Family-owned business finds way to stay open, help community

Posted at 6:09 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 21:17:09-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Many family-owned businesses are taking a hit during the coronavirus pandemic, as some are forced to shut down and others are looking for ways to stay open.

One Escondido produce wholesale business has found a solution to stay afloat, while helping members of the community.

Supremo Produce, located on Industrial Ave. in Escondido, offers wholesale products at reasonable prices to restaurants in town. A 50-pound bag of white rice runs at $22, while a 50-pound bag of pinto beans is $36.50.

Unfortunately, the business recently took a hit when restaurants it supplied started closing their doors or limiting operations.

“Some of our restaurants did close down and some did stay open for takeout,” said Guadalupe Medrano, whose family owns the business. “Fifty percent of orders were cut from those restaurants, so it did hit us pretty bad.”

Medrano said her father started the family business in 2005. Today she and her siblings, along with their parents run the business together.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the family started brainstorming ideas on how to stay open after they realized they were losing many customers.

After seeing people had a need for fresh produce at reasonable prices, the family decided to open to members of the community.

“We also noticed our friends on Facebook, our Escondido friends posting how expensive things were and how much of a shortage there was for food and we had a lot stocked up for our restaurants,” she said. “We talked to some family and decided the best solution was to open our doors to the public.”

A post on a Facebook Page called “Escondido Friends” brought in new customers, keeping the family in business.

“I bought potatoes, I bought onions, tomatoes,” said one customer. “I bought all kinds of everything and I went home and I was able to do all kinds of different things with it at a fraction of the price.”

“They place their order at the window, we do have a price list at the window,” said Medrano.

The eye-opening experience, switching up the way they do business has helped the family get by. Medrano’s advice to others in a similar situation is to try to think outside of the box.

“I don't think they should wait to see what happens, I think we need to keep moving,” she said. “To see the community help us out as much as we were helping them out, it's just been a really nice experience, very humbling.”

Supremo Produce is selling wholesale products to the public Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

The Better Business Bureau is also offering advice and resources here to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic to help business owners through the difficult time.