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Cafe Tola

Submitted by: Victoria Salamanca
Business Website:
State: Illinois
City: Chicago

Business Description

Cafe Tola is a tiny 350 sq ft cafe that serves a variety of empanadas and coffee drinks, located in teh hearty of Lakeview, Chicago just blocks from Wrigley Field the home of the Chicago Cubs.

How does your business make a positive impact on the community?

Cafe Tola exist because we belong to a neighborhood that welcomed our uniqueness and allowed us to be ourselves. We offer lovingly made empanadas that give our employees and customers a sense of pride. We provide customers an authentic experience and provide and environment of inclusiveness for employees and customers alike.

What would you do with a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, training, and help from a SCORE mentor to grow your business?

Pizza, bowling and custom "Tola Love's You" t-shirts! Being able to provide jobs is our biggest motivation at Cafe Tola, with the guidance of mentor we can gather the confidence and professional assistance to seek growth opportunities to sell our empanadas on a great scale, adding more jobs to the economy and continue to build community relationships.

The following responses will be considered in judging for a SCORE Award.

How has working with a SCORE mentor helped your business?

My mentor studied my business, before her I felt like I was alone on my only island. She has made me realize that we operate a profitable growing business with so much more potential and capable of growing into something more than I could have ever imagined.

Have you had to overcome any obstacles along the way to build your business?

I've learned alot on the way, and I look forwar to growing with the business. I've learned that my business will always be a living breathing thing and it needs to be tended to properly. To not be affraid to ask for help. I've relaized how important it is to invest in the people that work for you, with out them there is not business. Thier happiness at work, is genuinely a reflection of our environment.

How will you utilize the marketing video and national recognition of winning a SCORE Award to help take your business to the next level?

I would share it with the world, the skills, education and confidence that SCORE has instilled in me are priceless. I would tell everyone that small businesses matter. We are the heart of the economy. Cafe Tola would be a perfect example that family businesses serve a purpose to thier community and the economy.
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