Quechol Products Inc. Organic Produce & Products Mini Market
Gregorio, Antonia, Martin and Teresa Quechol arrived in New York City more than 14 years ago as immigrants with the idea of providing a better life for their families.
“Cuando llegamos a Nueva York sólo pensábamos en chambear muy duro para ahorrar y poner nuestro negocio y así darle lo mejor a nuestras familias”
(“When we arrived in New York, the only thing we were thinking about was working hard and saving money to start our own business so that we could provide a better life for our families”).
Along with empty pockets, the Quechols brought a dream of being able to one day own a business. After long work days, each of them attended night classes at Asociación Tepeyac, where they learned to prepare their business plan and financial projections. Here they met NYCfNAC, and realized that with hard work, savings and the right guidance, they could make their dream come true. The current economic and financial environment was challenging for them. But in spite of various obstacles, the Quechol family believed that their experience and discipline would pay off. In May 2008, the four family members contacted NYCfNAC seeking a business loan to finance their organic market. Despite the fact that they had no credit history, NYCfNAC immediately helped them to open a savings account and secure a loan from Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, one of its partner credit unions.
“Nosotros pensábamos que no se iba a poder, por que no teníamos historia de crédito y sobre todo por que escuchamos que los bancos no estaban prestando”
(“We thought that getting a loan wouldn’t happen, because we didn’t have a credit history and we heard that banks were not lending”) Gregorio, Martin, Teresa and Antonia each opened a personal savings account and took out a secured loan that enabled them to establish a credit history, easing the path for their business loan request.
Gregorio and Martin had ample experience in the food industry, as they had both worked for eight years in high end organic supermarkets. Through their discipline and hard work, the four were able to save $100,000, which they were able to use as equity in their business. However, they still needed $50,000 to complete the financing of the project.
Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union encouraged them to find a co-signer to compensate for their lack of credit history. With Gregorio’s cousin as co-signer, the credit union approved the $50,000 loan. Quechol Products Inc. opened its doors in March 2009 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Their tenacity over the last 14 years had finally paid off.
"Si no hubiera sido por la ayuda de NYCfNAC y de la Cooperativa no hubiéramos podido realizar nuestro sueño de tener nuestro propio negocio”. (If it weren’t for NYCfNAC and the Cooperative [Brooklyn Coop] we wouldn’t have been able to realize our dream of opening our own business).