Alfredo Garcia, Watsonville Diesel

Alfredo Garcia, Watsonville Diesel

When it comes to diesel engines and the vehicles they power, Alfredo Garcia is a bonafide expert. But when it came to the business side, taxes, payroll, licenses, permits and such, Garcia was lost. That’s when he approached El Pájaro CDC for help with marketing,...
Erica Lopez, Bibi’s Threading Salon

Erica Lopez, Bibi’s Threading Salon

After a divorce and loss of her stake in an insurance business, Erica Lopez returned to her hometown of Watsonville, a single mother with little money and limited options. She knew she didn’t want to work for anyone, but wanted to start her own business. She was...
Rosa Ayala, Zapateria Estrella

Rosa Ayala, Zapateria Estrella

Rosa Ayala, right, has run Zapateria Estrella in Plaza Vigil since 2015. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian Even though she was a single mom with five kids and was working two part-time jobs — one as a driver and another at a nursing home in Santa Cruz — Rosa Ayala...
Vicente Quintana, El Nopalito Produce

Vicente Quintana, El Nopalito Produce

With a 30-pound box of cactus paddles (nopales) and his kitchen at home, Vicente Quintana started a business, El Nopalito Produce, that now employs 10 workers, processing 10,000 pounds a week and distributing in more than 30 markets across central California. While...