Miguel Cerda has nothing but praise for his mother Rosa Araya, “We have a very good relationship and a special connection,” the 46-year-old Chilean says, “Since I was a child, she’s helped me in everything I’ve undertaken.”. For more than thirteen years, the two have worked together on their 90-seat restaurant Santa Rosa located in the small community of Tierra Amarilla. Decorated with items Miguel has collected from all over Chile, the Santa Rosa restaurant attracts discerning diners from the nearby town of Copiapó with delicious traditional dishes made Rosa’s way, such as Pastel de Choclo (Chilean beef and corn casserole).
Despite having so much going for it, Santa Rosa has encountered some big challenges. The most significant were the 2015 and 2017 floods, which forced Miguel and Rosa to close the restaurant. “It was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me,” says Miguel. “It was very painful to see the work of our lives destroyed. For a while I had to keep paying salaries without income, it was difficult, but we got by.” Lundin Mining’s nearby Candelaria mine responded quickly with emergency flood relief for Tierra Amarilla, which was a huge help. But during that time the mine was also working in partnership with the Lundin Foundation on developing longer-term community initiatives which would help ensure businesses like Santa Rosa could continue to thrive.
The Foundation and Candelaria partnered with Chile’s Production Development Corporation (CORFO) on a three-year program known as Programa de Desarrollo de Proveedores (PDP), or the Supplier Development Program. PDP has helped 30 local suppliers, including Restaurant Santa Rosa, to build capacity through technical assistance and personalized mentoring focused on improving commercial, managerial and business skills.
“The program taught me topics that aren’t taught in university,” says Miguel, “It helped me to see entrepreneurial issues, including how to interact with customers, how to generate networks and how to design business models.” He’s used the training to diversify his offering and make more sound business decisions, including choosing to open a new cafeteria and delaying plans for an empanada factory based on a market evaluation that indicated it wasn’t going to be profitable.
The program taught me topics that aren’t taught in university.
Restaurant Santa Rosa is doing better than ever, and word about their wood-fired specialties continues to spread. “The community loves our food,” says Miguel, “There are people who travel far to eat our food and that reflects that we’re doing our job well.”
53 small businesses supported
$6.3M USD in supplier contracts to Candelaria mine
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