OC’s Fastest Growing Chocolatier Expands To New Third Location
After emigrating to the U.S. from war-torn Syria, Rasha Albasha knew she wanted to do something different for a career. Little did this educational administrator know it would come in the form of owning of Chocolate Bash, one of Orange County’s fastest-growing chains of gourmet crepe and waffle shops.
Last month Chocolate Bash opened a new location in Tustin. It’s third since launching in 2015. Rasha says she had no prior experience in the food industry or as an entrepreneur. But she saw a lacking in the offerings of chocolate confections in her newly adopted homeland. The difference was in the variety and quality of ingredients Rasha used to top her light and delicious treats. “We use three different types of Belgium chocolate, all imported from Europe, not just the normal chocolate syrup you’ll get somewhere else,” Rasha said.
In addition to rare chocolates, Chocolate Bash also offers toppings including cookie butter, apple cinnamon, and an Italian pistachio spread that is similar to Nutella but richer and creamier. “Within two months of opening our first location in Newport Beach we had people lined up out the door all the way to the street – all without spending a penny on advertising,” Rasha said.
In 2017 Rasha knew it was time to expand but was worried she lacked the capital to do so. That’s when she reached out to the SBDC and was put in touch with SBDC business consultant Manal Richa. “We worked with Rasha on compiling her finances and shopping around for lenders to align her with the right fit to meet her needs for a loan to expand to her second location in Los Angeles and ultimately the third this year in Tustin,” Manal said.
In addition to helping line up financing, Manal and the SBDC provided invaluable advice that saved Rasha not only money but also valuable time. “The SBDC helped me with forecasting, monitoring, growth, new ideas for improvement, and optimization. All these things I just would have never been able to do by myself,” Rasha said.
Manal says that doing your research and market projections before launching a new business are important keys to success. “Numbers do not lie and it is important for business owners to have a clear understanding of what they’re getting themselves into,” Manal said. Luckily, the SBDC is there free of charge for any businesses or would-be entrepreneurs looking to launch or expand. “Our team of almost 100 consultants, within the OCIE SBDC network, are either business owners themselves or experts in their specific area. We help business owners not only avoid mistakes but also strategically and financially plan for their expansion,” Manal said.
On behalf of the Orange County (SBDC) and our partners, we invite you to join us in celebrating the grand opening for one of the newest chocolate confections in Tustin, Ca. The grand opening will be held at 11:00 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and special remarks from elected officials!
Friday, August 23, 2019
14099 Newport Avenue, Tustin, CA 92780
Click here to RSVP!
You can follow Chocolate Bash and their delicious treats on Instagram!