This past year, through our partnership with The Pepperdine Microenterprise Program, several of our guests have been able to pursue their dreams of starting their own small businesses. The program, through Pepperdine University, is designed to help underprivileged members of the Los Angeles community find gainful employment and launch micro-businesses.
In December of 2016, three Rescue Mission moms graduated from this program, equipped with the tools necessary to venture out and start their own small businesses. One of those moms, Crystal Drayton, a single mother of three daughters, decided to take the opportunity to pursue higher education in order to grow her small business, while already working a full time job.
Crystal’s taco cart business, Red Fire Tacos, was conceived four years ago. “It started with a strong desire to want to do something different, combined with a love for tacos. But the truth is that anyone can make tacos and so I knew mine had to be different.” While she does make traditional style tacos, what sets Crystal’s business apart are her amazing fresh fruit dessert tacos. Crystal’s pico de gallo style sauces, with all different fresh fruit flavors, put her business idea in its own league. “When I first heard that she makes fresh fruit tacos, I could not picture it. But who would have known how delicious strawberry tacos could be!” said Chaundra Kennedy, the Rescue Missions lead case manager, after attending the recent microenterprise graduation.
Through the microenterprise program, Crystal has learned the importance of starting small and working with the resources that are available to her now. With her new knowledge of the business world, Crystal is working toward her dream to eventually grow her business and have her own food truck.