Celebrating Small Business Week: Garden Rosalyn

Celebrating Small Business Week: Garden Rosalyn Main Photo

5 May 2023

Latinos, Small Business

It’s Small Business Week, and EDASC is featuring one of the small businesses benefitting from the EDASC Equitable Economic Development program. 

Ernesto Mendoza is one of the clients served by EDASC’s Bilingual Business Advisor Jorge Estefan. April was a big month for Mendoza who is one of Skagit Valley’s tulip growers. His small farm in Mount Vernon, Garden Rosalyn, marked its third year participating in the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Mendoza started in the fields, working for one of the established tulip farms. He said he was taken by the vibrant colors of the tulips and had his own vision for a tulip display garden.

Starting from a raw piece of land, Mendoza planted his display gardens with shapes of stars, hearts, swans and more represented in tulips. Unique to Garden Rosalyn are the ducks and geese who make their home on a big pond there.

As a startup, Mendoza has had to learn not just the elements of farming but also how to operate a business that's essentially only open one month per year. It is a particularly challenging business model, said Estefan.

Mendoza said he is grateful to have had Estefan's help in the run up to this April's tulip festival. Estefan has helped connect Mendoza to other vendors that have provided food and greeting cards to be sold at the farm, helped him obtain a point-of-sale system, and advised on marketing strategies.

Estefan also has served occasionally as translator and intermediary along the way, particularly during press interviews. 

“I see a lot of potential in Ernesto’s business. He just needs help with these barriers,” Estefan said. “I am supporting Ernesto’s belief in himself.”

As tulip season winds down, Mendoza is already looking ahead to making his business bigger and better next year, and Estefan will help him to construct a plan to get him there.

You still have time to visit Garden Rosalyn this year. Garden Rosalyn will be open through May 10.