Thanks to CDC Small Business Finance for sharing Angela’s story!
Angela Bicos Mavridis, a San Marino, California resident, comes from an entrepreneurial family. Her father owned a drive-thru that served up burgers, fries, and shakes. This, she later realized, was a far cry from the way her grandmother cooked and ate in their homeland of Greece. Angela spent childhood summers there, enjoying scratch-made Paleo cuisine comprised of organic, local foods.
Later, she became an entrepreneur in her own right. A graduate of USC and Pepperdine University, Angela would go on to own and operate her own shoe and clothing stores. “I love the flexibility, freedom, and responsibility of owning your own business,” she said.
As she got older, Angela became the definition of fit. She became an avid runner, cyclist, and CrossFitter. But something felt amiss. She suspected her diet choices — protein shakes and bars — were triggering bloating and fatigue and taking a toll on her body. That was the point she decided to take control of her health and become a holistic nutritionist.
It dawned on her that eating “clean” proteins paired with ancestral ingredients — akin to her grandmother’s Greek fare — made her feel better physically and emotionally. Within days, her gut and digestive issues subsided and her body began to heal itself, she said.
As she saw her lifestyle improving, the single mother of three wanted to explore whether she could bring her nutrient-dense, high-quality food to the masses. In October 2016, she created Tribalí Foods, a distributor specializing in quality, meat-based food products that are actually good for you.
In less than a year, the company launched its products at Los Angeles area natural grocers and certain Whole Foods locations. She’s also reached agreements with Target and Bristol Farms.
The retail and consumer demand were clearly there. But Angela needed funding to keep the momentum going, from funding more production to buying raw materials.
That funding came in the form of an affordable SBA small business loan through CDC Small Business Finance. “The SBA and CDC were very easy to deal with,” she said. “I had lots of confidence in the CDC soon after I met some of the representatives and didn’t feel the need to look elsewhere.”
She recalls the day she got the call informing her she had been approved for financing. “It was a very exciting day,” she said. “The call came in right at the perfect time because I literally didn’t know how we were going to fulfill the orders we received.”
In the short period of time Tribalí Foods has been around, Angela has managed to catapult the brand toward mainstream success with appearances on The Today Show and already amassed a number of honors. They include:
- Becoming a certified-owned business through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, or WBENC.
- Winning the Nexty Award at EXPO West for Best New Frozen Food Product.
- Taking home the Project Nosh Pitch Slam victory in November 2017, and
- Receiving the “Delicious Living Best Bite” award for their Umami Patty.
If you’re thinking about starting your own business, Angela has some timeless, expert advice for you. “You have to have passion, you have to be persistent, and you have to persevere,” she said. “There will undoubtedly be hurdles and obstacles, but the 3 Ps will get you through to the other side.”