Edwin Baron has always believed the small business owner is the backbone of the U.S. economy.
It’s a big reason why he wanted to start his own Marco’s Pizza franchise in Apopka, Florida, after retiring from 17 years in law enforcement.
Searching for a new venture, Edwin and his wife decided on franchising. After considering various franchise options, they chose Marco’s because it fit their values as a family.
“My wife and I both had 17 years in law enforcement and we knew we wanted to find something else. I did some contracting security work for the state department in Iraq and Afghanistan. After Benghazi happened, we knew it was time to do something else. We started to do some research and realized how much work it is to find the right franchise that fits you.”
A Referral Leads To A Financing Relationship
Edwin eventually was referred to Stearns Bank by Apple Pie Capital and started working with lender Joshua Borgerding.
As he started working with Stearns Bank on his SBA loan, he started to realize what this new financial relationship was all about.
“When someone like Stearns Bank is able to help someone in the middle class with entrepreneurialism, I think it’s fantastic,” Edwin said. “Big banks usually like to deal with big money and don’t care for the small or middle class. That makes Stearns Bank stand out. Stearns Bank’s willingness to help the small business owner is tremendous.”
Edwin admits he didn’t know what the SBA loan process was going to be like initially. Once he started working with Joshua, he realized that Stearns Bank was going to be there every step of the way to ease concerns and help him understand the process.
“Joshua was a tremendous help,” Edwin said. “This was my first endeavor of this magnitude. I was constantly calling him and he was always there to assist me. It was a great experience.
“I would definitely refer someone in my position to Stearns Bank.”
What The Future Holds
Edwin’s location in Apopka opened Feb. 6, 2018. He already has plans for another location in the near future. His ultimate goal is to have five locations in Florida. Marco’s serves fresh subs and wings to go along with its Italian fare.
The family-type environment of Marco’s attracted Edwin’s attention and enthusiasm.
“This is a great product for everyone. Everything is fresh. We make our own dough. We also have top-notch customer service. I think people are grateful for that. It already feels like a mom and pop type restaurant.
“I know our first call will be to Stearns Bank when we start the second one.”