San Diego & Imperial Valley Edition 2020—U.S. Small…

FUNDING PROGRAMS

DISASTER ASSISTANCE

Smiling After the Storm With SBA assistance, Stephanie Vitori rebuilt her Miami Beach, FL restaurant after Hurricane Irma. written by Jess Walker How I Did It

I f you ask Stephanie Vitori, the person who coined the term“bittersweet” must have run a business. In the 15 years Stephanie has owned Cheeseburger Baby, the Florida burger joint has endured recessions, multiple hurricanes, and competition from corporate franchises. She has grown along with Cheeseburger Baby, changing with each stage of the business lifecycle. Vitori worked as a delivery driver before purchasing the business in 2004. Since then, she’s expanded by purchasing two food trucks. She runs an open kitchen, which means customers can watch their 100% Angus

beef cheeseburgers sizzle on the flat-top grill. Burgers are kept classic, no extra frills. “People feel at home”, Stephanie says. “You’re not just another table somebody has to serve.” Here, everybody feels like somebody, she says. So many people love a good cheeseburger, which is why all kinds of people are attracted to her restaurant. Cheeseburger Baby’s handcrafted patties have been featured on the Food Network and consumed by celebrities such as

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