Client Success Stories

  • Escape Haus: New Braunfels

    Meet Duane Penshorn and his wife Christine owners of Escape Haus.

    Escape Haus is a live-action Escape the Room Game located in New Braunfels, Texas. Duane and Christine incorporated Escape Haus in May of 2016. They continue to grow, to succeed and enjoy having a small business to call their own.

    Escape Haus provides a fun and challenging venue for everyone. The live-action game is great for friends and families. As well as gamers and adventurists alike. They also provide a venue for special events.  Events such as birthdays, corporate team building, and school events to name few.

    The escape rooms require you to find clues and then solve puzzles to ‘escape.’ You win the game by using your observation, communication, and critical thing skills.

    You can find more information by visiting or by calling 830-832-5040.

    Escape Haus: Magic Room

    Escape Haus: The Magic Room

    Escape Haus: classroom

    Escape Haus: The Classroom

    SBDC Assistance:

    Duane and Christine used the resources and the assistance of the New Braunfels Small Business Development Center (SBDC). They also worked with the Center’s Business Advisor, Larry New. They primarily worked on reviewing their business plan. The assistance included start-up requirements, marketing, commercial leases and additional sources of revenue.

    Duane and Christine said: “visiting with Larry gave us peace of mind and helped solidify our plan getting our business started. UTSA is an excellent resource for any new business start-up or someone looking to start a new business.”

    Find the UTSA Small Business Development Center at 940 W. San Antonio Street in New Braunfels and call Larry at 830-214-6435.

    Check out more New Braunfels and Seguin success stories!


    The UTSA Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers integrated services to new and experienced business owners in San Antonio, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe and 8 other surrounding counties. We provide professional, confidential one-on-one business advising services at no charge.  The UTSA SBDC also offers no-cost/low-cost training workshops covering a variety of topics to help entrepreneurs grow.

  • Doctor Kenneth Yu


    Dr. Kenneth Yu is a facial and reconstructive plastic surgeon who also does fills and other related procedures. Dr. Yu retired as a colonel after serving 21 years in the United States Air Force where he served service personnel and their families.  He continues to serve out veterans as he works part time at the Veteran’s Hospital while he is growing his practice.  Dr. Yu takes a lot of pride in his work and the quality of the services he provides. He believes in a close personal relationship with his clients to help them feel comfortable in his office. He designed the office himself and his wife did the décor and decorations. It is set up to be a welcoming environment to patients from the first consultation to the follow up of a procedure.

    Dr. Yu located his office in the Dominion area at 21727 IH 10 W, Suite 218, in a new facility. He started his practice with his patient coordinator, Morgan.  He opened his practice in November 2016 with assistance from David Baenziger, Certified Senior Business Adviser.

    Congrats on the new facility and best of luck in this new year.




    We Help Small Businesses

    The UTSA Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers integrated services to new and experienced business owners in San Antonio, Bexar, and 10 surrounding counties. We provide professional, confidential one-on-one  business advising services at no charge.  The UTSA SBDC offers no-cost/low-cost training workshops covering a variety of topics to help entrepreneurs grow.

  • Owner: Laura Diaz

    Laura Diaz has been a hairdresser and stylist for several years, working at other salons. In November 2012, she decided to open her own salon which she named Mint Salon. She found a small space (approximately 350 square feet) on S. Presa in the growing Southtown area. She started with one other stylist working with her. She quickly outgrew the space and wanted to add stylists, but had space for only one more chair.

    Laura was referred to Crystal Darby, Senior Business Advisor by Rebecca Montalvo, former Marketing Associate in the SBDC’s Training Department. Laura needed advice on managing the business. Laura also needed a larger space. Crystal analyzed the costs, leasing rates for the area and the square footage.  Laura located an 1800 square foot space, a little further down S. Presa, but in a much more active area. The new location provides considerably more exposure and walk-in traffic. Laura credits Crystal with helping her through all of the roadblocks she faces as her business grows. She now has eight stylists and the business is continuing to grow.

    “Crystal has been very encouraging and supportive in helping with the transition of the new salon. She has advised me and helped through all the roadblocks. I am so thankful for her.”

  • Pulp coffee

    James Mireles has owned the Ristretto Group, a private label coffee company. Over decades, he has become an expert on coffee – roasting and brewing. He has imported beans and sold them with private labels to restaurants and coffee houses, as well as other retailers. The company was based in California.

    James wanted to bring his business to San Antonio and start roasting in addition to private labeling. He felt that the east side of San Antonio was the next area for growth. He met with Jackie Gorman of San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside (SAGE) to discover available resources to help launch his San Antonio based company.

    SAGE referred James to Crystal Darby, Senior Business Advisor at the UTSA Small Business Development Center. Crystal helped with the business plan, financials, research, and more. James found out about warehouse space, owned by Local Sprout. There are a number of food related businesses in the same area in addition to Local Sprout, including Truckin’ Tomato and Texas Black Gold Garlic. James Mireles started Pulp Coffee in December 2015. Pulp Coffee was recently featured in the June/July 2016 issue of “Edible San Antonio.”

    The shared warehouse concept fits the business well. Pulp Coffee also carries a line of high end organic teas, which is very rare for coffee roasters.

    “Crystal Darby was a great help in the process of my transition coming back from California to Texas after having spent 12 years in the LA/OC area. The tools that she was able to give us helped make our decision to go straight into the private label wholesale market versus the retail market. Thankfully we are in a shared warehouse concept on the Eastside of downtown San Antonio. We are fortunate and thrilled to have exactly what we were looking for now.  Many great things are ahead in the future as we are just at the beginning of having San Antonio run on Pulp Coffee & Teas.”


  • Sharkeys_Cuts

    Owners, Todd and Jane Spears

    Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids provides a creative and fun atmosphere for children while they receive a great haircut and style. The goal of Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids is to provide superior services from warm, friendly staff, skilled styling, and a clean location while also keeping children entertained by allowing them to watch their favorite cartoons or Netflix movies! Owners Todd and Jane Spears opened their first location in August of 2007 on 281 near 1604 in The Legacy Shopping Center.  Through research and hard work, they opened a second store on Bandera Road and 1604, and now a third location at Culebra and 1604. The Spears want to provide kids and parents with a unique experience.  They want the haircut experience to be one that both the kids and parents will be ready to come back for!

    Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids offers extensive services to include boy’s and girl’s haircuts, bang trims, up-dos, spa packages, mom & daughter day packages, birthday parties, mini-cures, and much more. They also offer events/specials specifically tailored for kids.

    In 2007, the Spears attended a Business Plan class offered by The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) taught by Patrice McElfresh, Senior Business Advisor.  They then set an appointment for guidance on writing the business plan and assistance with choosing the right location to start their business.  This included research on the demographics of the area while considering rent costs, building expenses, and area traffic. The Spears gathered information and chose to establish the first Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids in the Stone Oak area. By following this same model of careful demographic and location research, the Spears have been able to grow their business to make haircuts more fun for even more kids at Bandera and Culebra Roads!

    According to their Senior Business Advisor, Patrice McElfresh, “The Spears are wonderful and extremely friendly people.  They both utilize the skills learned in the corporate world from management to customer service to ensure that Sharkey’s succeeds.  Before opening their business they fully utilized the resources available and sought advice from numerous sources.  It wasn’t a decision made lightly and they continue to grow at a steady pace, doing their research along the way.”

    The UTSA SBDC looks forward to a long relationship with the Spears on their current business and any future business that they may have.