The Colombian Spot

University of Pittsburgh SBDC Client Success Story
Healthy Colombian Food: Brings Happiness

Karen Perdomo started her first Colombian food restaurant in 2016 on Carson Street in the South Side of Pittsburgh along with the support from her husband John Ortiz. In 2020, she had to deal with Covid 19, where she relied on her business background, family support, cultural relationships and was able to maintain and retain customers. Now, she is starting her second Colombian food restaurant in Forbes Avenue in Oakland, near the University of Pittsburgh.

They saw an opportunity, which was to offer their food and culture of Colombia to Pittsburgh. They wanted to be near the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland to add to its eclectic, international and diverse demographics. The concept is different from the first one. This restaurant uses technology, speedy take-outs and offer gluten-free, veggie options while keeping the good cultural traits and good quality food.

One of the strategies for growth is to do business with the University of Pittsburgh. She approached the Small Business Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh to get information on the Panther card reader and to attend training events on Doing Business with Pitt and Doing Business with UPMC. The SBDC introduced client to the Oakland Business Improvement District, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PRESENTE and the Pitt News.

As a result, the company has successfully opened their second location, hired 3 additional people, and invested over $100,000 in the business. She is a woman-owned business, appreciates all the marketing information and publicity she can get. She offers the best of Colombian food to the university, residential and professional communities in the Southwestern Pennsylvania Region. As she said, “There are many flavors and customer types, I pay attention to what the customer wants”. She works closely with Brent Rondon from the University of Pittsburgh SBDC.