BAC Success Story: Naturefood
Mario Sica's business goal is pretty simple: to have a company that takes care of his employees, family and bring value to the community of Palm Coast. And he's doing just that.
In 2011, Sica moved from Venezuela to the United States. He landed in Palm Coast where he has family.
Sica is the President of Naturefood 2010 Company, which makes and sells different flavors of chocolate spreads called nutiLight. The business is located along Hargrove Grade in Palm Coast's industrial area and has two full-time and one part-time employee.
Getting to this point has been a journey. One that started with a vision and a trip to the Palm Coast Business Assistance Center. The BAC is a one-stop resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs alike. Located at City Hall, it offers free business consulting services to people who want to start a business or already have one established.
Sica was one of the first clients of the BAC and consultants connected him to just the right people to build necessary machinery; assist with trademarks, logos, and signs; product labels; and someone who could help with the interior design per state requirements. They also encouraged him to make a business plan.
"That is something very important that they encouraged us to make a business plan," Sica said.
So he created a 5-year business plan and got up and running in January 2012. He made some adjustments along the way, like changing some of the products by listening to the market. He also found a niche.
"We found an alternative for people who want to eat a healthier product," Sica said.
Currently, his company makes and sells multiple flavors of chocolate spread: Hazelnut spread & dark chocolate; Hazelnut spread & milk chocolate; Almond spread & dark chocolate; Protein + hazelnut spread & dark chocolate; and Protein + peanut spread & dark chocolate. Everything is sugar free, however, he says the milk chocolate flavor has 1 gram of sugar because of the milk.
Sica says his customers are mostly e-commerce in the United States with Amazon and Netrition, but he also has a small distributors in Florida, California and in the northeast as well. Internationally, he has grocery customers in Saudi Arabia, Canada, Kuwait, Panama, Senegal, Puerto Rico and surrounding islands. Sica says his company has grown every year - slowly and naturally.
"I feel I'm on the right track with the business," Sica said. "It was a lot of work to get my family here. Every year is better and better."
The BAC has access to a powerful network of business tools that extend throughout the federal, state, county and private sectors at no cost. If you are interested in learning more or would like to schedule a consultation, contact us at 386-986-2499 or set up an appointment online. With over 140+ clients assisted each year, our 'one-stop-shop method' in aiding businesses through start-up, marketing, financial planning, local permitting and much more speaks for itself when the positive impact clients make in the community can be seen each and every day!