Submitted by the San Diego Small Business Development Center
Six months after it opened, Santee’s breakfast spot and lunchtime deli, The Breakroom, has continued to thrive in its industrial-park location while earning itself a stellar reputation among discerning East County diners.
Earlier this year, owner April Chambers took her 21 years of culinary expertise and threw open the doors to The Breakroom. Many of her customers know Chambers from the five years she ran the nearby Woodside Deli. She said she felt strongly about why the Breakroom’s location was a good one.
“The guys around here are the reason,” she said. “There are a lot of shops and businesses here, and a lot of blue collar guys working.”
Chambers has experience at nearly every level of food service. She has been a head chef, food service manager, pastry chef, baker, cake decorator, and has worked in fast food. She worked in the kitchens of Hotel Del Coronado and La Jolla’s Museum Café, and decorated ice cream cakes at Baskin-Robbins. But she knew nothing about starting a business of her own.
Chambers did a lot of cold calling before she found the San Diego Small Business Development Center.
“I didn’t have a clue about all the things I needed to do,” she said. “I initially came to San Diego SBDC looking for a loan to help buy Woodside from the owner,” she said. “But after talking with [SBDC consultant] Michelle Burkart, I decided I could use my own money to start my own business.”
Chambers said that Burkart turned something daunting and difficult into something she was able to do. “Michelle laid it all out in a nice format I could follow through, set goals for what I needed to do once I opened.”
With assistance from San Diego SBDC, Chambers obtained her business license and permits, hired a part-time employee, and opened the doors. Now that she has successfully passed the six-month mark, she plans to return to the SBDC in the near future to train on QuickBooks.
The Breakroom is located at 10911 Wheatlands Avenue, Suite G, in Santee. The deli is open Monday – Friday, from 6:30 am until 2:30 pm. In addition to the variety of breakfast and lunch items available, it also offers catering services and delivery.