During Fiestas Patronales, an annual festival in El Salvador, a locally-run tourism group operated a mini café in downtown Citalá. The café served gourmet treats such as cheesecake, fine coffee, and chocolate cake, and also sold art made by local artists. Over the course of nine days, the temporary café generated a lot of sales, prompting the owners to want to expand their business.
This project will launch Los Balcones Café, a permanent gourmet café in the heart of Citalá. Los Balcones Café will be an engine for community economic activity, showcasing and selling locally sourced coffee, tea, wine, furniture, and art, and serving food with locally produced ingredients. Los Balcones Café will benefit traveling tourists while also giving back to the local economy by supporting local food producers and artists. Los Balcones Café will be the first gourmet café/restaurant in Citalá.
Los Balcones Café is officially opened for business. With support from a local government program, the staff were trained in various marketing principles and designed their own logo. Sales have been robust in the café's initial weeks of operations and the business is poised to grow as its brand becomes better-known in the community and in neighboring municipalities.
"We are seeing many children come to the café in the early evening to eat (especially our crepes) and thus have created a space for children to socialize outside of their homes. Mothers bring their children as well and enjoy a night off from cooking once in a while." - Dinorah, Project Leader
"Finally Citalá offers something different. I hope other people in town see our business and begin to gain a vision of what Citalá could be." - Project Participant
"I think this new business will demonstrate to other residents that entrepreneurship is a means to earn a living in El Salvador without having to migrate to another country." - Frank, Peace Corps Volunteer
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