Willy Wang and Stacy Tang, the owners of Taiwan Bento, decided to open their small business, they were not able to secure startup capital despite having great credit scores and both graduating from UC Berkeley’s business school with MBAs. We are thrilled to support their business and watch it continue to grow and expand.
“Now with 12 employees, Taiwan Bento is a popular fast-casual Taiwanese restaurant with a California flair serving Uptown Oakland. When they first opened in August 2014, they were lunch-only, primarily serving people working in the neighborhood. Since then, they’ve expanded to evenings and Sundays, serving a crowd that travels to Oakland from all over the Bay Area. ‘The East Bay has some Taiwanese options,’ says Willy, ‘but what we offer is different, and I think that appeals to our customers.’ Because of the business’ growth, in June 2015, Willy began working at the restaurant full-time.
“Taiwan Bento works to bridge a lot of cultures, creating an environment that everyone feels comfortable in. As a business owner, Willy advises new businesses establish a good financial cushion: ‘Restaurants are high risk/high reward. If you really want to pursue it, secure financing that will give you some runway. When you run out of money, you run out of options, so it’s critical to have money available. It can be hard, but this is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.’”