I was born in San Juan Puerto Rico and attended a Music School, then studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico on Mayagüez Campus and completed a Masters Degree. I had the opportunity to practice Engineering at companies like Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett-Packard and Boston Scientific.
During this time I started the Fruttery concept with my partner on 2002 and fell in love with the gift concept, and making lots of smiles with our gift baskets, I was working part-time in charge of the business management. Since the beginning we saw a need to design our own woodchip baskets and standarized our designs and create a trade dress to our products. This is how we created and patented our wood chip basket designs and started manufacturing them.
Due to the economic crisis in Puerto Rico, the large companies started to reduce headcount and move manufacturing off the Island so became unemployed and went full time into the business on 2007. By this event I saw the opportunity to use the time to improve the business in preparation for future growth. As a Certified Quality Engineer I started developing and improving the business by creating a Quality System, instructional manuals, training systems, product standarization and other improvements among other responsibilities.
We are planning to expand our business by opening other additional stores in Puerto Rico to create more jobs and also expand to the main United States and other Caribbean Islands.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Fruttery is an original concept dedicated mainly to create original gift baskets with fruits and chocolate. We also have fruit products like smoothies, salads, bakery like cannolis and brownies and coffee among other original products like fruit tacos and “chili berry”. The idea came up on 2002 when we were looking for a gift to vegetarian and we came up with a fruit basket. Everybody loved it and we decided to create a different place in the island where people are able to enjoy fruits in creative ways and send delicious and lovely gifts to their loved ones. It was a challenge to create and introduce a new type of product and concept never seen in the Island before. Other challenge we found was the availability of baskets suitable for our needs, so we decided to design and manufacture our own baskets in different sizes. We were able to obtain a patent on our designs. We want to expand our business in the future by opening new stores in Puerto Rico as well as in the main United States and distribute our baskets to other business. We are very product of our business because we were able to create a new concept in Puerto Rico that help people express their feeling and give joy to others. We also were able to create jobs and plan to create even more jobs by expanding the business.
What is the purpose of this loan?
This loan will help us buy large quantities of our custom made wood chip baskets. Each of the 5 sizes we use require a minimum of 500 units, and with a larger order we will get better price from the supplier and reduce the shipping cost by shipping everything on just one container. Of the loan amount of $10,000 requested, 70% will cover products (about 6,000 units) and 30% shipments costs and taxes, the total amount required is $12,500 but we will cover any difference. This inventory will last around a year. Due to the high cost of living in Puerto Rico, these savings will help offer a better price to customers and this will increase sales resulting in more hours of work for our employees and hire additional employees to handle the demand and expansion.
Years in operation: More than 5 years