GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) – An interview with Gricelda Mata, 2015 Seeds of Growth Winner for Business of the Year. As we look forward to our 2016 Seeds of Growth Awards Luncheon and Fundraiser, we also want to take a look at what our 2015 award winners have been up to this past year.
GROW recognizes three award winners at this annual event. Those awards are for business of the year, a leadership award and the Lee Ann Moss volunteer of the year award. Last year’s business of the year award went to Gricelda Mata, owner of Lindo Mexico Restaurant.
She’s had a very busy year. Here’s her story.
What types of entrepreneurial or woman focused events have you participated in since the fall of 2016?
Last fall we made a HUGE investment in the city of Wyoming by moving to our new, larger location at in September of 2015. This move came after 5 years at a great location, but we still needed more room to grow the business. I’ve also been involved and honored to work with other area organizations. I enjoy supporting the Hispanic community, my employees and my family through all of my community involvement. This includes:
- 2016 Women Connect Honoree
- 2016 Alas Business Award Recipient (Latin Women Distinction Ceremony) by the Caribbean Coalition for the Arts and Culture
- 2016 West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year
- Participated as a Judge in the first Hispanic Pitch Competition
- Speaker at Maria Erazo’s Conference for Hispanic Entrepreneurs
Here’s her story:
I’ve had a great opportunity to share my story, and my lessons learned from being a woman business owner. I had a chance to speak on Shelley Irwin’s WGVU radio show with Bonnie (Nawara, CEO of GROW), about entrepreneurship. Other area stations also gave me the chance to speak and share. These included La Mejor GR (Lamejoregr.com) and La Ponderosa 93.3FM.
My employees are like my extended family. Which means that Lindo Mexico supports employees, friends and community members. A few things we’ve done at Lindo include:
- Supporting a Local Artist by displaying their Artwork at Lindo Mexico
- Supported Guelaguetza Designs (Owned by Nancy Quera) by hosting a cultural show that highlighted different outfits from the Regions of Oaxaca. We also hosted a photoshoot by Eric Bowens for them too.
- We celebrated Children’s Day with the collaboration of many wonderful sponsors by giving free kids meals along with many gifts and games for the kids.
Receiving the Business of the Year award from GROW was such an honor. As a business owner and community member, I know that I can continue to develop personally and professionally. I have been working with a coach to continue to learn more about myself, my goals and my identity as an entrepreneur. This coaching is a type of mentorship that is very important to have as an entrepreneur.
How has the recognition from GROW for the 2015 Business of the Year award changed your outlook on your work or role as a business owner? In the community?
It gave me public validation and it has helped me a lot to continue as a role model in my Hispanic Community. It made me realize that I am capable of doing so much more than what I think I can sometimes. It also made me realize that I can be, and am, an inspiration in my community.
What else can you share about your experience as a GROW Business of the Year Award winner, and your outlook on women entrepreneurs here in West Michigan?
I am so happy to see so many great women entrepreneurs here in West Michigan. I love the unity I have seen among women and how we support each other to grow.