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Exploring Life & Business with Sean Collins of La Banana Fruits

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sean Collins.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
We started La Banana Fruits in 2013. Laura and I quit our jobs and went all into making our dreams become a reality. Laura said, “Is our time really only worth a couple of dollars”? “ We can sell a couple of fruit salads and make the same amount of money that we make during an hour of work” we started selling fruit salads and Cremoso bowls out of coolers in the back of our truck. Our first major manufacturing company was Costco wholesale in San Ysidro. During their lunch breaks, we were bringing fruit salads and green salads to sell during their break. We then went business to business after Costco selling our product and seeing if any other businesses wanted to try our product. Bing fruit if we did not sell all of our salads, we would have to throw the product out or eat it, so having the mentality of never being satisfied and accepting the fact that we did not sell all of our product. We were constantly going business to business bank to bank manufacturer to manufacturer auto mechanic shop to shop introducing ourselves to those in the Imperial Beach area of la banana fruits. During this time that we started Laura was pregnant with our daughter Lluvia. That was a big benefit because we were constantly doing checkups at UCSD hospital and Chula Vista clinics and with our drive to continue to grow our business, we eventually created contacts and started delivering on different days to all of these buildings in hospitals and clinics. When we would go to UCSD hospital Laura would stay in the truck and I would literally run up and down the different levels asking different sections of the hospital if they wanted any fruit salads or any of our products and if so I would run all the way down the building to the truck and then run all the way back up the building to deliver it this is just an example of the dedication that we had and the drive and the mentality of never being satisfied and never making excuses and always be willing to go the extra mile to grow our business.

Months had passed and business started to pick up our schedule was going to bed around midnight and waking up at around 4:00 AM in the morning to prepare all of the product fresh daily. This is another example of our dedication and drive and us not making excuses and always finding a way to stretch the time that we have in growing our business little by little. Due to the success that we had at Costco wholesale and the results of offering a healthy alternative to the normal fast food that’s out there Costco hired a nutritionist to help the team at the manufacturing warehouse eat better exercise more and encourage them to better their overall lifestyle with a healthy mindset. Things were starting to pick up we had not reached a year yet however Laura then gave birth to our daughter and being the fact that Laura and I were both required to run the business, we needed to stop to be able to take care of my daughter. So we put our dreams on hold went back to work and found jobs that allowed us to continue to build on our experience within the restaurant industry and grow our knowledge of building businesses effectively and efficiently and also continuing our training in both mindset and skillset. We received many different trainings from landmark education, KooKay courses, reading and listening and taking notes to many different books, from In-N-Out to Chick-fil-A to Starbucks to think and grow Ridge too rich dad poor dad, good to great, and many more forms of education to sharpen our minds and allow us to really understand how to effectively run our business. We then moved to Arizona and while we were there, we both quit our jobs again and started back growing la banana fruits. This time we were selling at our local soccer fields and clubs during and after our games at tournaments. After some months passed, we realized moving back to California was what was best for us and our family. So we made the move and once again put la banana fruits on hold.

During this whole time, Laura and I continue to journal and right our vision for la banana fruits, figure out our mission and values of the company, describe vividly what we want our restaurant to look like and really paint the picture in our words on paper what why when how we are going to grow our business. We rebranded ourselves created hundreds of different logos to find the best one and continue to stay focused on our long-term vision for la banana fruits. Laura and I spoke about when we wanted to open our business and set a clear timeline of two years to do that. Six months passed and Laura found our current location on Facebook marketplace. We went to take a look at the property as it is inside a Chevron. My initial thought was I don’t know about this Laura, she then reassured me and said Sean we can do this. So for the third time in eight years, we quit our jobs and put all our money into opening the business. Because of our previous experience not only in running our operations but also our previous experiences with our previous employers, we were in a far better place to build our business and grow it the right way. What a better time to restart a business than during a pandemic. That is exactly what we did, we are now over a year doing business in Vista and are continuing to build and grow our relationships within the community as that is where our true passion and mission is. Also, as our children grow, we are efforted the opportunity to be able to teach them the life lessons of business and entrepreneurship and teach them how to build a successful business from the ground up. One thing that has really stuck with me through this whole journey is the importance of having a vision the importance of having the right person next to you who is going to help guide you and help push you and always be there through the good days and bad days no matter what, the importance of Bing persistent, the importance of always striving to deliver the best quality product every single time always, the mindset of always looking to find a better way to do things, the importance of building long term relationships with each and every guest and not just seeing them as a transaction but really getting to know them as an individual and appreciating them for who they are and understanding that each and every person is unique in their own way and special in their own way and accepting them for who they are and loving them for the person that they are, respecting them and always always always showing and giving gratitude towards those who have helped us along the way in building our business la banana fruits.

We are extremely humbled and grateful for all those in our circle that have helped us get to the point where we are at now, at the same time we also understand that nothing in life is given only earned and Laura I each and every day strive to be 1% better than we were yesterday. We are both continuously brainstorming as two different ways we can improve our product and always deliver more value to our guests and clients and family members. Everything we talk about and discuss we see as a long-term decision and long-term vision for what we want la banana fruits to become. We are extremely focused and extremely excited for what the future holds and continue to look forward to expanding our business. Our mission is to deliver one of a kind experiences by building an organization that is committed to serving our community and is out to change the world. We both understand that nothing great is built overnight and look forward to each and every day building on the next to create the future that we want. One of my supervisors asked me after I told her I was quitting my job to open our business asked me “are you sure this is the right time to start a business” My response was “When is the right time to start a business, I can choose to make excuses or I can take action” this also made me present to the fact that only we can see our dreams there for only we can make the choice to make those dreams become our reality.

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Sean Collins

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