MarjoireFifteen years ago, baking cakes to sell to neighbors from her home in the jungle of Peru, Marjorie’s success as a small business owner in the U.S. was beyond what she could imagine.

“Even though this is the land of opportunity, you still have to work really, really hard,” Marjorie says, who immigrated with her family to Colorado in 2000 and recently became a citizen.

Marjorie launched her business, Azucar Bakery, in 2006 and approached a bank for a loan to purchase equipment. The bank asked to see her business plan and when Marjorie said she didn’t have one, the loan officer had a suggestion.

“The bank directed me to an entrepreneurial training class at Mi Casa, where I learned about small-business best practices and wrote a realistic plan that ended up really impressing the bank.”

Marjorie secured her first loan and purchased refrigerated display cases, a lighted sign and targeted marketing materials. A couple years later, her sales were steady but stagnant and Marjorie returned to Mi Casa for help revamping her marketing plan. With Mi Casa’s support, Marjorie was able to secure another loan to move to a more central, larger location on South Broadway.

Azucar Bakery does much more than merely supply Denver with irresistible Peruvian sweets and mouthwatering dulce de leche. Azucar has provided Marjorie’s family with a stable source of income that has in turn allowed Marjorie to hire employees and expand, which creates economic opportunity for other families.

“I am very grateful for the support and guidance I receive at Mi Casa,” Marjorie says. “I walk through the doors and it feels like home. Someday I hope I can offer the same inspiration and support to other entrepreneurs that Mi Casa has provided me.”