Founder: Delia Gallegos
3248 Isleta Blvd. SW
Eleven years ago, while working as a housekeeper for a large Albuquerque hotel, Delia Gallegos dreamed of owning her own restaurant. But she soon realized she needed more than passion to make her dream a reality—she needed to learn about business.
So, Gallegos went to WESST Corp and came away with both knowledge and a solid business plan. She then came to The Loan Fund for financing to buy an existing restaurant on Central Avenue in Albuquerque, which she renamed El Sarape.
As with any start-up, many long, hard hours of work followed. Gallegos even used to sleep at the restaurant so she wouldn’t miss any opportunities to cook for paying customers. It’s no wonder she quickly had a loyal and growing group of regulars.
A South Valley location soon followed. Today, she provides jobs with a living wage to 22 employees at three locations. The Loan Fund has been there, with loans and encouragement, every time Gallegos has expanded her business.
Two years ago, El Sarape’s original location burned down in an electrical fire. Gallegos responded to the setback with vitality, restoring and re-opening the location in 2009. “Anytime I’ve had an issue, I ask [Director of Lending] Norma [Valdez],” Gallegos said. “She’s been there from the start to help when I’ve needed it.”