Quesadilla Gorilla is looking to raise $500,000 through its latest bond offering, with major plans for expansion. Photo contributed
Written by Ben Hensley
Quesadilla Gorilla is in the final stages of a fundraising campaign in anticipation of broad company expansion — including new stores both in state and out of state — over the next five years.
In 2020, the company launched an offering through the Small Business Bond Marketplace, or SMBX, raising $165,000 through the crowdfunding-style portal where investors could purchase bonds yielding 6% interest.
For the latest SMBX bond offering, with 18 days remaining, the current campaign has raised $156,640 of its goal of $500,000 as of Monday, from 96 donors with purchases ranging from $10 up to $100,000. The bonds yield 7.5% interest.
For Quesadilla Gorilla, the SMBX fundraiser functions similarly to a bank loan. However, the funds are raised directly from the community, with each investor committing a minimum investment of $10 per bond, repaid in monthly installments at a fixed interest rate.
Quesadilla Gorilla CEO and Owner Miguel Reyes found SMBX aligned well with their strategic needs.
“Their whole goal is to take your company from where it’s at and grow it five-fold in the next five years,” Reyes said. “We’re definitely on track to do that.”
Reyes learned of the program by taking a course through Stanford University in 2019 that was geared towards Latino business owners.
“This is exactly what we’re looking for,” he said, adding that while they’re not yet ready to give up equity in the company, the bonds allow an investor to see their cash in action at whatever level they’re comfortable with.
“It still works like a loan,” he said. “Instead of paying one payment to a loan, we’re paying 200 different investors their percentage monthly with interest over the term.”
Ultimately, Reyes hopes to franchise the restaurant and expand across five other Western states, as well as California.
“We plan to open up 48 stores in the next five years across Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Oregon,” he said. The company also hopes to open more California stores as well, with eyes on Pismo, Paso Robles and Atascadero, in addition to their newest location in San Luis Obispo, scheduled to open later this month.
Reyes also hopes to open another store in the Fresno-Clovis area.
“We have our eyes set on a North Fresno [and] Clovis location,” he said, adding that Clovis is one of the most requested locations customers have mentioned.
Quesadilla Gorilla will also use the funds to design a unique “food van,” with a function similar to a full-size food truck.
“We have been in talks with a company in LA that builds those out,” Reyes said, adding that the smaller size of the food van would make it easier to access, as well as bringing a unique feel and look to the business.
The locally owned restaurant first opened its doors in Downtown Visalia in 2013, and since has added four additional locations, including one food truck serving the Three Rivers area, in addition to pop-up events at farmers markets across the Central Valley and Central Coast regions.