UNM Rainforest Innovations

When David Guillermo Marini (Tio David) came to Albuquerque New Mexico in 2001 from Lima, Peru he brought his family traditions of cooking with him. Initially his cooking stayed in his home where he and his family would have Sunday night dinners, but in 2020 Tio David and his family finally brought his Peruvian cooking to the public by opening Tio David’s restaurant.

The restaurant had just recently opened when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, shutting down restaurants and local shops in its wake. In response to these closures, UNM Rainforest Innovations and Innovation Academy we able to use funds from a grant administered by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to launch the New Mexico Business Recovery Course. This course implemented strategies taught in the UNM Innovation Academy Create.Sell.Bank! class to help teach brick and mortar businesses how to transition online in order to stay open through the pandemic.

In an effort to keep the doors of their newly launched business open, Tio David’s along with 200 other local New Mexico businesses seized the opportunity to participate in the course.

Since completing the course in May 2020, Tio David’s has slowly been working to incorporate the marketing skills learned in the class:

“It was such a helpful experience. I especially loved the teachings from the 80/20 book we read, and we’ve been using that framework for all of the aspects of our business. The course has definitely helped in changing our frame of thinking. More importantly though, we were able to brainstorm a lot of great ideas for our restaurant’s marketing that were inspired by the Ecommerce book. Professor Bill, also worked with me individually to think of great ways to incorporate those ideas. He was a delight, and I can’t stress how much I appreciate his support.”

Tio David’s business has grown since the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions which now allow for customers to dine-in. So far, Tio David’s has put most of their efforts into posting on Facebook and Instagram and recently set up a Mailchimp account to reach out to customers. Their next step in growing their marketing efforts is to set-up a welcome campaign to build their email list. All of these are skills and strategies learned in the New Mexico Business Recovery Course.

A new cohort for the course, now renamed as “Create.Sell.Bank! for the Community Online Course” will begin on June 7th and is currently open for registration. Any student, small business or community member in New Mexico is welcome to participate!

Register Here: https://createsellbankcommunity.eventbrite.com or email Morgan Parker at mlparker3@unm.edu with any questions.

You can also learn more Tio David’s restaurant by visiting their website at  https://tiodavids.com/ and help support small local business by grabbing a bite online or in person!

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