In 2005, a dream of business ownership became a reality when Mr. Juan Gonzalez opened Tamales House, a restaurant specializing in Mexican tamales and serving authentic Hispanic food in North Hills, California. When describing what distinguishes Tamales House from Vallarta and competing street vendors, Juan enthusiastically responds, “Our handmade tamales don’t contain any GMO, no lard, are not frozen and are gluten free. We serve a quality product catering to healthy-minded consumers.” He noticed the success of the business was rapidly increasing, and decided to open another location in the San Fernando Valley. “A second location was important, as we wanted to satisfy our clients.”
Juan visited VEDC’s West Valley BusinessSource Center in October 2017 as a referred client from Wells Fargo, interested in opening his second branch in Reseda. “I wanted to reach out to the Reseda community to invite them to the restaurant and support the various organizations,” says Juan. “The BusinessSource Center was able to introduce me to the community leaders, and they assisted in the grand opening. When I visited BSC for the first time, as I needed help with my business plan, they were there to help me.” The BusinessSource Center provided him one-on-one consultations and assisted him in creating a business plan and building a marketing strategy. After his loan was approved, the BSC team continued to meet with Juan to offer support, finalize tenant improvements, and plan the grand opening. On December 12, 2017, Juan’s second Tamales House location officially opened, with support and attendance from members of Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s office, the Reseda Neighborhood Council, the Los Angeles Police Department, Wells Fargo, and VEDC.
With Tamales House restaurants in North Hills and Reseda, Juan Gonzalez has successfully retained and created local jobs and served his community through small business ownership. VEDC and the West Valley BusinessSource Center are proud to support his efforts and be a part of this driving force of change through community development. Juan offers this advice for other entrepreneurs: “Look for BusinessSource Center so they can assist you, and always participate and get involved in your community.”