Loco Mofongo of Pinellas County
After losing her job like many others during the pandemic, Lynette Domenech and her husband decided to invest in themselves and fulfill their dreams of owning a business, the Loco Mofongo food truck, where Domenech is happily cooking up Caribbean-based dishes for her clients.
“We started this business here in St. Pete because we moved from Puerto Rico to here like 10 years ago and we’ve been looking for a place like this that serves traditional Puerto Rican food, authentic Puerto Rican food, and we haven’t found that niche,” Domenech said. “Here in St. Pete, it’s so necessary to have Latino and Puerto Rican food and that’s why we decided to start with this new adventure.”
Knowing what to cook was never a problem for Domenech but starting an actual food truck business was something completely new to her. That was when she reached out to the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED), where business consultant, Debra Schweikowsky, gladly helped her learn about the various aspects of starting a business.
“When I started this business, I didn’t know anything about the business aspect of this adventure and she has helped me from financial information, with links and resources for permitting, licenses, all of the steps that I needed to follow to create my LLC and all of the business-related paperwork,” Domenech said.
Since working with her consultant and the Florida SBDC at PCED, the entrepreneur mentions how her business has grown as she constantly improves and interacts with her community. “My business has grown a lot since I started working with Debra,” she said. “She has helped me in learning how to come up with a new business, how to come up with financial information, how to hire people, how to go out there and find events.”
Domenech says that her biggest success so far is being able to start the food truck business and open her doors to the public. “This business has been a dream of mine, of me and my husband, for over 10 years now,” she said. “It has not been easy but certainly a lot of fun. We have learned a lot and we have grown a lot and I want to keep growing.”
Moving forward, she says she will continue to use the Florida SBDC at PCED and her consultant, Schweikowsky, as she works towards expanding and opening a brick-and-mortar store in the future.
“I will continue to use the Florida SBDC at Pinellas County Economic Development to grow my business and ask from them some more resources and more information so I can keep growing,” she said.