Updated: Oct 12
Patricia M. Jorge comes from a long lineage of cooks; her grandmother owned a successful street cart business for 30 years in San Cristobal of the Dominican Republic. Patricia would help her grandmother season the food after school as a child. In addition, Patricia’s mother, Deyanira, is in high demand in the Lawrence community for her recipes and catering. Consequently, Patricia’s passion for cooking came at an early age. In November 2019, she opened Joy Empanadas in Lawrence, MA, to share her passion for cooking with her community.
Ms. Jorge first came to Mill Cities Community Investments (MCCI) in January 2019. She shared with us her dream of opening a one-of-a-kind eat-n-go eatery that shows off an authentic blend of Latino flavors in a modern and fun atmosphere here in Lawrence, MA. As you can see from the pictures above, she has accomplished her dream.
Some of Patricia's challenges were a lack of access to capital and education to plan for and run her business effectively. MCCI helped Patricia write a business plan and financial projections to qualify her for an MCCI Lawrence Venture Fund loan of $70,000 to purchase equipment, outfit a space, and to launch Joy Empanadas. Patricia also took advantage of MCCI's 8-hour Bookkeeping course, which qualified her business for a $1,000 MCCI technology grant. She used this grant to purchase a Point of Sales system to better track her business sales, inventory, and cash flow. In 2020, Patricia planned to take MCCI's 9-hour QuickBooks training to put more training into best practice.
Joy Empanadas officially opened its doors on November 1st, 2019, and it now employs five hardworking individuals, including Patricia, her mother, and her sister. The business has already become a bright spot in the community that represents the culture and flavors of Ms. Jorge’s heritage.