Year Awarded MI 50 Companies to Watch
Began serving on Grand Rapids Chamber Board of Directors
Before starting his business, Javier Olvera spent nine years as a successful engineer at Steelcase. During this time, Olvera had the dream to one day become a small business owner. His goal was to open an authentic Mexican supermarket, offering Mexican food and products to West Michigan’s Hispanic community. He contacted the Michigan SBDC for advice on how to get started and regularly attended workshops, webinars, and meetings with Michigan SBDC consultants.
How the SBDC helped
Olvera began working with the Michigan SBDC from the moment he considered opening Supermercado Mexico. Through webinars, workshops, and one on one consulting with SBDC consultants, Olvera was able to successfully plan his path of entrepreneurship. Javier worked with the Michigan SBDC to obtain market research, complete his business plan, create budgets, and plan for expansions.
In 2006 Olvera open the doors of an authentic Mexican supermarket located in Grand Rapids, MI. Since opening this first store, Olvera has expanded to two additional locations (in 2010 and 2011, respectively) in the Grand Rapids area. The Supermercado Mexico stores offer high-quality Mexican grocery items, a deli, bakery, and money-transfer services. Olvera is committed to giving back to the local community by supporting various nonprofits, schools and soccer teams. The growth and success of Supermercado Mexico has been honored with many awards, including "Most Promising Business" from the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2012 and the prestigious Michigan "Top 50 Companies to Watch” award in 2013. In 2014 Supermercado Mexico was a finalist for the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s “Business of the Year” award.
While working as an engineer, Javier Olvera dreamed of opening his own small business. After many years of planning he opened his first authentic supermeraket in 2006. The original Supermercado Mexico store, located on Chicago Drive in Wyoming, MI, provides high-quality products and services aligned with Mexican tradition.
Olvera turned to the Michigan SBDC to help with every stage of the development of his business.
“The SBDC has been instrumental in helping me throughout each stage of my business,” commented Olvera. “From deciding what percentage of sales should go to employees, advertising, and various expenses, to helping me figure out my overall business plan, the Michigan SBDC has been an excellent resource.”
After the success of his first location, Olvera had the opportunity to expand the Supermercado Mexico business. He worked with the West Michigan Region SBDC to analyze his financials to ensure the expansion would be both feasible and successful.
“The data that the West Michigan Region SBDC supplied me in preparation to opening additional stores was extremely helpful. The Michigan SBDC provided me with valuable financial analysis, benchmarking data, market research and guidance that has helped the Supermercado Mexico brand grow successfully.”
Olvera now operates three Supermercado Mexico locations throughout the Grand Rapids area. He employs 55 individuals and credits job creation as one of the most satisfying parts of being a business owner.
“Creating jobs for so many families is extremely rewarding,” reflects Olvera. “It’s a big responsibility, especially with how much we have grown. Seeing the impact that our business has had in the community is very gratifying.”
Olvera plans to continue growing the Supermercado Mexico brand. He’d like to expand into Holland, MI and other areas of Wyoming, MI. However, Olvera says “more importantly, we want to continue to learn from the SBDC and the resources that they provide so that we grow in an efficient manner and do not lose the quality of our business in the process. I expect that we will expand to another location within the next two years.”
For more information on Supermercado Mexico, visit www.supermercadomexico.com.