With Gwinnett being a community so rich in diversity, we are very fortunate to have local markets and restaurants that offer foods and goods from all over the world.
Our next Local Love feature, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, is Plaza Las Americas. Located in Lilburn, this building is an adaptive re-use of a vacant Lowe's storefront turned indoor/outdoor market. The mall consists of street-facing retail suites, open-air “Mercado” stalls, a grocery store, a food court, a gaming center, and soccer fields, all created to provide a culturally oriented place for the local community to gather. Some of the stores inside include: Arte Terrestre, Elsa Rodriguez Salon, Arcoiris Shoes, Aroma de Iris and Zone tools.
Explore Gwinnett continues to make an effort to promote local minority-owned, LGBTQ, and women-owned businesses. To support this initiative, we are writing blogs focusing on owners and telling their stories. Click here to read more Local Love stories.
Arturo Adonay is born and raised Mexican. His ethnic background has significantly influenced how he approaches his business and builds partnerships. He understands the Latin culture and leads from a position where strong relationships build stronger businesses. After more than 20 years of doing business in America, he also knows that no detail is too small, and it is vital to gather as many facts as possible before committing to a project. His strength is bridging the gap and building the bridges.
Arturo Adonay grew up in a middle-class family in Mexico. His father worked hard to make sure they had a nice home and good education. Extra activities and name-brand clothes were not part of his dad's priorities, so Arturo knew he had to make his own money if he wanted "extras." That led him to start his own business at the age of 15 and his resourcefulness during that time has served him well in life. As an entrepreneur, he has built a cutting-edge marketing agency, birthed innovative retail concepts, and constructed property management solutions. His current company, Sara Capital Group, focuses on helping shopping center owners located in areas with high minority and ethnic communities generate a return on investment.
One of the biggest struggles Arturo has faced professionally is when he took over Plaza Las Americas on March 16, 2020. A few short days later Covid hit forcing him to temporarily close the doors. He had to convince internal and external partners that they could sustain and grow an in-person shopping experience. Thanks to his connections in the Hispanic community not only as a native, but also as a marketer, Arturo's team plus 100 Plaza Las Americas small business owners were able to successfully manage the crisis.
Arturo's three pieces of advice:
1. Have a clear vision. Know your WHY. Your why will sustain you through the struggles, help you remove self-doubt, and give you a solid foundation. After that, I suggest defining your purpose and how your why will serve others. What is the unmet need that your why will fulfill?
2. Get your personal budget in order. Don’t sacrifice your personal finances to the point that you can’t satisfy your or your family’s basic needs - food, shelter, and security. Create a plan that positions you to save money to invest in yourself and your business. Once you start the business, prepare yourself for the lean times as you build a self-sustaining business.
3. Entrepreneurship is not the easiest route to take. And it is not always obvious when things will stabilize. However, if you genuinely believe in your why and create a financial plan that allows you to pursue it, DO NOT GIVE UP! There are so many people who, after traveling the long, bumpy road, quit when there are only a few turns left to make before they find themselves on a freshly paved road. In the words of Zig Ziglar, “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.
Arturo's favorite part is helping businesses achieve their goals and make their dreams come true. He believes what he does is so much more than managing, acquiring, and disposing of commercial and retail space. He provides value, opportunity, and market knowledge which helps investors generate a return on investment, and his love of community helps Hispanic and minority entrepreneurs grow legacy-building businesses.
Arturo's goal is to position Plaza Las Americas as a no passport required Latin American destination in the heart of Gwinnett County. It is an opportunity for guests from anywhere to have a fully immersive Latin excursion with authentic shopping, food, music, arts, and cultural experiences from Mexico to Argentina.
Be sure to visit all the unique shops in Plaza Las Americas next time you are in the area! Do you know of any other minority, LGBTQ or woman-owned businesses? Comment below, we would love to feature them.
Post by Clara Rooks
Clara lived in Dacula for 14 years before moving to Bethlehem with her husband and Goldendoodles, Sadie and Tally. She loves to get a book from the local library and take it to one of Gwinnett's many coffee spots. Outside of work you can find her fishing with her husband, going for a run, getting smoothies or hanging out with family.