales.
Claudia first became connected with Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) when she attended Curso Empresarial, EGBI’s series of workshops taught in Spanish by local subject matter experts who have years of experience dealing with start-up businesses.  “The workshops helped with the general vision of business and learning from the experience of other attendees and instructors.  I was motivated that running a business was not going to be easy, but with tenacity it was going to be possible.” Claudia continues, ” I continue to receive assistance from EGBI anytime I contact them. They are always ready to help with resources, their knowledge, and encouragement. ”



Do you have a Tamale Addiction?

Tamale Addiction is famous for being fresh, organic, local, and delicious! Since it first set up at a farmer’s market in 2010, these tamales have managed to collect a following of Tamale Addicts and in the process increasing their production from 80 tamales their first week to now 9000 tamales on a Monday through Friday work week. Their flavors have spread fast through markets and coffee shops around Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, and major events as ACL Music Festival, Old Settlers Music Festival, Food and Wine Festival, Formula 1 at COTA, etc. Recently these savory meals have made it into local retail stores.  Now their product can be found in Wheatsville Co-op, Royal Blue Grocery, People’s Pharmacy, Fresh Plus, and Thom’s Market. You may even be lucky enough to spot a Tamale Addiction food truck in an office campus near you!
Owner Adrian Paredes and his wife Mariana’s experience in the food industry started in 2009. After a failed venture with Mexican desserts, a new opportunity randomly aroused when a farmer’s market director asked them if they could make and sell tamales (they didn’t know how, but they said “yes”). Over the next days, Adrian and Mariana called every family member they knew to collect recipes, tips, and tricks about making tamales. They worked all week to prepare 80 tamales for their first market. Those tamales were sold out within an hour. The couple rose to the task before them: going organic and local and create vegan and vegetarian options for their customers. They had found the magic!  This is when Tamale Addiction was born.
Due to rapid growth,  Adrian Peredes sought out training and consulting services from the Economic Growth Business Incubator to develop a business plan and financial projections.  “I  am so grateful for the training, support and networking EGBI has given my business.  The business has been such a great adventure for my wife and I.”  – Adrian Paredes.

ATX Co-op Taxi In the News

ATX Co-op Taxi splits the difference between traditional taxis and ridesharing. ATX Co-op Taxi ride-hail app is up on the iTunes store: “ATX Taxi”. The app is modeled much like your standard TNC template. Should it ever fail, as happened with Fasten and RideAus­tin during SXSW, the co-op can fall back on its full-time dispatch system – staffed with call-takers at an office just like any taxi franchise.
We are proud of our clients, ATX Co-op Taxi. Read more in the Austin Chronicle here.

Tips on Small Business Videos

By Michael Mason
You might have a great product or service, but one of the mistakes people make is assuming that your customers will automatically find you, just because you are a great company. You have to remember that people in general are very visual. Wharton School of Business says that a well-produced video increases information retention by 50% and speeds up financial decisions by 72%. 90% of the communication provided by video is nonverbal, such as body language and tone of voice. In addition, there are all kinds of trust barriers that are knocked down by video, which can mean everything for your company.
What not to do when making a video:
The first mistake people make when making a video is the inclination to make something too long. Understandably, companies have a lot to say and want to say all of it. You have to remember, your videos aren’t required viewing. We find 1 minute 30 seconds is usually the sweet spot.
Another common mistake we see is people often come off as too formal in their videos. This is your chance to humanize yourself. Don’t say what you think is standard for the situation. Always speak from the heart.
What do you do with your video? 
When you have a video you have to post it in the right places. It’s great to send your video to email subscribers, people who are already familiar with you will love the personal touch of video, which will increase retention.
It’s vital to use social media, which is peerless for video sharing. Facebook alone represents a whopping 4 billion video streams a day and video sharing from one’s own network is exponentially more effective.
Posting on YouTube is an absolute must. If YouTube is considered a search engine (as it certainly should be), it is the #2 largest search engine in the world and is largely the preferred search engine for millennials.
And you need to make sure your video is prominently embedded on your website. The average time a person spends on a website with only text is 57 seconds. A website with video? 6 minutes!
Can you afford it?
Thanks to new technologies, film production is getting better and better for less and less money. The most significant cost should be the skill and creativity of the filmmaker. You need someone with a great eye for shooting and editing. With the right production team you can have something of cinematic quality for minimal cost.
Michael Mason is Owner and Executive Producer of Perfect Chaos Films in Austin, TX, a video/animation production company specialized in corporate culture videos, product explainers, commercials and feature development. 

Five Time Saving Tools for Your Business

By Jessica Kane
Today, it’s easier than ever before to use your entrepreneurial skills and get into the world of business. With the Internet, it’s possible to reach a worldwide audience from the comfort of your home or office. However, with such an increase in demand for the various products and services that are on the market, time has become a much more valuable asset. Running a business can become hectic, and you can sometimes find yourself feeling as though there just aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done. When you work smarter instead of harder, however, you solve this common dilemma, and there are five time saving tools for your business you should start using now.

1. Open Platform for All to Use

Especially if you have a number of employees, it can be frustrating to make sure everyone stays in the loop when it comes to projects and other areas that require multi-departmental unity. When you consider the implementation of a project management platform, you can allow everyone in the business to weigh in and actively communicate with one remotely while making the information accessible to all. Basecamp is a software program that allows you to do just that.

2. Clutter-Free Work Space

Let’s face it. Running a business is hectic, and it may seem as though taking the time to do some housecleaning is something that’s better left on the back burner. However, when you choose to invest your time in cleaning up the office, warehouse, or other area that’s become cluttered, you can help save hours of time in the long run. For example, a cluttered filing cabinet may require you to search longer for the documents you need. While it may take you three or four hours to get it organized, it will save you even more time over the course of the coming weeks and months. If you can’t do it yourself, designate an employee to perform the job.

3. Outsourcing Your Accounting and Payroll

A great investment to make is in a qualified professional to take care of your payroll and accounting needs. Not only can they free up a substantial amount of time, but they can also make sure you stay in compliance with all laws and guidelines. You could even consider a software program such as Paychex to make the process far less complicated.

4. 1Password

You likely have numerous passwords in your life, and so do your employees. With 1Password, your life will be made much less complicated. You simply have to remember one master password, and you can quickly access all programs you want to be associated with the account.

5. Trello

Another highly innovative and effect tool business owners should be using isTrello. This app serves as a project manager and to-do list accessible by anyone you want. Here, you can create to-do lists and establish important deadlines to make sure everyone is on board. Best of all, the app is free to use.
Best Shot for Success
Every business owner wants to succeed, and the feeling you get when you’re managing and doing well at what you love is hard to compare to any other. Whether you are still in the planning stages of your business or have been in operation for a number of years, now’s the time to begin considering how you can protect the asset that’s all too commonly overlooked: your time. By considering these five time saving tools, you can quickly be on your way to your best shot for the success you deserve.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage, a leading company that provide internet fax services for individuals and businesses.