Happy Entrepreneurship Month – Give Thanks!

Did you know that November is National Entrepreneurship Month? In celebration and recognition of entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country, President Barack Obama proclaimed November National Entrepreneurship Month.

This is a wonderful thing! It is important to recognize small businesses and their impact in our communities. Small business owners deserve our attention and our thanks because we all benefit from their passion, dedication, innovation and hard work.

I am thankful to all the small business owners that I teach and work with every day, and for the small businesses that improve life in my neighborhood. I am also thankful to the organizations and small business support professionals who make it possible for entrepreneurs to launch and to succeed.

Last month Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center gave awards to three remarkable women whom I had the pleasure to teach in Renaissance’s Business Planning Class. This video, which highlights their stories, illustrates why it is so important that we support the small businesses and small business owners around us.

Take a look, and be sure to thank the entrepreneurs in your life. They need and deserve our support and encouragement… not just this month but all year long!

Happy Thanksgiving.

In the news

PTA students and clients have been receiving great press over the past few months and we want to share some of their news…

This summer SF Chronicle included an interview with Andrea Kenner, owner of the Sebastopol boutique, Tamarind. Andrea took the first 14-week Business Planning Class offered at Renaissance Marin in the Fall of 2012. The article also plugged another Renaissance (SF) Business Planning Class graduate, Ali Golden, “Oakland’s It designer”.

bay area small business

Rusty Olson, Renaissance Business Planning Class graduate from Spring 2013, opened Rusty’s Southern in the Tenderloin this Spring and has received nice press from Inside Scoop SF and the San Francisco Chronicle about his delicious Carolina-style BBQ.

bay area small business

In August I opened the paper and saw the smiling face of Beth Vecchiarelli, BP Class graduate from Fall 2014 and owner of Preserved in Oakland. Beth teaches classes on traditional methods of food preservation and her store carries D.I.Y. supplies for everything from cheesemaking and fermenting to pickling and dehydrating.

bay area small business

Blake Joffe, BP Class grad from Winter 2011 and co-owner of Beauty’s Bagel Shop was mentioned in a New York Times article, “Why Is It So Hard to Get a Great Bagel in California?“. His co-owner and wife, Amy Remsen, was a featured guest on an early August episode of KQED’s Forum with Michael Krasney about the same topic. Also this year, Thrillist named Beauty’s Bagel one of the 12 most important restaurants in Oakland, and Blake and Amy were featured in the recipe section of the SF Chronicle.

bay area small business

This year PTA client and Renaissance graduate LauraLe Wunsch has been receiving some great press for her unique product business, Oxgut Hose Company, which creates beautiful hand-crafted products with recycled fire hose salvaged from US fire departments. The Culture Trip labeled LauraLe one of 10 contemporary designers in San Francisco you should know about, there was a nice article this month in Country Living Magazine, and the final issue of Anthology Magazine (issue 21, Fall 2015) includes a feature on the business.

bay area small business

The SF Chronicle Island Style Section in mid October include a nice feature on jeweler Luana Coonen, BP Class grad from Summer 2014, and the impact of nature in her jewelry.

bay area small business

The Dogwatch neighborhood in San Francisco has a new design destination – Industrious Life, co-founded by Renaissance BP Class grad from Winter 2012 – Patti Quill. Patti and her co-owner Patti Davidson opened the shop this year and were recently featured in the San Francisco Chronicle.

bay area small business

In October, PTA client The Good Life Grocery was honored with the San Francisco Examiner’s Reader’s Choice Award for the Best Grocery Stores! bay area small business

And last but not least, we are thrilled that PTA client Bay Area Medical Academy, founded by Simonida Cvejic, was one of just 20 Mission Main Street Grant recipients for 2015, chosen from applicants around the country to receive a $100,000 award from Chase! Congratulations!

bay area small business

Entrepreneurs of the Year

On Wednesday, October 7th, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center will be honoring three graduates of Renaissance’s 14-week Business Planning class at their annual gala. The award winners are exemplary business owners who have minimized personal risks and were motivated to plan carefully in order to launch successful small businesses. It has been a pleasure to teach them, provide one-on-one support when needed, and watch their progress as they establish their businesses and positively impact their community.

Established Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Wendy Lieu, owner of Socola Chocolatier, had already been operating her chocolate business part-time with her sister for many years when she took the Business Planning class in 2012. With the business skills and confidence she gained in the class, she  was ready to take the business to the next level.  In early 2014 Wendy and her sister Susan opened their retail shop on Folsom Street in San Francisco. They now employ five people and also have a thriving wholesale business!

Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Antoinette Sanchez, owner of Endless Summer Sweets, was a long-time Renaissance employee who worked with me to coordinate the Business Planning Class at Renaissance SoMA. She took all the Renaissance classes, received access to financing support from Gwendolyn Wright of The Wright Consultants, and studied with La Cocina. She left Renaissance two years ago to focus full-time on bringing funnel cakes and kettle corn to parties, events and street festivals all over the Bay. She will soon open her own store on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley!

Angela Cain Memorial Award

A graduate of the Business Planning class and a long-time Renaissance business incubator tenant, Brigette Renee LeBlanc, owner of LeBlanc and Associates, LLC has used all her training, support and referrals to develop her own business providing full-service event consulting to Bay Area clients.

These three women were committed students, wrote great business plans and took what they learned and applied it to their businesses. We are so proud of them and what they have accomplished. Please join me in congratulating these amazing small business owners!

Join Renaissance at City View Metreon on Wednesday October 7 at 5:30pm to honor the Entrepreneurs of the Year and enjoy the Renaissance pop-up café, dessert bar and marketplace. Many  Business Planning Class graduates will be in attendance. Many graduates have generously donated their products and services to the auction, including Heidi Gibson of The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, Seán Patrick of Calibur, Gail Lillian of Liba Falafel, Nick Hormuth of Pedal Inn Bike Tours and Provisions, and Steve Fox of Urban Putt. We invite you to attend the Gala, reconnect with business colleagues, and enjoy the program plus networking, food and music!


There are many small businesses that launch every month in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Each launch is proceeded by months (if not years) of hard work, detailed market research and fundraising before the new business owner can “open the doors”. A number of our business planning students at Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center launched their businesses in 2014.  Show your support by visiting them and spreading the word!


Sean Patrick and his business partner opened a new burger and fries place in San Francisco’s West Portal neighborhood featuring burgers, fries and milkshakes made from 100% organic ingredients sourced primarily from California. (They even have a veggie burger for me!) Check out their recent San Francisco Chronicle review.

Pinhole Coffee

JoEllen Depakakibo just opened a new coffee shop on Cortland Street in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood. The curated space features a variety of coffee roasters and other locally made goodies. Check out this recent profile of JoEllen and her new business.

Kinda Fancy

Lindsey Hoell and her brother and sister have launched a line of surf bikinis! They are made in America of strong, stretchy material …and include zippered pockets. Check out their fun website and online store.

The Good Hop Bottle Shop

Melissa Myers opened her bottle shop and tasting room on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, offering hundreds of craft beers from around the world, with mostly local beers on tap. You can enjoy your brew on site or take away, and attend their classes and monthly events.

Hoi Polloi Brewpub and Beat Lounge


Viet Vu opened his brewpub with his brother and wife on Alcatraz Avenue in Berkeley. The pub features a variety of beers, including their own creations, and all beer comes with popcorn drizzled with truffle-oil. Check out this recent San Francisco Chronicle review.



Courtney Cummins has launched Rilla, an online style boutique featuring select clothing, accessories and textiles from independent designers, as well as highly curated vintage pieces.

Communitē Table

Michele LeProhn opened the doors to her neighborhood restaurant in Oakland’s Laurel district this December — seasonal American comfort food to eat there or to take home. Check out this recent article about Communitē Table in the East Bay Express.

The ReCrafting Co.


Andrine Smith opened The ReCrafting Co. as a crafter’s resource for quality recycled crafting materials, supplies and tools. The shop also offers crafters a convenient opportunity to recycle their surplus crafting material and supplies on consignment for cash.

Liquid Gold


Tim Lee’s bottle shop and tap room opened in lower Nob Hill the Fall of 2014. The  focus is on locally sourced beers and wines.  In November, Liquid Gold made Zagat’s list of the 12 hottest new bars in the United States!

Urban Putt


Steve Fox and his team have created Urban Putt, the City’s first and only indoor miniature golf course in San Francisco’s Mission district. It is a playground for people of all ages with organic and locally-sourced food and drink. Thrillist calls Urban Putt “quite possibly the best thing to happen to the Mission.”

Food Businesses In the News

PTA clients and students with food (and drink) businesses have been in the press over the past month and we want to share their good news…

Gail Lillian’s popular food truck business Liba Falafel expanded to a brick and mortar location in Oakland this year. The San Francisco Chronicle recently featured a great review of the business.

food businesses

Renaissance graduate and teacher Heidi Gibson’s and Nate Pollack’s business The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen has reached a milestone — 1 million grilled cheese sandwiches sold in just a little over four years of business. And they are in the process of expanding again!

food businesses

Rachel Saunders, owner of Blue Chair Fruit Company has a new book coming out this month — Blue Chair Cooks with Jam and Marmalade!  It’s all about how to incorporate fruit preserves into your cooking.

food businesses

And Renaissance graduate, Tim Lee will be opening Liquid Gold on Hyde Street in San Francisco, the city’s newest bottle shop and tap room. The grand opening was Saturday!

food businesses


Please join PTA in showing your support for local small businesses and these hard-working, passionate entrepreneurs!

Good news for local small businesses

PTA clients and students have been in the press this month and we want to share their good news…

local small businesses

Judi Henderson-Townsend of Mannequin Madness

Judi Henderson-Townsend of Mannequin Madness was recently profiled in the New York Times about her goal to hit a million dollars in revenue.

local small businesses

Oxgut Hose Co. O-Type Chair

local small businesses

Oxgut Hose Co. Walsh Wood Carrier

LauraLe Wunsch of Oxgut Hose Co. was featured in San Francisco Magazine about her line of products made from recycled fire hoses.

local small businesses

Steve Fox of Urban Putt

Inside Scoop SF profiled Steve Fox of Urban Putt, the Mission District’s forthcoming indoor miniature golf course, restaurant and bar.

local small businesses

Kelsie Kerr

Inside Scoop SF also recently profiled local chef Kelsie Kerr, co-author of The Art of Simple Food and owner of Standard Fare, which will be opening in West Berkeley next month.

local small businesses

Wendy Lieu

And after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Wendy Lieu and her sister Susan are opening Socola Chocolatier’s first retail store on Folsom Street in San Francisco in early February.

Please join PTA in showing your support for local small businesses and these hard-working, passionate entrepreneurs!

And the winner is…

mission main streets grants

The winners of the Mission Main Street Grants Program were announced today. Congratulations to the twelve small businesses that will each be receiving $250,000 to help make a positive impact in their communities.

PTA was one of the nearly 35,000 small businesses that applied for a grant this past year.  We knew from the get-go that winning would be a long shot.  We decided to apply anyway and even though we didn’t win, the grant process was energizing for us.  The pressure of a deadline was great motivation and it pushed us to reach out to our community and share our plans to pilot a new small business mentor training program.  This process has motivated us to expand our offerings and think about new ways to support small businesses.

Thank you again to everyone who showed their support for Paul Terry & Associates.  With or without grant support, together we can make great things happen.

Street Food: A Fresh Start

street food

Off the Grid

Last week the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Supervisor Scott Weiner’s food truck reform legislation. After two years of negotiation Weiner was able to achieve a compromise on which both restaurants and food trucks could agree—trucks will now be able to operate on college and hospital campuses and park closer to middle and high schools, but they will have to comply with a 75-foot buffer around brick-and-mortar restaurants.

In his statements last week, Matt Cohen, founder of Off the Grid said, “Every single piece of this legislation was a compromise from both sides. We’re glad about having the process be cleaner, but it’s a wait-and-see approach about how it plays out in practice. I think all stakeholders have that approach at this point.”

Between this new San Francisco food truck ordinance and the California Homemade Food Act, there are a lot of legislative changes affecting local food entrepreneurs right now. The first San Francisco Cottage Food permit was just issued in April to a Dogpatch resident, just a few blocks from my office. It is a different landscape for food entrepreneurs than just a few years ago. Some of my curent clients and students will be impacted by these new laws so I will continue to follow the issues closely.

San Francisco Food Fights

At a recent Potrero Dogpatch Merchants Association meeting, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener came to talk with us about his proposed mobile food truck legislation, which he introduced at a Board of Supervisors meeting last November. His goal with the new legislation is to make it easier for mobile food businesses to operate in the city, while also protecting the interests of brick-and-mortar restaurants who are negatively affected when food trucks (that don’t pay rent) park nearby.

People enjoying the Liba Falafel food truck in San Francisco

People enjoying the Liba Falafel food truck in San Francisco

The current food truck regulations haven’t been working well for either side. If Supervisor Weiner’s new legislation is passed, it would prohibit food trucks from doing business within 50 feet of a restaurant but would also allow food trucks to operate in parts of the city where they’ve been previously banned.

At the PDMA meeting, Supervisor Weiner explained to us that that current rules have made whole areas of the city, including a large portion of the Mission, off-limits to food trucks. He wants to encourage more trucks to congregate in areas like SOMA and the Financial District. The bill would legalize food trucks on all hospital and college campuses and allow trucks to park closer to schools, decreasing the buffer from 1,500 feet down to 500 feet for middle schools and between 750 and 1,000 feet for high schools.

PTA has worked with and taught restaurant owners and food truck owners and we understand the challenges on both sides—the costs, the competition, finding the right location, scalability and market demand. Running a small food business—whether it is attached to one spot or mobile—is very hard work and it is important that our local legislators are listening to business owners’ concerns and supporting small business issues. I appreciate Supervisor Weiner’s efforts to move the conversation forward.

Advocating for Small Business

advocatingOn Thursday May 9th a very happy crowd gathered at the Marine’s Memorial Club in San Francisco for the Small Business Network’s Annual Awards Gala. Mayor Ed Lee was there at the start to welcome us all and emphasize his support for many new small business initiatives in the city.

I was honored to be one of the nine award winners, receiving the Small Business Advocate Award for my role as a small business owner and my involvement in the small business community for the past 30+ years. My business friend and long-term client, Kayren Hudiburgh, co-owner of The Good Life Grocery, was kind enough to introduce me and relate all the many years of our work together, both on her business and in the Potrero and Bernal Heights communities.

I got my start by owning and selling four businesses—a wholesale distribution company, two retail food businesses and a training seminar business. I then founded Paul Terry & Associates to help others start and manage their own small businesses. I see my role as an advocate—encouraging and supporting the passion and commitment of small business owners while providing tools and advice to create a sound foundation for success. I love working with business owners at every stage—teaching business planning to entrepreneurs getting ready to launch their businesses, and working with established small business clients through all stages of their business growth.

I have benefited greatly from wonderful mentors, loyal colleagues and supportive organizations and I enjoy doing everything I can to support the local small business community, particularly working with Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center and business associations such as the Potrero Dogpatch Merchants Association and the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity. For me, community service and advocacy is simply a part of what it means to be a socially responsible small business owner.