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Check Out Elia Serrano Mendiola’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elia Serrano Mendiola.

Hi Elia, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My full name is Elia Serrano, but I go by Yari! I am the creator of Acapulco Catering & Picnics… the PICNIC part! Our small catering business (Acapulco Catering) was established by my Father, Jose Carlos Magos in 2018 with our hard and dedication. He was someone who taught me good service and presentation is important! Our catering business consists of catering events for 25 people to 250+ plus people! From private events to weddings. A lot of our weddings that we had scheduled for the year of 2020 were cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, our business slowed down extremely as no one was having events.

Shortly after, my dad became very sick and shortly passed away in July 2020. Although this was an extremely hard time for me and my family, the business he established always remained in the back of my head. I always thought, how can we keep his memory alive? how can we keep this business going that meant so much to him? what can I do as his daughter to continue something that he started? It was all very hard as my Dad built the business and had a true love for customer service and FOOD, he create extraordinary meat/cheese platters for 250+ people! From getting all the customers to being present at all the events! he did it all! This is how my love for food good and service started and of course making customers happy! I decided to continue with the business with Picnics! it was perfect as picnics were for two people all though way to small groups of people. We already had so much material such as decor, plateware, appetizers boards and more! So I took on the challenge in efforts for our family business to grow and continue! This is what made my business kick off… again the PICNIC part. My goal is to provide clients with an unforgettable experience from the setup, food, service, and ambiance! Our picnics are a perfect idea to celebrate any type of celebration! Making picnics hassle-free and a good time! Our business has definitely kicked off; we went from 150 followers on our Instagram platform to now 1,000 + followers. Which we are so so grateful for!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Has continuing my dad’s business been a smooth road? Absolutely not! There has been obstacles on along the way but I always remembering why I started and it’s enough for me to keep going! I would say nothing worth fighting for is easy! I would say my dad was the bright light of the business. So moving forward without him has been a true hardship. I now manage the social media accounts, contact with clients, and book all events including picnics and catering events with the help of my sister, Esveidy. Also All catering events of 25 people or more are handled/ directed by my brother in law Kevin who has been in the food industry for 15+ years plus. All while still having my full-time job as I am a recent graduate of Chico State. Having a good time can also be a challenge!

I am so grateful for my team, it is a family owned business so my family is my team! They are the most hardworking individuals who can make it happen! Teamwork is important when you have 3-6 picnics in one weekend! Time management can also be very hard while running a business as it can take over your life!! It’s very important to have boundaries, set a schedule, keep a planner, and a to do list at all times! Also!!! getting social media attention and followers is HARD! this is a huge struggle we faced but I think its common thing among all small growing business. A lot of time and effort must be given to grow your social media platform, and that’s exactly what I have done! we went from 200 followers to 1000+ followers, with high hopes of the number getting bigger and bigger!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Acapulco Catering and Picnics is very special in its own way! We do not just provide a beautiful picnic set up, all picnics actually include a meat/cheese platters (charcuterie board) that is created by us! no other vendors included. Other food items are also part of the menu. We love that we can provider our clients with food items and no just the picnic set up without having to reach out to another vendor and getting it all through ONE! Our picnics include the set up, sparkling lemonade and a fresh/delicious charcuterie board.

For our brunch lovers we have a brunch picnic option that includes fresh OJ, fruit, croissants and more! Our picnics are perfect to celebrate any type of occasion from anniversaries, proposals, dates, birthdays, bridal showers, company events and more! With the being said we create picnics for 2 to 25 people! We are also known for our handmade picnic tables and 7ft teepee, these items have been created by my Fiancé himself! We always get asked where we purchase the items but they have actually been built from scratch by our amazing team. Acapulco Catering & Picnics had their first picnic back in August 2020 and ever since it has been a blast! We are so thankful for each and one of our clients for supporting our business and trusting us! Our priority will always be to provide good service, creating a space where lovers, friends and families can have the best time!

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
YES. DREAM big always. Trust yourself and your vision. It’s important to have a vision and set goals. It’s also important to keep in mind not everyone will support you, but those who will is what matters. Keep calm and be patient, start off small, budget and grow your business!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Balloons on 7ft teepee by Isabella’s decor

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