Marin SBDCSan Rafael, CA

“I cannot imagine how much I would have paid for all the consulting services I received through the SBDC! Each Advisor was attentive, accessible and extremely valuable. I have a solid strategic plan, a fabulous new website and marketing materials and a clear methodology to diversify my revenue. I’m growing and growing! The SBDC Advisors were trustworthy and extremely knowledgeable professionals who truly cared about the success of my business. This is a service every small business owner should take advantage of!”

Jan Goldberg and Teresa Hamond

Background Delicious! Catering started in 1975, when two moms realized they had the talent and artistic care to put on extraordinary events. It didn’t take long for their customers to realize this too. Delicious! grew organically as they added new events, parties and fundraisers to their repertoire as well as different menu items catering to special dietary needs. They have done events as large as 3,000 people, complicated 5 course meals for 400 people, and many family gatherings following the lives of children (Baby Naming and Bat Mitzvah celebrations) into adulthood (weddings). Delicious! not only has a family feel to the business, but is the only green certified catering company in Marin County. They locally source organic and sustainable ingredients, reuse platters and other items as much as possible and have a complex compost/recycling/trash system where they are striving to be zero waste in the near future.  

Challenges Delicious! has had bumps and growing pains as all businesses do, but they utilized the SBDC services to help maneuver through some challenging situations. They originally came to the SBDC in 2012 to get general business strategy assistance but also to handle a few HR challenges that were preventing the growth of the business. Over the years, they also found they needed help in marketing and revamping their website and also used the SBDC services for this support. When they were in the process of moving to a new location, Delicious! realized they needed guidance on diversifying income streams and finding new contract potentials. Again, they turned to the SBDC for assistance on financial planning and strategy. 

Actions Taken Initially, Delicious! was paired with an SBDC Advisor to help them with business strategy, personnel challenges and reorganization of the business. The SBDC worked with them on determining long term goals and reviewed their financials to get them to reprioritize actions for the business. Eventually, Delicious! had a new business plan with the SBDC's assistance. After having the new plan, Delicious! needed to revamp their website and marketing materials, so was connected to another SBDC Advisor.  Together, they revamped the content of the web site so that it was organized to meet the needs of the four distinct visitor categories they serve: weddings, non-profit fundraisers, corporate events, and Jewish celebrations. The home page was redesigned to make it easy for the visitor to self-identify and move quickly to the information they seek.  As an added benefit, the content restructuring also improved the search visibility of these important pages. The website instantly connected them to new customers and leads.

In 2015, Delicious! worked with an SBDC Advisor on alternative revenue streams to assist with paying off a loan to move into a new location. The SBDC reviewed their financials, projections and diversification strategy and helped them analyze new contract potentials and profit margins. The SBDC also helped them establish a working relationship with another SBDC client, Byte Foods, to provide highest quality packaged foods for their computerized refrigerators which are placed in many businesses around the Bay Area.  

Results

  • Reorganized business structure and resolved HR personnel issues preventing growth
  • Completed new website which provided instant revenue increases
  • Within a day of the new site being live, out of the blue, Salesforce contacted them to cater a large event based on information they easily found on the new website
  • Hired in total 12 full time and 30 part time employees
  • Have had employees for 15-30 years with the business (low turnover rate)
  • Increased sales 14% fiscal year 15-16 compared to previous year
  • Obtained loan for construction of new location
  • Moved into a larger space with a meeting/tasting room for clients
  • Diversified clients and contracts by providing school lunches for 2 schools, packaged foods for Byte Foods and summer camp lunches
  • Voted Best Non-Kosher Caterer in North Bay by J. Magazine
  • Selected as one of the top 5 Wedding Caterers in the Bay Area
  • 5 Star reviews on Yelp

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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.