Deli Entrepreneurs Get Stronger With Free Business Classes From Verizon

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Monica Nino and Bryan Gonzales, owners of high-end deli company The Board Couple in San Antonio, Texas, were preparing for an event when several appetizers fell from a cart and onto the sidewalk. “We only had 30 minutes to spare,” recalls Nino. That’s when Gonzales remembered advice he’d heard in the Selling Your Story at Verizon Small Business Digital Ready course. “It’s a great moment to capture on social media,” he thought. “People want to buy from a human, they want to make that connection,” adds Nino. So Gonzales took a video, posted it on Instagram and wrote, “Oh no, check this out.”

For Gonzales and Nino, recovering from small mistakes and racing from event to event is part of a day’s work. On a recent Saturday, they delivered artisanal charcuterie boards to a wedding reception, a tasting workshop, and even to a private jet for an in-flight snack. “Our boards have at least nine different types of charcuterie and three base cheeses,” says Nino. And these boards, in addition to their pasture tables, cooking classes, wines and gift boxes, have found a large audience.

But when the pandemic brought an unexpected shift to their original brick-and-mortar business model — and an increase in shipping demand — the couple found themselves with no clear path forward. “There was no roadmap for our business,” Gonzales says. Looking for inspiration, the couple discovered Verizon Small Business Digital Ready through their local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The free online portal, offering courses, live coaching and networking, was exactly the help they needed to adjust. “These classes are like drinking from a fire hose — in the best way,” Gonzales says.

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