Mi Cha Sullivan has four years of experience in the convenience store business and numerous college courses in business administration. David Sullivan has a master’s degree in Public Administration and has been responsible for budgets and planning in the past. The owners met with their counselor, Larry Ellis, who assisted them in preparing a detailed business plan with financial projections. The owners began their search for a store location in 2001. Finally, an ideal location for the business was found at 1106 North Texas Blvd in Alice. The property had been a convenience store in the past and most of the equipment was still operational. David Sullivan worked with Larry Ellis to put together a loan package to request financing of the project with a SBA 7(a) loan. The loan package was submitted to three banks and was finally approved by 1st Community Bank in Alice.
The owners have faced many challenges in the pursuit of their dream of owning a convenience store. There were hidden costs and equipment repairs to overcome. The owners were forced to be patient while they worked through the SBA requirements including background checks, environmental inspections, and disability issues. In the end, it took a lot of hard work and elbow grease to clean up the building and prepare it for the Grand Opening. The Grand Opening and ribbon cutting was held on October 9th, 2003. David Sullivan stated that “the learning curve to open the business was high and is still continuing.” His advice is “to get organized and don’t be discouraged if things take longer than you think.” Mike Smith from the Alice Chamber of Commerce says that “this new convenience store is greatly needed in this part of Alice.” The new Yu Mi’s Convenience Store is a testament to hard work, persistence, and a relentless entrepreneurial desire to be a business owner.