|Mama Testa owner, Cesar Gonzaelz, with Bobby Flay|
Mama Testa Taqueria is a San Diego treasure for its delicious authentic Mexican cuisine that has been featured on Food Network’s “Throwdown! with Bobby Flay.” Restaurant owner and Head Chef, Cesar Gonzalez, is also a successful former Accion client who is graciously giving back by hosting a fundraising day during National Small Business Week. On Tuesday, May 22nd Mama Testa will donate 20% of all sales to Accion San Diego to help raise funds for other small business loans in the community.
Gonzalez opened his business 8 years ago with the dream of providing authentic regional Mexican cuisine for hungry San Diegans. From the beginning, the restaurant was a challenge with continual requests for Americanized versions of Mexican food such as “yellow cheese and California Burritos.” Gonzalez realized that he needed to increase his customer base and sought capital for advertising; however, being a fairly new business owner, Gonzalez found it difficult to secure financing from traditional sources and turned to Accion San Diego for help.
Accion San Diego was able to provide a $10,000 loan for Cesar in November 2006, which was primarily used for marketing and advertising purposes. Because of the impact of his loan, Cesar was able to hire 5 additional employees and dramatically increase awareness for his restaurant to the point where he was eventually featured on Food Network’s “Throwdown! with Bobby Flay.” Mama Testa’s success enabled Cesar to fully pay off his loan in February 2011, and he is now giving back to the local community.
Mama Testa is a must visit restaurant in San Diego, so come by TODAY and support Accion and its efforts to empower other small business owners in San Diego!
Watch our Impact of Microfinance video to hear Cesar tell his own story!