Paola Andrea Carlson came to the USA six years with a bag of luggage, her daughter Gabriela, her dog Yoda, and her heart full of ambition and desire to live the American Dream. She started her business 3 years ago after a few years of not being able to get a job due to language barriers. And what started as a hobby has transformed into a successful business that employees over 10 people now!
Her business Pochis Sweet Designs started as a hobby decorating bottles and making chocolate covered strawberries and selling online and at local fairs and festivals. In 2021 she won the Start Garden 5x5 in Spanish, and was the only Hispanic entrepreneur to win the Start Garden 100 that year that enabled her to expand her business into importing coffee products from Colombia. In 2022 she was able to enter her Colombian Coffee products into all 258 Meijer stores. And now In 2023 she opened the only Colombian Restaurant in Downtown Grand Rapids, known as Pochis Sweet Designs Colombian Restaurant & Café.
Her company motto is “We love what we do” and her mission statement is “If you cannot go to Colombia, we will bring Colombia to you!”.