Patricia M. Jorge comes from a lineage of cooks. Her grandmother owned a successful street cart business for 30 years in San Cristobal of the Dominican Republic. As a child Patricia would help her grandmother season the food after school. Patricia’s mother Deyanira is also well known in the Lawrence community for recipes and is in high demand for catering. Patricia’s passion for cooking clearly came at an early age and in November of 2019 she opened Joy Empandas in Lawrence, MA to share her passion for cooking with her community.
Ms. Jorge first came to Mill Cities Community Investments (MCCI) in January of 2019 sharing her dream to open a one of a kind eat-n-go eatery that shows off an authentic blend of Latino flavors in a modern and fun atmosphere here in Lawrence, MA. As you can see by the pictures above, she has accomplished her dream.
Some of the challenges Patricia faced was a lack of access to capital and as well education to effectively plan for and run her business. MCCI helped Patricia write a business plan and financial projections to qualify her for a MCCI Lawrence Venture Fund loan of $70,000 to purchase equipment, outfit a space and to launch Joy Empanadas. Patricia also took advantage of MCCI’s 8-hour Bookkeeping course, which qualified her business for a $1,000 MCCI technology grant. She used this grant to purchase a Point of Sales system to keep better track of her business sales, inventory and cash flow. In 2020, Patricia plans to take MCCI’s 9-hour QuickBooks training to put more training into best practice.
Joy Empanadas officially opened its doors on November 1st, 2019 and it now employs 5 hardworking individuals including Patricia, her mother and her sister. The business has already become a bright spot in the community that represents the culture and flavors of Ms. Jorge’s heritage.