Tim Leeds Havre Daily News email@example.com
A Havre businesswoman has been so successful with her restaurant that t h e f e d e r a l Sma l l Bu s i n e s s Administration has given her a top honor for the state. Jean Zabrocki, owner of Taco Treat in Havre, received the Montana Minority Small Business Person of the Year Wednesday. “The one thing that stood out was her growth over the last three years,” Robert Much of the SBA said during the presentation, adding that the growth in Zabrocki’s business averaged 255 percent in 2005 and 2006. “That’s phenomonal growth for a small business.” Zabrocki said in an interview that she bought the business three years ago after working there from its start about nine years ago. She said she has a loyal crowd of customers who come in regularly. “You also see some new faces,” she added. Zabrocki’s success may involve her continuing the tradition of serving home-cooked Mexican-style food. The cuisine is cooked right in the restaurant, from the meat to the beans and rice. “It’s all cooked right in the back,” she said. Taco Treat also offers something not often seen outside of pizza places: delivery. Zabrocki said the restaurant delivers food, with a $1 additional charge, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. all week, and from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. She said when she bought the restaurant, she and one employee were Doing all the work, but that, like the amount of business, has grown. Zabrocki now employs three full-time workers and three part-timers. The growth is exactly what SBA hopes to help small businesses achieve, Much said. “She started with a dream and $5,000, a prayer and a hope,” he said. The business’ success also is an illustration of what can happen with a partnership between business owners, local Small Business Development Centers and federal programs like SBA, he added. Havre SBDC Director Joe LaPlante, who helped Zabrocki with paperwork and planning her purchase, nominated her for the award. “It’s just the turnaround and the wonderful job she’s done that led to her nomination,” he said. “We just know you have a great business,” Paul Tuss, executive director of Bear Paw Development Corp., which houses the SBDC, told Zabrocki before Much presented her with the award.