Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Small Business Success Story - The Garden Cafe

Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the  Mid-Hudson SBDC  appears in our 2015 Annual Report


Lea Fridrich
The Garden Cafe
Mid-Hudson SBDC



Lea Fridrich’s love for vegetarian food is only surpassed by her love for people! Lea had her eye on a well-established, well-loved vegetarian restaurant in Woodstock that she knew was for sale, and in June 2014 she offered to purchase it. A customer who frequented the restaurant Lea managed at the time was so impressed with Lea’s skills and passion that she agreed to finance the purchase of the restaurant and to become a limited partner.

Lea was left with the task of determining a reasonable valuation for the business and estimating the total amount of financing required to realize her vision for the restaurant. Mid-Hudson SBDC Advisor Sam Kandel worked closely with Lea to determine a fair valuation, manage the expectations of the private investor/partner, act as a sounding board in the final negotiations, and craft a financial plan moving forward. In late May 2015 the “new” Garden Café opened its doors. There were various staff changes, a considerable amount of cleaning, and some redecoration and spiffing up. 

Part of the plan moving forward was to construct an outdoor juice bar for the garden seating area. It was completed in June and was a big hit all summer long. From day one the reviews have been outstanding and revenues have exceeded all expectations. Business is so good that after only 6 months Lea took over and renovated the retail space next door to double the indoor capacity. This project is a study in what passion, dedication, tenacity, experience, collaboration, hard work and especially love can accomplish! The Garden Café is definitely here to stay! 

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