Small business owners have seen their companies change overnight due to the coronavirus. In our #openforbusiness series, we're highlighting Northwestern Mutual clients who have been forced to get creative in order to adapt to these unprecedented times and keep their businesses running. We hope you'll get inspiration from their stories and help support them whenever possible.

Business: True Flavors

Owners: Mark and Denise Hernandez

Location: San Antonio, TX

Phone: 210-226-3670

Website: trueflavors.com

True Flavors is a family owned and operated catering and events business, located in San Antonio, TX. The company has been in business for more than 25 years, and has expanded to include multiple restaurants, corporate dining and quick service outlets. As recently as a few weeks ago, we were on track to exceed our March, April and May sales projections. Then, last week the cancelations started coming in. Within 72 hours, 85 percent of our business for the year cancelled.

In order to keep our doors open, we asked ourselves, what do we need to do to serve our city and keep our employees working?

Here’s what we did:

We created ‘Heat & Eat’: Our community is dealing with a lot right now. We figured we could help by preparing chef-inspired, homecooked-style meals. We make them daily to ensure freshness and quality. Our customers can order online or call in and we will coordinate curbside pick-up or contactless delivery. Prices range from $15 to $18 for a meal for two, up to $32 to $40 for a meal for four. We are creating new menus each week in hopes to offer an abundance of variety and flavors. Every meal sold allows us the opportunity to keep employees working.

We have changed up our restaurant: Within a matter of hours we had to pivot our business model and we quickly applied for a market license, allowing us the ability to turn our restaurant, La Gloria on Grayson Street into a Mini Mercado. We quickly converted our space into a mini market where we are now selling the essentials, prepared meals and alcohol to go. La Gloria is located within the beautiful Pearl development which recently opened several apartments, condos and retail space. Our goal is to offer our community a clean and safe shopping environment where they can find their basic needs during this time of uncertainty.

We are working with a local food bank: As soon as we created our Heat & Eat concept, we quickly started getting calls from people telling us they wanted to help by donating a meal to a person in need. This sparked the idea of partnering with the San Antonio Food Bank in support of their Neighbor Helping Neighbor Relief Effort. This partnership will allow customers to purchase a fresh, chef- inspired meal for a family in need. It’s such a win-win-win for all of us. We’re given the opportunity to keep working while helping those in need.

Denise and Mark Hernandez are clients of Northwestern Mutual; they work with Wealth Management Advisor Roberto Espinosa.

Do you know a Northwestern Mutual client who owns a small business that has had to pivot due to the coronavirus? Click here to share the story with our editorial team.

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