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Download 3 Page Pueblo Food Truck Guide

Pueblo, CO - If you live in Pueblo, are visiting our city or perhaps thinking about moving here, and you’re hungry, you’ll be pleased to learn that the national food truck phenomenon is in full swing. Whether your taste is barbeque, Mexican food, hot dogs, Indian food, gourmet popcorn or pastries and deserts, you can find a food truck in the area to satisfy your cravings.

A little online research tells us that the first food truck appeared in Providence Rhode Island in 1872 when Walter Scott parked a covered wagon near the local newspaper and sold sandwiches to the staff. Later, other lunch wagons appeared in New England. Of course many western TV shows and movies featured chuck wagons feeding hungry cowboys. The modern food truck concept began in 2008 in Los Angeles when Mark Manger and Caroline Shin, along with chef, Roy Choi, were the first food truck owners to receive national attention with a food truck. Food trucks became so popular that in 2011 popular restaurant guide, Zagat, added a new category called “Food Truck Reviews.” Today the industry even has two trade magazines.

There are an estimated 24,000 food trucks on the streets across America including those in Pueblo. Some are fully equipped trailers and others are motorized vehicles. For folks seeking one locally offering their favorite dish, there is even a Facebook page, “Food Trucks in Pueblo and Pueblo West,” with nearly 2,000 followers where food trucks post their menus along with announcements of where and when they will be serving. Many have their own social media pages, some with up to 3,000 followers.

Patrons can rest assured that the Pueblo Department of Public Health’s food quality, truck cleanliness and safety regulations which local food trucks must meet are as stringent as those required of brick and mortar restaurants.


“Food trucks are a perfect modern day example of American small businesses,” notes Assistant Amy Good Vice President of Legacy Bank which counts the industry among its client base. “Most are owner-operated and many are family businesses with one or two generations of the family involved.”

Holy Cow food truck fits this mold. Founded by Bradley Cabo and his wife Deepa Gangar the couple first served food in a tent at various public events and decided to upgrade to a food trailer a few years later. Their truck features American, Indian, & fair food ranging from curry burritos and an Indian plate to funnel cakes, ribbon fries, burgers and hot dogs including vegan and vegetarian options. Holy Cow is often booked by businesses or events to serve their employees or attendees but wherever they are parked, the public is also invited to place orders.

As a way to help fund the cost of three sons who wanted to play football, Juanita Romero produced homemade burritos which she sold to friends and businesses and later rented a kitchen to increase her business. When she realized how popular her burritos were she decided to transition to a food truck aptly named Juanita’s Burritos which is permanently located on the city’s southside. But the name does not indicate the wide variety of burritos, tacos, enchiladas and other Mexican foods on the menu. Customers can also order through Door Dash and Grub Hub.

Tiffany Gernazio opened Papa Mario’s Grilled Cheese Truck in October 2020 but wanted a different menu and decided on the American grilled cheese sandwich as a foundation. Today the truck offers more than a dozen variations on this theme. Tiffany and her family spent many weekends preparing and taste testing menu items in her kitchen to determine which ones made the menu.

Food trucks build a loyal following. All three truck owners we spoke with have customers who come by at least once a week if not more frequently. Many national studies indicate that it is Millennials who are the biggest fans of food trucks but locally the owners we spoke with have a strong following among all age groups.

Perhaps one reason many trucks are successful is because the owners have some restaurant and food service background. Bradley Clabo started taking cooking courses in high school and community college but chose not to pursue a restaurant career. Tiffany Gernazio managed a local Pueblo restaurant for nearly a decade before taking the food truck plunge. Juanita Romero started working at a drive in restaurant as a teenager.

Another strategy to attract customers is social media. Most food trucks have their own social media pages and also post regularly on Food Trucks in Pueblo and Pueblo West to let people know where their trucks will be appearing and to promote menu items.

There is also a strong camaraderie among food truck operators. Bradley, Deepa, Tiffany and Jaunita all mentioned that they visit each other’s trucks to sample their menus and share tips on equipment and aspects of the business.

If you haven’t given a food truck a try you might consider doing so. People seem to truly enjoy the experience. A recent survey by trade publication Mobile Cuisine revealed that more than 90% of food truck patrons rate the quality of their experience positively, with 43% calling it excellent and 48% good. They cited convenience, great food at low prices, and short waiting and serving times as the most enjoyable aspects of this type of dining.

Download 3 Page Pueblo Food Truck Guide

Legacy Bank is proud to help generate local stories that share the good news about our community. The Legacy Bank staff volunteers 4822 hours in community service yearly and invests over $1 million dollars annually in outreach and support to Southeastern Colorado. Thank you Legacy Bank for being a Pueblo Proud sponsor.

Today’s article is a part of the Forward Thinking Education Series presented by Legacy Bank, the Latino Chamber of Commerce and the Pueblo Chieftain. Webinars further discussing this and other financial topics can be found on the Latino Chamber of Commerce Facebook page at: https://m.facebook.com/PuebloLCC/

An emergency is defined as an unplanned situation presenting immediate risk to health, life, property, or environment. Certainly the COVID-19 pandemic fits that definition but many other emergencies can befall any of us. Illnesses or injuries, unexpected home or vehicle repairs, job loss and even a relatives financial problems all fit into this category

Having money available to help deal with these occurrences in the form of an emergency fund is an essential part of any personal or family financial plan. But the reality is that the pandemic has drained many Americans’ emergency savings and other people did not have one to begin with. A Bankrate survey this summer revealed that 21 percent of Americans had no emergency savings whatsoever and 35 percent said they have less emergency savings now than before the pandemic.

For people who are employed or have other sources of income, a good rule of thumb is to build up an emergency fund sufficient to cover your basic living expenses for at least three months and preferably six months. “If you are one of those people without any or only a limited emergency fund it’s important to address that situation,” notes Amy Good, University Park Branch Manager of Legacy Bank.

To determine how large an emergency fund you might need, go through your check register and credit/debit card statements and cash receipts for the past year to identify monthly expenditures that are absolutely essential and must be covered by your emergency fund if an emergency occurs. This list should include rent or mortgage payments, insurance premiums, auto fuel and maintenance, utilities, non-emergency health and dental care and food. Multiply by six to find your emergency fund target. Once you have reached this goal you can continue to contribute to your emergency fund and perhaps redirect a portion of your income into other expense categories or even another savings account. “But remember,” notes Good “emergencies don’t occur on a schedule. While you are on your way to saving enough for six months, your car, home or appliances may require you to spend some of that money and you must then resume your savings effort.”

“Next,” says Good, “calculate how much income you or your family can be expected to generate during the next 12 months including salaries, commissions, tax refunds, stimulus money and any side business proceeds. That’s the source of your savings. But don’t panic. Set small savings goals at first and gradually add to that amount regularly over time.”

Often a situation will require that you have quick access to your emergency fund to pay the doctor, mechanic or repairman promptly. But that does not mean you should keep cash under your mattress or hidden in a coffee can. Rather you can visit bank websites to view the options they offer for savings accounts, checking accounts, money market funds and certificates of deposit. Many banks will have a variety of options in each category with minimum deposit requirements, interest rates, check writing and mobile banking features. As your emergency fund grows, you may move the money from one type of account to another.

Amy Good is the University Park branch president for Legacy Bank. Good has extensive experience ranging from government to the public sector. An avid Pueblo County volunteer, she has spent 16 years of her career in finance advocating for local businesses and residents.

Article Published on the Pueblo Chieftain here.

Senior Vice President Legacy Bank
Mark Dunsmoor

Today’s article is a part of the Forward Thinking Education Series presented by Legacy Bank, the Latino Chamber of Commerce and the Pueblo Chieftain. Webinars further discussing this and other financial topics can be found on the Latino Chamber of Commerce Facebook page at: https://m.facebook.com/PuebloLCC/

In a previous article we discussed the importance of people having a will in place when they pass away. Wills not only dictate the terms of a deceased person’s estate but stipulate who may have access to their financial assets including bank accounts.

But what about preparing for other situations where you may need someone else to handle your financial affairs? What if you become physically or mentally incapacitated following a stroke or an accident and can’t make financial decisions or initiate financial transactions? This might also occur if your physical or mental health deteriorates over time. Perhaps you’re fine physically and mentally but you travel extensively or live in more than one location during the year but have on-going financial assets and responsibilities in multiple locations.

According to Mark Dunsmoor, Senior Vice President at Legacy Bank, these circumstances may create a need for a third party to manage your personal or business financial affairs. “There needs to be someone available to keep an individual’s or a family’s financial house in order such as paying everyday bills, handling property and income taxes, managing investments and retirement funds, paying health, property and auto insurance premiums or making deposits into and withdrawals from bank account’s” Dunsmoor notes. “That individual needs access to bank accounts, financial assets and records, preferably through an enduring financial power of attorney.” In Colorado a financial power of attorney is also known as a general power of attorney.

To give another individual a durable financial power of attorney, you must sign a legal document authorizing them to handle your financial affairs if you are unable or unavailable to do so. As the person granting this power you are identified as the principal. The person receiving your financial power of attorney is known as an agent. The agreement may be effective immediately or at a future date when the you are deemed unavailable or incapable of making financial decisions. The agent’s authority to act on your behalf terminates when you die. Usually people give their agent broad power to handle all of their finances but that authority can be limited to specific financial actions if desired.

In many cases it makes sense for someone to name their spouse as their agent. Often a husband and wife will name each other. Depending on circumstances, another trusted family member or friend could be selected. Your durable financial power of attorney also ends if you revoke it as long as you are mentally competent to do so.

To create a legally valid durable financial power of attorney, you need to properly complete and sign a fill-in-the-blank form that's a few pages long. Some states have their own forms. In Colorado you can download forms from a variety of websites. Some banks and brokerage companies have their own specialty forms. If you want your agent to have an easier time with these institutions, you may need to prepare two or more documents provided by the institutions with which you do business.

Some states require the document to be notarized and witnessed. Colorado law requires neither but it still may be best to do so. While it is not mandatory that you retain an attorney to help prepare and review your durable financial power of attorney, it may be best that you consider it to obtain specific answers to personalized questions.

Mark Dunsmoor is a Senior Vice President of Legacy Bank with 41 years of banking expertise. Dunsmoor has been recognized as the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce Charles W. Crews Business Leader of the Year and volunteers in many capacities including on the local hospital board.

Author: Mark Dunsmoor, Senior Vice President Legacy Bank

 

Article Published on The Pueblo Chieftain here.

Mitch Brown
Mitch Brown

Today’s article is a part of the Forward Thinking Education Series presented by Legacy Bank, the Latino Chamber of Commerce and the Pueblo Chieftain. Webinars further discussing related financial topics can be found on the Latino Chamber of Commerce FaceBook page at: https://m.facebook.com/PuebloLCC/

If you’re entrepreneurial minded with access to cash or financing, you might be viewing the pandemic as a great time to buy a business. For purposes of this discussion, we will assume you have identified at least one existing business with an established name and reputation, plus a seemingly proven product line or portfolio of services. It should already occupy a suitable building or store front and have the necessary equipment to operate. We will also assume you plan to be an owner-operator.

It is imperative that you collect organizational intelligence on any business you are considering. Obtaining this information will most likely require the sharing of proprietary data. As a result, don’t be surprised if the company asks you to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) protecting any confidential financial or operating information you might be given access to. At the outset, this might include a copy of any documents relating to the firm’s business structure such as bylaws, resolutions, operating agreement and stock ownership if this is relevant. This will confirm the seller’s ownership and its authorization to sell.

“You, as well as prospective lenders or investors, will want to review tax returns, annual profit and loss statements and summaries of operating expenses to see the business’s financial health before and during the pandemic,” says Mitch Brown, Branch President of Legacy Bank. “A month-by-month profit and loss statement more clearly depicts how and when the pandemic might have impacted the business.”

It’s equally important to evaluate aspects of a company’s operation that aren’t specifically portrayed in the financial statements. Does it have any proprietary or patented technology or products that create a long term market opportunity and an edge over competition? Along with that comes the question as to who is the competition and how have they fared during the pandemic. If the company is enjoying strong sales during the pandemic, is it because of the products or services they offer and will these remain in demand as the pandemic subsides?

"Always analyze the customer base," comments Brown. "Are sales spread about equally among customers or are there large customers that represent the lion's share of sales; if so how are those firms doing during the pandemic? Does the business have any long term contracts with them and can they be met?"

For some businesses, a critical aspect of meeting customer demand and growing a business is its relationship with key suppliers. These agreements should be reviewed, as well as, gaining a perspective on whether the pandemic has impacted their ability to provide products and services necessary for growth.

"The financial statements reflect employee salary and benefit costs but do not show some of the more important employee related topics," notes Brown. How many workers have skills and experience critical to the company’s success? Do any employees belong to a union and what are the terms of that contract? When does it expire? For some businesses it is important to know if employees have been working from home, if they should continue to do so and if the company is picking up their work-from-home related costs such as phone and internet.

Don’t forget to determine if the business is involved in any unresolved litigation and what if any financial exposure this might create for your ownership. Finally, it is important to understand if the organization has any long term assets, such as real estate. Recent market corrections may have had an unexpected impact on the value of those assets, especially if one plans to borrow against those assets.

 

Mitch Brown is the Branch President of Legacy Bank Pueblo West and has over 16-years in banking and finance. Mr. Brown holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and is an active part of the Pueblo West community. His involvement includes Rotary Club Pueblo West and YoungLife among others.

 

Article Published on The Pueblo Chieftain here.