Congratulations to Vicente and Carmen Barrientos, Owners of Frankye’s Restaurant, Our 2019 Small Business Success Growth Award Winner

On Friday, December 13, 2019, Vicente and Carmen Barrientos, owners of Frankye’s Restaurant, received a 2019 Small Business Success Growth Award at the 17th Annual Success Awards Luncheon, which recognizes successful NJSBDC business clients from around the state.

The annual event draws more than 250 attendees to the Forsgate Country Club each year, including small business owners, higher education Deans/Vice Presidents, and other leaders of economic development organizations in the state. Brenda Hopper, NJSBDC network Chief Executive Officer and State Director, and Deborah Smarth, NJSBDC network Chief Operating Officer and Associate State Director, were also in attendance.

“This is a memorable event,” said Brenda Hopper, NJSBDC network Chief Executive Officer and State Director. “Successful clients of our network are recognized for their development and growth with our experts’ assistance. We are rewarded by these success stories.” 

About Our Winner: Frankye’s Restaurant
Twenty-four years ago, Vicente and Carmen Barrientos started Frankye’s Restaurant, serving savory and traditional Guatemalan food in Trenton, Mercer County. 

Over the years, they faced many challenges. However, last year was particularly tough as their operation was not enough to sustain the business. They tried to reduce costs and applied to refinance a commercial debt but were denied due to credit score issues (that ultimately were related to errors). Thinking they were out of options, they decided to sell the business. 

Vicente and Carmen came to the NJSBDC at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) for assistance and guidance on selling their business. Our SBDC counselor explained the process of selling a business and suggested they obtain an inventory system to facilitate the transition to the new owner. 

With the new inventory system, the Barrientos discovered they were able to SAVE $5,000 a month. That was the moment their turnaround began. Their profit margins started growing, and as a result, they decided not to sell and to remain in business.  

In addition, the SBDC counselor reviewed their credit history and helped them dispute errors, make corrections and remove an unrecognized debt from their credit reports. As a result, Vicente and Carmen’s individual credit scores went up. 

Next, they sought to reduce the high interest rate on their commercial loan. SBDC resourced Customers Bank, helping the Barrientos with their loan application. As a result, they were able to secure a $165,000 loan, with an interest rate reduced by three percent. 

They praise SBDC’s assistance and highly recommend the services to others in similar situations. 

“Many times, people do not realize that there is assistance available. We can go through tough times, but it is very important to listen and let yourself be guided by professional SBDC experts,” observed Vicente Barrientos. 

Frankye’s Restaurant is now preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2020. 

Frankye’s Restaurant
1500 S Clinton Ave # 1, Trenton, NJ 08610
(609) 777-5337