Success Stories

Eagle Bean Coffee Co.

Eagle Bean Coffee Co. in Edinburg, TX is a start-up coffee company that specializes in providing its customers with an exquisite and unique espresso and coffee beverage experience. The coffee shop is owned and operated by James Carpenter.

Mr. Carpenter is taking his experience and leadership as a Veteran and service provider to the United States Government, his personal hobby of purveying international coffees and cofee beans, and is combining his extensive professional coffee business and barista training and introducing it to the community.

The Eagle Bean's staple product is gourmet coffee and espresso, but they also provide iced versions of all their hot drinks as well as blended drinks and smoothies. A movie night, open microphone night, weekly live music featuring local soloists, and a poetry night are all available to customers as well.

Edinburg is now home to a coffee shop that provides the quick cup on the go or a relaxing environment to enjoy a latte.

James Carpenter contacted the UPTA Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) for assistance with a business plan to start his business. With business advisor Carlos Gutierrez' assistance, Mr. Carpenter wrote a business plan and submitted it to Lone Star bank. He was approved for a loan to get his business up and going. Eagle Bean has created a total of 3 full time and 2 part time jobs in Edinburg, TX.

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Mid Valley Archery

Mid Valley Archery in Weslaco, TX is proud to offer classes taught by certified archers as well as slots where someone can use the range on an hourly basis The recreational facility is owned and operated by David Garza.

Garza, who has spent much of his life in the miliraty and law enforcement, is a principled and down-to-earth man. He teaches students to use self-control and discipline to gain form and technique in the ancient art of archery.

As a youngster, Garza loved bows and arrows, so he made them himself. This is where his love for archery began. The sport kept him focused throught his life and now David is making his living doing what he loves most. He now offer the Rio Grande Valley a safe place to learn and practice this great sport, life skill, and past-time.

The range include soft target as well as 3D animal replicas. Weslaco is now home to a range for the novice archer as well as those who are skilled and want an indoor space to practice for the Valley-wide archery tournaments and hunts.      

David Garza contacted the UPTA Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) for assistance with a business plan to start his business. With business advisor Carlos Gutierrez' assistance, Garza developed an operational and sales strategy to get his archery business up and going. He is currently seeking expansion funding and continues to work with the VBOC to develop his plans ans submit a loan proposal. Mid Valley Archery has created a total of 1 full time and 2 part time jobs in Weslaco.

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Elite Oilfield Construction

U.S. Army Sergeant Leonel Garza was finishing up his third tour of duty in Iraq at the end of May 2008. When he arrived back home in the United States, he attended a seminar on services available to personnel leaving the service at Fort Stewarts, Ga. Garza had made up his mind that he wanted to work for himself while on active duty. “While I was in the military, I had so many bosses. I thought it would be nice to be my own boss and make my own hours,” Garza related. “I had my own ideas and had done some research. I had worked up a business plan, before I went to see the people at the veteran’s center,” he recalled. But his visit to the VBOC was a real eye opener for Garza, “What Mr. Alonzo Gracia did was take it to a whole new level. He gave me so much information outside of what I was doing about what other companies and competitors were doing,” he said. VBOC also helped Garza find financing, even though he came to the table with his own capital.

He eventually wants Elite Oilfield Construction, his company, to branch out to servicing construction sites and outdoor events. In the long run he hopes to have a fleet of 30 units, which would be an investment of $40,000.


 Discount Sport Nutrition

U.S. Army Corporal Mark Ednie served in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood, Texas, just before the first Gulf War. Ednie and his wife Griselda have always had the dream of owning their own business. “My wife always wanted her own business, or family business. We looked around and started to shop around,” said Ednie who admitted he didn’t have much knowledge about the business world; but knew he needed one crucial component: financing.

“I didn’t know anything about owning or operating a business. They asked ‘Where is your business plan.’ I answered ‘I don’t have one.’ One bank informed me about the Veterans Business Outreach Center in Edinburg. When I got there I realized the center was strictly for veterans, and I was able to see a specialist quicker.” Ednie and his wife looked into a franchise opportunity and chose Discount Sport Nutrition headquartered in Dallas. “It is a small franchise business that is growing. I have a lot of leeway as a franchise owner. I get help from the company and they work with me,” he said. The result is a Discount Sport Nutrition store at 1201 S. Jackson Rd., Unit 10 in Pharr, TX. He stated that it wouldn’t have happened without him learning how to work up a business plan and presenting it to banks.


Mag-Tek Inc.

Jerry Davis is a Vietnam Era veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1966 to 1970. His tour of duty in Vietnam was during ’68 and ’69. A native of Oklahoma, he moved to the Rio Grande Valley in the early ‘60s; his father was instrumental in developing thousands of acres of citrus groves in the Upper Valley with the Bentsen Family. Davis is involved with an established business, Mag-Tek Inc. in Edinburg, TX, a manufacturer of magnetic tools for the oil field. He wasn’t looking for a business plan for a start up company when he made contact with the VBOC. “Originally we were looking at a Small Business Administration loan,” Davis related. What Mag-Tek wanted to do was promote a new product line that resulted in fuel savings for diesel engines. “We needed some help getting it out there, getting it marketed. They were very helpful with putting out marketing plan together.”

Davis continued, “We were looking for a $300,000 loan. We had been to banks before over the years, but the package prepared by the veteran’s center really impressed the bank we took it to.” The loan package prepared by the VBOC has helped to Mag-Tek set up a dealer network promoting its fuel saving package across the state.