Client Success Stories

  • taste_elevated_UTSA_SBDC

    Founders, Lori and Benny Krieger

    Before discovering her talent for creating unique flavors in her kitchen, Lori Krieger worked in marketing and business development for corporate law firms in Washington DC. When she and her husband, Benny, traveled back to their small town in Castroville, Texas, they enjoyed their annual tradition of making fig chutney using figs from their back yard which produced abundantly every year. They both enjoyed making the fig chutney so much that it became more than just a hobby. This pushed them to take a leap of faith by quitting her jobs and starting their own business. The Kriegers created Taste Elevated – a specialty food manufacturer that produces premium cooking sauces, condiments and spreads.

    After a year in business, they wanted to start manufacturing their own products. They contacted the UTSA SBDC for assistance. With the help of the SBDC, the Kriegers completed their business plan and financial model, conducted market research and feasibility studies, and developed a loan package. Business advisors, Ben Garza and Crystal Darby helped connect them with People Fund, who approved a loan to renovate a building that would house their manufacturing center and their very own specialty food store. Lori’s hope in this venture was to bring a unique store where people can find specialty foods and gifts.

    Today, Taste Elevated products are sold on the shelves of all Central Markets, 40+ Whole Foods in the Southwest Region of Texas. Their mustard seeds recently went National at Whole Foods. The Kriegers want to inspire people into their own kitchens to create their own masterpieces. They have launched a farmer’s market in Castroville to showcase local producers, farmers and home gardeners. The Kriegers plan on expanding manufacturing on all sides: retail, service and corporate gifting. Their store inventory would expand to eventually carry wine and become a destination type of store where people come for an experience.

    “I am confident that we would not have made it to this point without the guidance, assistance and encouragement of UTSA Small Business Development Center in the early stages of our company. But, it didn’t stop there; our advisors have continued to stand by us every step of the way. Whether it be sourcing new funding, assistance with human resources or connecting us with resources for help with tax and accounting questions; UTSA SBDC has been with us each step of the way.”

  • Laurie Creasy

    Laurie Creasy has led a life of service and continues that path with the opening of her mediation service, Laurie A. Creasy, Mediator, on January 1st, 2016 in New Braunfels, Texas. Laurie has over 20 years of service in the legal field specializing in divorce, custody and family matters. She is an experienced and Credentialed Mediator having mediated Family Law, Civil Law, Criminal Law, CPS issues and many others. She lives by her core values of integrity, honesty, reliability, family and helping others.

    As a former paralegal, I have the knowledge and experience to understand complex divorce or Attorney General issues. My core values are integrity, honesty, reliability, family, and helping others. I look forward to assisting you in solving your dispute

    What makes me unique is the personal attention, commitment and energy I bring to each client relationship. Each person in the dispute process is important to me, and I work diligently to ensure that the client’s planning and execution are designed specifically to meet her or his dispute resolution needs and goals.

  • Daniel and the chair

    Daniel Miller is owner of OxySmiles. He decided an Oxygen Bar in New Braunfels would be a great addition to the community and a fun business to own. The beautiful wellness center provides guests with Oxygen Therapy, Cosmetic Teeth Whitening, and Zero Gravity Massaging Pods. Daniel spent years working in corporate America and longed to have a local business of his own. At OxySmiles, we put health and happiness at the center of your well-being. Located in the heart of downtown New Braunfels.

    Daniel said, “Larry provided guidance and support that I found very helpful to opening my new business.” The insight provided was valuable in getting setup for success. Larry’s strong background in finance was especially helpful. Many thanks.”

  • Rosella_Coffee

    Owner: Charles Gonzalez

    Charles Gonzalez comes from a journalist background and has worked as an on-air anchor for over 15 years. He has always loved the coffee culture and wanted to own a coffee shop with his wife. Charles attended coffee conventions, visited shops across the country, and talked to a variety of owners in other cities and in San Antonio, to obtain the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue his passion. He also attended Texas Coffee School where he learned the basics of espresso drink building and some initial business concepts to help him.

    Charles worked closely with Senior Business Advisor David Baenziger at the SBDC to understand how to put together a business plan to better present his idea to investors, banks and developers. The guidance from the SBDC enabled Charles and his wife to create a concise and well formulated business plan and helped them learn the details of what they needed to consider, especially financially, to make sure their business got off on the right foot.

    Rosella Coffee opened in the spring of 2014. It was built on the vision that it would be a gathering spot for friends, business people, and families. The name “Rosella” comes from a combination of their two daughters’ names. The store offers coffee roasted by Cuvee Coffee, light fare menu items created by local chef Tim McDiarmid, Texas craft beer, wine and a meeting space in an upstairs mezzanine area.

    “David and the SBDC are great assets to the community. I hope more people learn about the amazing help and guidance available to them if they choose to a path of self-employment.”


  • Crossroads_Collision

    Owners: John Booker and Sergio Garza

    John Booker and Sergio Garza’s friendship has stood the test of time and now helps them as partners in their small business. Between them, they have over 50 years of auto body repair experience. They independently owned, managed, and then sold their auto body repair businesses in order to “take it easy.” They both subsequently took jobs working as appraisers for automobile insurance companies, but after a few years, the two got the itch to run their own shop again and this time decided to team up. They reached out to the UTSA SBDC for assistance.

    Business Advisor, Ruben Lopez, assisted them with reviewing their business plan, developing financial projections and marketing. John and Sergio received assistance on preparing various components of a loan package to present to lenders. They received assistance with creating a leads list in order for them to market their services to surrounding area apartment complexes and businesses with fleets of vehicles. As a result of the SBDC’s assistance, they received an SBA guaranteed 504 loan from 1st National Bank of Beeville and an additional commercial loan from the same lender. John and Sergio completed renovations of the building in late February 2015 and then officially opened Crossroads Collision Center which offers state-of-the-art collision repair services, specialized dent removal, auto body refinishing/restoration, auto glass repair and replacement and wrecker services.

    Crossroads Collision Center consists of four full-time and two part-time auto body technicians. The business is now poised to offer customer-centered service to their target market that includes businesses and customers who live and work in the USAA and Medical Center area.

    “The complete package of advising and services we received from the SBDC from market research to financial projections, as well as the professionalism and patience exhibited by our advisor Ruben Lopez were key in helping us realize our goal of business ownership.”