Jessica Mejias

Los Andes Bakery

North Bergen, NJ

An interview with Jessica, “I arrived in the United States in 1984 from Chile with many dreams and desires to work. My husband Francisco arrived in 1985, he is from a family of bakers, so as soon as he got into the country we started thinking in opening a Chilean bakery because there was nothing like it in our area. Our biggest challenge at the beginning was to make our products known. After 26 years in the business we feel very happy and proud to have created a brand and give employment to many families.
We are a Chilean bakery that makes empanadas, sandwiches, cookies, pastries and cakes. We have three locations each of which has its own equipment and employees. At first we focused to obtain clients from the Chilean community but after 26 years in the field our clientele has changed a lot and we have clients from different countries, including American clients. Also after so many years of service we have clients from the second generation of families.

In the beginning we didn’t have a lot of support, it was only my husband and me who believed in the project. After a couple of years we received an SBA loan which served to open our second business.

What it surpised us the most it was the many hours of work, patience, tolerance, and endurance that we had to spend to make our business successful.
My plans for the future are to be able to start selling our empanadas wholesale and maybe add other products later on.
I found out about WEDC through another non-profit organization.

In my case, WEDC was an excellent tool for ordering ideas, organizing my business, and understanding better our numbers. When you have a business you focus so much on work and to keep producing that sometimes you do not realize the importance of having everything organized in the business like the administration, management, and the accounting part of a small business.
For people starting out their own business I would strongly advise them to let themselves be guided by WEDC and to definitely take the classes and workshops that WEDC offers. I would like to thank WEDC as it has helped me grow both as a person and as a business owner.”

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