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Nothing crazy about smart business

Taco Loco worked with First National, Business Manager® program to grow family business

In more ways than one, Anabel Galindo and her brother Adam have raced around Taco Loco Products, Inc. for as long as they can remember.

“It goes back to my brother pushing me around on a hand cart, sprinting around the factory,” Anabel said. “We’ve grown up in this facility, in this business.”

All the while, the business grew around them. For more than 30 years, Taco Loco has provided Alaskans with fresh-made corn and flour tortillas, flavored tortillas, corn chips, taco shells, tamales, burritos, dried chilies and canned goods.

The Galindo siblings spent many a childhood day assisting their parents at Taco Loco and continued doing so once they were adults. Anabel and Adam took over the family business in 2002 and maintained the family tradition as one of Alaska’s largest in-state food manufacturers.

“We both want to see the business continue to succeed and grow,” Anabel said. “We would also love to see our own children get involved and take it further.”

Continued growth and smart business has been a staple of Taco Loco for years. But with the growth came the need to keep up with an expanding customer base, maintenance and staffing needs. Some five years ago, Galindo talked with her favorite First National Bank Alaska experts and decided to give Business Manager a go.

“WE REALLY ENJOYED THE PROGRAM”

Business Manager is a cash management tool that helps companies live in a world where payments for services rendered are received the very next day. Business Manager merchants like Taco Loco outsource payment processing to the bank and in turn convert accounts receivable into cash in as short as 24 hours.

“There have been times when we were almost growing too fast,” Galindo said. “As our equipment got older, we’d have to swap out a motor here or there. A lot of larger stores arrived in the state and expected even better quality from us.

“As we expanded and began offering more products to more people, Business Manager was there to offer the nice influx of cash needed to do all the things that needed to be done. We really enjoyed the program.”

Galindo said First National’s Business Manager experts were there every step of the way, making the program easy to understand and use. From set up to keeping up with necessary computer downloads, she said the bank was right on top of things right until Taco Loco concluded the program earlier this year.

“First National’s people were always there to help us,” Galindo said. “Because of Business Manager, I feel we’re in a much better position now than maybe we were 10 or 15 years ago.

“We’ve been able to go after more business around the state, doing things we never really touched on before. We were able to get new equipment when we needed it.”

COUNTING ON ONE ANOTHER

Taco Loco fits the bill as a small business’ small business. Galindo said the company employs as many as 25 people on a regular basis.

“We’re still small enough so we’re able to get to know a little about our employees,” she said.

Looking ahead, the Galindos plan to keep on building the family business.

“In small business, you’re married to it 24/7 if you want to see it succeed,” Anabel said. “My brother and I know we can always count on one another. We’re proud of what we’re doing and don’t plan on going anywhere any time soon.”

Part of the pride stems from Galindo’s relationship with First National and Business Manager. “The bank has always bent over backwards for us and I would recommend Business Manager to anyone,” she said.

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