Renata’s Creperie, Arcata
Shortly after the restaurant opened our staff counselor for Renata’s Creperie went to have lunch at her new place while on his way to another appointment. Renata had asked him to drop by to see her establishment and try a crepe. The restaurant had been open for just a few weeks when the counselor dropped in for lunch. He didn’t get a chance. A line snaked out the door and the list was forty-five minutes long. This is in a town where only two restaurants take reservations at all and usually only for dinner.
Renata Maculans started her dream business six years ago in a truck. Her idea was that people in her town wanted inexpensive, nutritious food that was also interesting and tasty. She came to the North Coast SBDC in 2000 for initial assistance in concept development and bookkeeping setup.
By 2001 Renata’s Creperie was ensconced in a fully permitted truck and had a choice spot on the Arcata Plaza during events. She also took the Creperie on the road providing tasty delights all over Northern California. But her true dream was to own her own restaurant.
In 2003 she came back for business plan assistance working with the County’s Individual Development Account program in cooperation with the SBDC, building toward her dream.
In 2005 Renata started serious planning for a sit-down restaurant utilizing her SBDC counselor for business plan assistance which would, hopefully, lead to a loan. Over a few months her business plan took shape and when the right location opened up she was just about ready. Using financial projections developed with her counselor Renata was able to procure private financing for her business.
North Coast SBDC’s Biznet program provided additional counseling help regarding Health Department and Planning Department permitting advice. Further bookkeeping counseling produced the necessary adjustments to her bookkeeping system to deal with the suddenly increased staff: Renata went from one employee to ten in almost a heartbeat, opening in December 2005.
Since that time, Renata has stayed in touch. She calls in with a hello or a quick question at times but her reliance on the SBDC has tapered off.
With her innate artistic ability--and with a little help from her friends--Renata turned her restaurant into an interesting and exciting environment. Food aficionados from all over the area flock to the Creperie and sales have far exceeded her dream projections.
The day her counselor did manage to get a table the local newspaper was there doing a two page story on her restaurant. The reporter could almost make his way through the crowd.
Renata’s Creperie is located at 1030 G St. in Arcata, CA. Business Advisor Stilson Snow wrote this article.