Small Business of the Year Winners Announced

Small Businesses of the Year Service Division – Luna’s Restaurant

Juan Luna’s family moved to New York from the Dominican Republic in 1971. When Juan was 13, he and his four brothers became “cabana boys” on Long Island and were eventually promoted to dishwashers. Thus, Juan¹s restaurant career was born.

After working as a busboy, waiter and in management positions for several New York City restaurants, Juan and his eldest brother opened a Cuban restaurant at Columbia University. The idea to open a restaurant just before the 1996 Olypmics prompted Juan and his brother Albert to open Luna Si on Peachtree Street in Atlanta.

Two years later, he met his wife Frankie Reeves and moved to Gainesville. Juan and Frankie bought Cafe Julius in 1997 and Luna’s Restaurant was established.

In February 2001, the restaurant expanded by opening Gainesville’s premier piano lounge. Located across from the restaurant in the Hunt Tower, the lounge features nightly entertainment and a fully stocked humidor. Since the opening of the piano lounge, Luna¹s dining business has doubled. Luna’s Restaurant, Hunt Tower, 200 Main Street in Gainesville. 770-531-4102.

Small Business of the Year Industry Division – USA Production Parts

USA Production Parts, winner of the Greater Hall Chamber’s Small Business of the Year (Manufacturing Division), was organized in 1998 by the shareholders of Unique Tool & Bending. Dick Treadwell is president of the company which is General Motor’s sole supplier of glass run channel window retainers (the tracks that car windows slide into).

For year end, USA Production Parts had a growth in sales of 933% and an employment growth of 233%. With a total of 32 employees, the company had over $10 million in sales last year.

USA began with one press purchased at an auction. Today, the company runs 23 presses and was recently awarded GM’s Tier I Supplier Status allowing them to bid on any parts production for GM plants in North America. They have already begun to quote new programs for GM’s 2003 and 2004 car and truck platforms.

USA Production Parts is located at 2314 Centennial Circle in Gainesville. 770-503-9696.