El Pajaro 40 Years Celebration

Commercial Kitchen Incubator

412 Riverside Drive, Watsonville, CA

October 25, 2019 - 6:00 PM

El Pájaro Community Development Corporation marks 40 years of transforming lives by providing equal access to business opportunities.

In celebration of the thousands of local entrepreneurs who overcame the confusion, guesswork, and complexity of starting and maintaining a small business, El Pájaro CDC will host a Tacos & Tapas event on Thursday, Aug. 29, from 6-9 p.m. at the organization’s Commercial Kitchen Incubator at 412 Riverside Drive in Watsonville. Tickets available soon.

“It’s a celebration of a very strong legacy of passion for helping the community,” Hererra said. “We’re grateful for everyone who has played a role in helping us grow.”

In 1979, El Pájaro CDC was formed following widespread community support of under-represented Latino and Spanish-speaking business owners in Watsonville. For 40 years we have helped budding entrepreneurs throughout the Central Coast by offering technical, legal, financial and managerial assistance.

“If you give someone an opportunity in can change lives, and lead to generations of success,” said Carmel Hererra, executive director of El Pajaro CDC. “To see a journey from farmworker to entrepreneur — many started that way when they came to us — is so rewarding.”

El Pájaro CDC offers a wide range of assistance, including low-cost and often free bilingual business education and training workshops to low-income entrepreneurs. Workshops cover business plan preparation, marketing and sales, customer service, bookkeeping, computer basics, business management, and financial literacy.

We have seen quite a bit of growth at El Pájaro CDC over the years. In 1997, we created a retail business incubator at 23 Beach St. in downtown Watsonville to assist low- to moderate-income, Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs with starting and operating a successful business. Named Plaza Vigil, the incubator houses dozens of businesses, with another 44 food purveyors using the separate Commercial Kitchen Incubator Program, a fully equipped, shared-use facility at 412 Riverside Drive.

Following a charter expansion in 2007, El Pájaro CDC now serves Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties, and is available to anyone with plans to open a small business.

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