We had the good fortune of connecting with Nelson Padron and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nelson, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The main driver was life style. I was traveling too much and it was hard on the family.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Since inception we have strived to seek differentiation. We have crafted a model that addresses different needs and therefore we service different target groups. We play in the food service industry space in different categories. Let me be more specific: We have a micro-restaurant, we do about 9 farmers markets across the greater Houston area, we cater breakfasts and lunches to companies and hospitals, we cater events in people’s homes, we are preferred caters of some venues, we deliver food into people’s homes and clients also do pick ups in our establishment. We have done from a simple delivery of dinner for a family of 6 all the way to the fourth of July celebration of The Woodlands Township with an attendance of around 50,000. Weddings and corporate events are back and we are very happy about that.
Another clear example of being different is our micro-restaurant. Avila’s micro-restaurant is reservations only. We deliver themed menus that are generally 4 or 5 courses. The experience also entails live music aligned with the theme and an educational component. This cooking class is more like an exchange of information where we learn as much from the diners as they do from us. In addition, our establishment is BYOB.
The pandemic was challenging but also a time for learning. A time that taught us that organizations need to be nimble and have the ability to quickly adapt to changes in the market place. We have grown year after year for 5 years and continue to do so. We have learned to be very cautious and not to take unnecessary risks. We have learned to pick our battles and to say no to opportunities that will over stretch us. It’s a constant strategic pull and push for us.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Tough question for me.
I will show them around The Woodlands. This is where our business is based and we are proud of our bubble. We will visit the waterway area and enjoy a drink and eat at Grimaldi’s Pizza. I would also take them to Hughes Landing into Fogo di Chao and enjoy views of The Woodlands lake.
Houston downtown is a must. I will show the skyline and maybe have a beer at St. Arnold’s brewery. The post also offers variety and views from the skyline. I enjoy Chef Hugo Ortega’s restaurants (Hugo’s and Caracol). The museums are also ideal to spend sometime. I will also show off our sports teams. An Astros, Rockets, Texans and Dynamo’s game for sure.
Although not the best beaches, a trip to Galveston is an opportunity to review the history of our city. Beautiful and well preserved mansions and churches. I will eat at The Porch Cafe.
A trip to Kemah is always an option that will give me the opportunity to eat at Pier 6 in San Leon.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The seed was planted by my wife. She has been my everything during this journey. We work great together and complement each other in many unique ways. She is strong where I lack and vice versa.
Another shoutout goes to our friends and family. They have been key supporters of the project since the very beginning. I still clearly recall the tastings “focus groups” that we did at our residence where we had 68 of our closest friends and family members helping us craft the value proposition of the business. They were instrumental in providing ideas and provoking thought. They really helped us see many things that we were not considering and provided validation to some of our ideas.