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Saucy, Ukiah

"Saucy will be celebrating its third anniversary in October, 2015, and sometimes I have to pinch myself. I have never taken for granted the amount of gratitude that I owe to the Mendocino County SBDC, as without them and without my consultant, Nancy Banker, there would have never been a Saucy. They stuck with me over the course of two years and three business plans before we found the RIGHT DEAL! They were instrumental in helping me to find potential sources of funding, and oversaw all of my submissions to potential lenders. Nancy Banker was the rock that stood behind me when I wavered, and she reined me in when I got off track.  Mendocino County SBDC workshops in Profit Mastering, Marketing & Employee Management have also been an integral part in learning how to be a better operator, a better employer, and create better business.  While on a daily basis now, I attribute Saucy's success to the amazing team of employees that works hard every day for it, I know that Saucy wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for all of the efforts and support from Nancy and the Mendocino County SBDC. I highly recommend The Mendocino County SBDC to any serious entrepreneur with a solid business idea and the gumption to fulfill their dream!"

BACKGROUND
Saucy, a pizzeria and pub located in downtown Ukiah, opened in October 2012. Saucy’s pizzas are baked in an authentic Italian wood-burning oven, and Saucy offers over a dozen Northwest microbrews on tap. Saucy also serves wine, antipasti, salads, sandwiches, and more. The restaurant’s motto is “Good Food, Good Mood,” and owner Cynthia Ariosta has done an amazing job transforming the former “Sports Attic” into a chic and lively place to get a really excellent Italian meal in Ukiah.

CHALLENGES
Cynthia had experience being a partner in a successful restaurant on the coast, but she needed assistance striking out on her own. She struggled with a few different concepts, business plans, and locations before deciding that she would open an upscale pizza restaurant in Ukiah which would have some similarities to her former venture but offer more—more innovative food, a nicer space, and a stronger brand identity. Even with a good business plan the loan process could be long, and Cynthia also wanted to make sure she had thought through all start-up issues and avoided any major problems. Her own history made her sure she had a great idea, but she knew she needed assistance to make it reality and get the financing necessary for her start-up.  

ACTIONS
Cynthia took West Company’s Profit Mastery series in Fort Bragg in 2011, and worked with Nancy Banker on a business plan. Nancy also helped Cynthia through the loan process and with lease negotiations. In August, 2012, West Company brought an expert restaurant consultant, Deagon Williams, to Mendocino County to work with some of its restaurant clients, and Deagon advised Cynthia about menu, food cost, HR, and other start-up essentials. Nancy Banker continued to work with Cynthia on operational issues through the opening in October, 2012, and is now working with Cynthia on financial analysis and marketing.  Cynthia is also working with Donna Montag on management accounting to ensure that her books and financial statements are accurate.

RESULTS
Saucy now employs more than 20 people and reported a change in sales of +$110,267 in November. The restaurant is open 6 days a week for lunch and dinner and has already gotten a loyal following in Ukiah.

Owner Cynthia Ariosta says, “No words can express how grateful I am to the West Company and to Nancy Banker specifically for sticking with me over the course of two years and three business plans before we found the RIGHT DEAL!  Nancy assisted with, reviewed and edited my business plans, including multiple versions of forecasts and narratives.  She was instrumental in helping me to find potential sources of funding, and oversaw all of my submissions to potential lenders.  She was an advisor and confidant during my lease negotiations, and also knew when to suggest I seek legal advice.  Nancy Banker was the rock that stood behind me when I wavered, and she reined me in when I got off track.  When things got tough, she knew how to comfort me while still encouraging me to move forward.  I don't think that Saucy would exist now if it wasn't for all of the efforts and support from Nancy and West Company.”


Contact Info
Saucy
Cynthia Ariosta
108 W. Standley Street, Ukiah
(707) 462-7007
www.saucyukiah.com