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The Custard Guys was formed by David and James Bobeczko on September 1, 2005. They purchased an existing East Coast Custard franchise operation in Mentor, Ohio with an SBA 7A loan. The business is run by David Bobeczko and his wife with his father James as a silent partner. They worked hard at improving sales by improving customer service, food quality and community presence. They also expanded their business by adding East Coast Custard Catering, a truck that can service birthday parties, graduation parties, family reunions and corporate events.

With business running so well, David had been looking for the right opportunity to expand his business. He came across another franchised store, located in Shaker Heights, that was closing due to lease issues. David bought all of the hard assets (equipment) and franchise rights, storing the equipment until he could find the right site. He decided upon a lot in a well-traveled, high visibility location in Painesville Township, Ohio that he felt would be perfect for his additional location. He contacted the Ohio Small Business Development Center at the Lake County Port Authority and met with Director Allen Weaver to discuss his options. He wanted to purchase the property with as little down as possible and find attractive rates. After looking over his plans and discussing his needs, Allen recommended the SBA 504 loan.

Allen and consultant Bill Elliot then got to work in assisting Mr. Bobeczko obtain his SBA 504 financing. Mr. Elliot went over all the paperwork required for his loan application. He then worked with Mr. Bobeczko at each step of the loan process. He explained each process, the paperwork he was required to provide and reviewed the paperwork with Mr. Bobeczko to ensure everything was going smoothly. Mr. Elliot followed through with the SBA as well to keep things running smoothly in the application process. When his loan was presented to the committee, he was approved.

Mr. Bobeczko was so happy with the work that Mr. Elliot and Mr. Weaver did on his behalf, he came to them again when an opportunity to purchase the land and building for his Mentor franchise became available. Mr. Elliot and Mr. Weaver again worked with Mr. Bobeczko on the process and his second SBA 504 loan was approved.

He now owns two franchise locations along with the buildings and land on which they are housed. His Painesville Township location is doing better than expected and is actually performing better than his original Mentor location. The Mentor location is even with the previous year’s numbers. With the planned building and property improvements now possible with the second SBA 504 loan, the Mentor franchise, with its prime location near Mentor’s main shopping hub, should improve as well.

Mr. Bobeczko has nothing but good things to say about his dealings with the Small Business Development Center and Bill Elliot and Allen weaver. “I’d recommend the SBDC at the Lake County Port Authority to anyone who wants to venture into small business,” according to Mr. Bobeczko. He feels they really helped him and led him into the right direction for his projects. He also advises entrepreneurs to make sure they are doing something they truly enjoy. He also offers this advice: “Put your heart and soul into something and like what you do everyday. Be the best at what you choose to do, and people will notice”.