Mid Columbia Economic Development District strives to promote the creation of family-wage jobs, the diversification of the economic base, and the growth, development and retention of business and industry in Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Klickitat and Skamania Counties
MCEDD is organized as a government non-profit in Oregon as an ORS-190 and in Washington through RCW 39.34.010.
July 20, 2023 – Veronica Hernandez opened Frutas Locas Y Más, LLC, as a family-operated food truck featuring authentic Mexican food in May of 2018. As the name states, there are crazy fruit-inspired creations! “And More” includes such wonderful offerings as champurrado, carne asada fries, pozole and of course, tamales!
Veronica’s specialty homemade Mexican style treats and snacks can’t be found at any other Mexican food places in The Dalles, and her food has steadily grown in popularity. By 2019, the business was able to open its brick-and-mortar location as a family-style restaurant at 623 E 2nd Street in The Dalles. Veronica runs the kitchen, her husband Francisco orders products, her daughter takes orders and cleans when she isn’t in school, and Veronica’s son helps manage the restaurant.
While the pandemic hit all restaurant businesses hard, Frutas Locas Y Más was able to survive with the addition of some regular local catering contacts. In 2022, the restaurant began offering home delivery through DoorDash and Uber Eats, creating enough sales to support hiring an additional employee. In 2023, Veronica obtained business assistance through the Mt. Hood Economic Alliance’s microlending program to secure working capital to finance wages and pay the business’s property taxes, overhead and expenses. Veronica’s success story is an important milestone for diversity, equity and inclusion in local small business lending.
June 12, 2023 –
Miss O’s Espresso has been a family-owned and -operated coffee cart in Pine Grove, Oregon, since it’s opening in 2015. Located at the east end of the Pine Grove Grocery Store parking lot, the cart is open most mornings from 6-11am.
Courtney Harvey originally opened the cart to support herself without spending most of her day away from her new daughter. Courtney worked her way through college by running the business as the coffee sales grew steadily through the years.
The stand is now a regular feature of the upper Hood River Valley community, and Miss O’s Facebook page clearly illustrates that family life and community is the heart of this business. In 2021, Courtney turned over management to Caitlyn Grant, another Mom in the family with a young son to raise. Pictured above are Courtney with her daughter Oaklee on the right (Oaklee is Miss O!), and Caitlyn with her son Hudson on the left.
In order to manage the rising costs of business since the pandemic, Courtney applied to MCEDD for funding to allow Miss O’s to refinance its business credit card debt. Because MCEDD’s lending programs often require that clients work with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to benefit from business development resources, this upper Valley family’s Mom entrepreneurs will continue to raise their children while actively running their business successfully, and providing fabulous coffee drinks and homemade baked treats to the local community!
Miss O’s Espresso
2375 Highway 35
Hood River, OR 97031