Friday, January 4, 2013

Patricio Hurtado - Pizza Nostra

After years working in a nonprofit organization, Patricio took a step of faith toward his dream of running his own business.  With constant guidance and mentoring from Carlos a leader in the Cuenca Partners affiliate, Patricio learned business skills, evaluated the market for pizzerias, tried countless sauces, dough recipes, and ingredients, and finally open the doors of a pizzeria in a residential area that lacked restaurant options.  He had invested over five months of planning, and his business was already growing when we visited--a mere two months after the restaurant's grand opening.

 When we arrived, Carlos headed back behind the counter to help Patricio, his wife, and their two workers finishing up appetizers of veggies and buffalo wings.  Pizza and lasagna soon followed, the latter being a new option Patricio is adding to the menu.  While the restaurant is still in its initial stages, Patricio has large plans for its growth.  Eventually he would like to make Pizza Nostra a franchise with locations all over Cuenca and beyond.  He is already training a nephew who hopes to eventually run a restaurant, and Patricio is taking steps to differentiate his product, such as offering a seafood pizza with shrimp, crab, and fish.  From talking with customers, Patricio knows that there are small improvements to make, but he is on the right track.  He already has many repeat customers, and with Carlos' continued mentoring he looks forward to implementing daily improvements in the business.

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