Mimosa Brunch Farm to Table restaurant, located in Aguada, is innovating brunch restaurant tendencies by promoting local products through its seasonal foods serving concept.
Chef Charlotte Rivera, owner of the restaurant, had been looking at options on how to help use her husband’s harvesting ranch, located in San Sebastián, and felt the urge to launch her own concept by opening her brunch restaurant.
“I always had the vision of having my own business and I studied cooking since I was very young in a vocational high school,” said Rivera. “I studied business tourism to start my own business, which at some point became a restaurant.”
“I had never seen it as something possible due to the financial situation, which is very important when setting up a business. We had the opportunity to receive a grant through World Central Kitchen to be able to start our business and thanks to that we were able to make true the dream of starting our own company,” she said.
To the open the restaurant, the entrepreneurs got a $15,000 grant WCK, which was coupled with government aid — including from the US Small Business Administration — to compensate for losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All that money, which Rivera estimated at $30,000, was put back into the business.
The restaurant also qualified for a three-year government incentive open to young entrepreneurs under Act 135, that provides a full exemption on income tax, municipal licenses and personal property taxes on the first $500,000 of gross income generated during the first three years of operation.
The restaurant operates on a weekend schedule from Thursday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. All their products are fresh and from the ranch, even their juices. Some of these might be soursop, papayas, starfruit, or passion fruit-flavored, which they normally process. At the ranch they also harvest the roots, spices, and herbs.
As they enter their third year in business, the entrepreneurs have implemented an online reservation system and call center to be able to serve customers, since the premises are sometimes full.
Now, as they look back to think of their first clients who weren’t completely used to their “farm to table” concept, they also encourage other Puerto Ricans with goals “to dream on and go into entrepreneurship.”
“I feel you don’t have to be born an entrepreneur. Right now, it’s a method of survival to help the island get ahead and have more Puerto Rican companies,” Torres said.
“There are grants, such as the one from World Central Kitchen, and many other nonprofit organizations that help entrepreneurs not limit themselves so that they can start a business. Look for help because there are many resources, and it’s the best way to achieve sustainability for anyone and their families,” said Rivera.