New Market Opens In Marshall, CDA Recommends Small Business Loan

February 1, 2018

Cathy Kozlowowicz

The Courier

After working on a farm milking cows near her home in Sun Prairie, Maria Contreras wanted to do better for herself and for her 14-year old daughter, Carla.

So she opened La Oaxaquena, a market on Marshall’s Plaza Drive Dec. 1, 2017 with her brother, Leovardo.

At the Marshall Village Board’s Community Development Authority (CDA) meeting Jan. 23, she asked for a small business loan of $10,000 to get a bigger cooler for their meat and to later be able to get a better counter to sell hot food.

The authority recommended $15,000 with a list of resources to help the business. The village board will discuss the loan request at its Feb. 13 meeting.

If approved, Contreras would have to pay the village back in monthly installments of $200-300 a month, with an interest rate of about 4 1/2 percent.

“We want businesses to succeed in Marshall. We want to help them,” Village President Marlin Hensler Jr., who is a member of the CDA, said.

The market sells fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat produce such at steaks, snacks, drinks and even some clothing like pants and hats.

“We have fresh oranges, mangos and melons. We want to change things that we sell to have a variety,” Contreras said. She explained that her store is like a Walmart, but on a smaller scale.

“It is for everyone. People from Mexico and people here. Everyone,” Contreras said. Her goal is in a few months to have hot food such as tacos and burritos.

Last year, she enrolled at Madison College to study accounting and thought that opening a business would be a good fit for her accounting program. She can have some flexibility to attend classes, but at the same time, grow a successful business.

“This would also be good for my daughter. If she sees me study and want to do well in school, she will too.”

While she lives in Sun Prairie, she said Marshall was an ideal place to open her business.

“It is a small-town. Everyone is friendly, and there is not a place like this in Marshall,” Contreras said. “People can shop here.”

Everyone is nice and wants me to do well, Contreras said. She was especially impressed when the Marshall Police Department stopped in her store. “They were nice. They said if I needed anything, to call them. I felt safe,” she said.

She plans on changing her merchandise and having a variety of produce for her customers.

“What customers are asking for, we will find a way to bring it,” Contreras said.

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