Mendocino SBDCFort Bragg California

"No words can express how grateful I am to the West Company and to  my SBDC Business Advisor specifically for sticking with me over the course of two years and three business plans before we found the RIGHT DEAL!  The SBDC assisted with, reviewed and edited my business plans, including multiple versions of forecasts and narratives.  They were instrumental in helping me to find potential sources of funding, and oversaw all of my submissions to potential lenders.  They were an advisor and confidant during my lease negotiations, and also knew when to suggest I seek legal advice. My SBDC Business Advisor was the rock that stood behind me when I wavered, and they reined me in when I got off track.  When things got tough, they knew how to comfort me while still encouraging me to move forward.  I don't think that Saucy would exist now if it wasn't for all of the efforts and support from the SBDC and West Company.”

Cynthia Ariosta

BACKGROUND
Saucy, a pizzeria and pub located in downtown Ukiah, opened in October 2012. Saucy’s pizzas are baked in an authentic Italian wood-burning oven, and Saucy offers over a dozen Northwest microbrews on tap. Saucy also serves wine, antipasti, salads, sandwiches, and more. The restaurant’s motto is “Good Food, Good Mood,” and owner Cynthia Ariosta has done an amazing job transforming the former “Sports Attic” into a chic and lively place to get a really excellent Italian meal in Ukiah.

CHALLENGES
Cynthia had experience being a partner in a successful restaurant on the coast, but she needed assistance striking out on her own. She struggled with a few different concepts, business plans, and locations before deciding that she would open an upscale pizza restaurant in Ukiah which would have some similarities to her former venture but offer more—more innovative food, a nicer space, and a stronger brand identity. Even with a good business plan the loan process could be long, and Cynthia also wanted to make sure she had thought through all start-up issues and avoided any major problems. Her own history made her sure she had a great idea, but she knew she needed assistance to make it reality and get the financing necessary for her start-up.  

ACTIONS
Cynthia took West Company’s Profit Mastery series in Fort Bragg in 2011, and worked with an SBDC Business Advisor on a business plan. The SBDC also helped Cynthia through the loan process and with lease negotiations. In August, 2012, West Company brought an expert restaurant consultant to Mendocino County to work with some of its restaurant clients, and they advised Cynthia about menu, food cost, HR, and other start-up essentials. The SBDC Business Advisor continued to work with Cynthia on operational issues through the opening in October, 2012, and is now working with Cynthia on financial analysis and marketing.  Cynthia is also working with the SBDC on management accounting to ensure that her books and financial statements are accurate.

RESULTS
Saucy now employs more than 20 people and reported a change in sales of plus $110,267 in November. The restaurant is open six days a week for lunch and dinner and has already received a loyal following in Ukiah.

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Funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the California Governors Office for Business and Economic Development, and other private and public partners;  and nationally accredited by the association of SBDCs.