Mama B's Pizzeria

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Barbara Seresky and her son, David, had approached the Wilkes University Small Business Deveopment Center (SBDC) at the Pottsville outreach office, located at the Greater Schuylkill County Chamber of Commerce.  The Sereskys were interested in purchasing an existing building that had been vacant for a few years in their hometown of Ringtown, Pennsylvania. The Sereskys felt that there was a need in Ringtown for a pizza restaurant, laundromat, and hair salon, as residents needed to travel some distance to get any of those services. Their intentions were to purchase the building and operate a pizza restaurant and laundromat as their own businesses, while renting another section of the building to an existing hair salon looking to locate in Ringtown.

The Sereskys had come to the SBDC with a draft of a basic business plan. They had approached several banks but have been unable to get approval for the $60,000 worth of financing they needed to purchase and renovate the building, despite havnig equity to invest in the project, sufficient collateral to secure the loan, and good credit scores.

The SBDC determined that the bank did not put a lot of weight on the same formulas used by the client to project sales. The Sereskys had used an average customer number per hour to get the sales data they had included in their projections. Their consultant’s review of the plan provided feedback on marketing ideas, competitor analysis, and location analysis, information which the clients incorporated into their plan. Their marketing ideas were expanded to include a ribbon-cutting event to be planned after financing was secured. The main work performed by the SBDC, in addition to reviewing the plan, was to access research materials to build support for the clients' sales projections and prove that they were realistic.

The two main areas of research were to identify the traffic count in front of the location, as passing cars observing a new pizza restaurant will often result in generated sales, and to identify other area pizza shops and laundromats in the area with estimated sales. The SBDC consultant accessed Dun & Bradstreet data through the Hoover's online database, and built a list of laundromats and pizza restaurants throughout Schuylkill County. More importantly to the client, the list showed the estimated annual sales of these businesses and built support for the clients' projections with actual data.

The Sereskys combined this research into their business plan and financing proposal, and approached First National Bank in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. With the data that the SBDC provided to show the sales projections by the client were realistic, the clients were finally able to secure the $60,000 worth of financing that they needed to purchase the building. Additional conversations with the Sereskys also took place to make sure that the building was up to current codes before the purchase was completed.

The Sereskys have stated that the research information provided by the SBDC was the reason they were able to get the financing needed. In addition, the SBDC coordinated a ribbon cutting for the grand opening of Mama B's Pizzeria in January 2013.

    • mama b's pizzeria