Confluence Coffee Catering

Catering and expresso bars now available for weddings, corporate events and similar affiars

Denver, CO 80202

720-255-1118 | Visit Website

Armando Aguilar started Confluence Coffee Catering in July 2010—but in many ways this business was a continuation of his past working experience. He provides catering and espresso bar services to weddings, corporate events, and similar affairs.

Prior to opening his business, Armando knew he would need financing to buy his equipment and mentoring assistance to help him succeed. So he started the process of preparing to get a loan.

Armando spent several months developing a business plan, well in advance of starting his business, to ensure the idea was viable. By January 2010 he and his partner determined the business was viable and could support debt. During that same timeframe Armando met Rhonda Waltenburg of US Bank at a Denver SBDC event. She described the next steps in the loan application process, helped him through every aspect, and introduced him to Rosy McDonough of the SBDC to fine tune his business plan.

Rosy also introduced Armando to Alan Ramirez of the Colorado Enterprise Fund. His business doesn’t have high start-up costs (no storefront) and Armando was able to have other sources of income outside the business. These two factors are very important for start-up businesses since they are less dependent on their financial projections coming through. She helped Armando and his partner play to their strengths: good credit, a partner (his spouse) who had strong marketing and presentation skills, other sources of income, good financial information and breakdowns, and a good business plan—to show the potential lenders they had done their homework.

Confluence Coffee Catering was a nearly ideal start-up. Armando and his partner had lots of experience and a good business plan. They just needed help getting in front of the “right” banks. Rosy and the SBDC staff coordinated the access to the resources of US Bank and the Colorado Enterprise Fund; three months later Armando had his start-up financing.

Where would they be without the loan? According to Armando, “We actually got approved for another loan, but at a lower amount and higher rate. This [better] loan made the difference in starting and not starting the business.”

And what advice would he offer to other start-up businesses looking for financing? “Know as much as you can. Forecast and fine tune your business plan—not the product. This let us do what we do best—we had a plan to get the business since we already knew the “craft.” Once you get funding you are committed, so have a marketing and sales strategy in place. Seek counsel and advice—we could not have done it without the SBDC.”

“We enjoy what we do—it’s fun. We started in July 2010 and have already done several dozen events. Rosy and the SBDC staff were honest with us—and that is very important.”
Armando Aguilar

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