Salt Lake County Regional Development News
Finding Peace During COVID-19 at Mudita Yoga in Holladay
August 06, 2020
Mimi’s Munchies Takes to the Roads Delivering Mexican-American Snacks
Mimi’s Munchies opened in late 2018 inside a Mexican restaurant in West Valley. Started by Armando Lopez, and his wife, it serves Hispanic desserts mashed with popular American candy – a trending concept in areas like Los Angeles.
The menu of treats includes items like Fresas Con Crema, with a twist by including a scoop of homemade Mexican ice cream – a recipe handed down by generations and made by Lopez’s mother-in-law. Mimi’s Cups are filled with scoops from the eight different ice cream flavors, fresh fruit, candy gummies, and drizzled with favorite Mexican spices like Chamoy, Tajin, or lime. It also offers customers a Build-Your-Own-Nachos with favorite chips like Doritos, Hot Cheetos Puffs, Takis and more, topped with queso and jalapenos.
One month after opening, Mimi’s Munchies was profitable. In November 2019, it left the rented space in the restaurant in search of its very own retail location. In the process of trying to secure a brick-and-mortar location, COVID-19 happened. Lopez had to pivot his plan for the business.
“It ended up being a blessing in disguise since natural traffic isn’t there now,” Lopez said.
Instead, Mimi’s Munchies found a temporary home in June 2020 with a virtual kitchen, operating the business off social media traffic (largely from Instagram). Customers can order from the snack business online through its website or on third-party delivery service like DoorDash. Mimi’s Munchies does in-house delivery for just the areas of Rose Park and Glendale.
That same month, a loyal-customer-turned-friend told Lopez about Salt Lake County’s Small Business Impact Grant, and he applied on June 16. After submitting his application and working with a grant program ambassador, he was notified his application was approved two weeks later and had the money by July.Mimi’s Munchies wasn’t immune to the impacts of COVID-19, but Lopez was committed to not cutting any of his six employees and got by in the short-term with reducing staff hours.
“The grant gave us breathing room,” Lopez said. “It was a cool experience and allows us to keep the lights on and give some work to our employees. At the end of August, we want to launch a food truck. If it wasn’t for the grant, my head would be in the kitchen every day.”
The goal to get a food truck will leverage the business’ social media following and allow it to be more accessible to customers in West Valley City and Taylorsville. From there, Lopez dreams of getting a second truck to serve part of Salt Lake City.
Mimi’s Munchies is open for delivery-only, 5-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Visit https://www.instagram.com/mimismunchiesco/ for more info.
If you’re a small business like Mimi’s Munchies and have been impacted negatively by COVID-19, learn about the Small Business Impact Grant, and apply today at slco.org/covidgrants/.
August 04, 2020
Nohm officially opened its doors to customers off 900 South and a block from West Temple, in the space formerly occupied by Meditrina, several months before Utah even thought about COVID-19.
The new Asian gastropub fills a unique space in Salt Lake City dining. Its focus is on small plates and drinks. The owner and Salt Lake City resident, David Chon, worked at numerous restaurants the past two decades, but wanted to bring more variety and a different take on Japanese or Korean cuisines.
Nohm is setting itself a part with its Japanese-style charcoal grilling -- skewers pairing well with beers for the post-work crowd looking for a place to hang out, or cold plates with sake or wine. Its dishes feature veggies, like fresh lettuces and mushrooms, from multiple local farmers and take shape in Chicken Katsu or Pan-fried Udon. The menu is full of a variety of textures and flavors that serve as food for the eyes and stomach.
After just a few months of operating, COVID-19 hit. It was horrible timing. The restaurant shifted and began offering a menu for curbside pickup; the restaurant is committed to a high quality of food it can be proud of, whether to-go or dining in. It found support from its neighborhood and the Salt Lake community, but come summer, it wasn’t enough to survive the pandemic.
Nohm’s capacity went from 50 to 20, and 11 staff to three. Recommended reservations is one way Nohm is making the best of the current situation; it allows the restaurant to ensure the safety of customers, while also minimizing waste.
Chon said that the restaurant struggled to get any substantial federal aid the first four months of COVID-19, due to how young the operation was and felt like his applications went to the bottom of the pile.
Nohm then heard about Salt Lake County’s Small Business Impact Grant (SBIG) from its landlord and applied. Nohm received a full Small Business Impact Grant, with the help and troubleshooting of Michael Herman, a SBIG specialist and David Eccles School of Business Hope Corps student working for Salt Lake County.
“This grant is helping me survive,” Chon said. “It was perfect timing.”
He expects the grant will allow him to stay open through October if the current public health situation remains unchanged. But he still hopes a livelier market is on the horizon.
“A lot of bars and restaurants worry about health spikes and some still are hesitant to open their door to the public,” Chon said. “At the same time, for a restaurant like ours, we do not have a choice but to be open, hoping that we could, at least, pay the monthly bills and survive until things get better. I do feel, however, a lot more hopeful nowadays knowing that we have a very supportive local community and this grant would allow us to try different ways to bring in more guests to our restaurant.”
Nohm is located at 165 W 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 and is open Tuesday-Saturday, Noon-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.
If you’re a small business like Nohm and have been impacted negatively by COVID-19, learn more about the Small Business Impact Grant, and apply today at slco.org/covidgrants/.