The SBDC helps new restaurant owners start a business off strong and revamp their delicious menu
Since 2015, Norma’s Italian Kitchen has proudly served the community of Rancho Mirage. Founded by Norma and Ron Hare, the restaurant emphasizes high-quality ingredients and customer service, delivering every meal with a signature smile.
Earlier this year, Norma and Ron sold their restaurant to four new co-owners: their daughter Charlene Hare, her husband Harry Constantine, and friends Carlos Sosa, and Ron Stewart, the latter of whom worked previously with Dr. Ron Hare in the healthcare industry. Although Stewart was familiar with Hare, he was new to the restaurant world. Stewart immediately started searching for resources to get started. On the City of Rancho Mirage’s website, Stewart filled out a form for assistance with start-ups. He was connected with Mike Pagani, a consultant from the Coachella Valley SBDC who specializes in funding, marketing, and business planning—and also happens to be a regular diner at Norma’s.
“When I met Mike, immediately he knew our restaurant because he lives in our neighborhood and he’s been a diner,” Stewart says. “That brought a level of familiarity to the conversation that money can’t buy.” Pagani gave Stewart feedback on the restaurant’s bylaws, financing, and negotiating a deal with Hare.
Working with the SBDC has saved Stewart a lot of time: “Anytime I needed help, I would turn to Mike, and he would give me a resource.” For instance, when Stewart and his co-owners wanted to revise Norma’s menu, “Mike connected us with Angela Janice from his team. She sat down with us to go through the menu and showed us how we can use online calculators to estimate pricing better. She’s a great resource.” The revisions to Norma’s menu have been well-received—with great enthusiasm, Stewart endorses their pizza, whose sauce made from an authentic Italian recipe.
If you’ve worked up an appetite reading about their food, visit Norma’s Italian Kitchen today, where the staff is eager to serve you. “We are nothing without our customers. It’s really a wonderful feeling to know we are providing a place for the community to come together, dine, enjoy an evening, have a good conversation, be treated with respect, and be thanked for being a customer.”
You can check out Norma’s menu online, and visit them at:
42418 Bob Hope Dr.
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Mon – Sat: 11:00 am – 8:30 pm
Sun: 4:00 pm – 8:30 pm