As a divorced single mother of three, Pilar Gonzalez worked a variety of jobs to provide for her family, but magic happened when she stepped into the kitchen. Using her family’s recipes, she launched Dip it by Pilar — a line of gourmet yogurt-based dips made with fresh ingredients like cilantro, jalapeño, and chipotle — in 2006.
DipIt gained a loyal following within Pilar’s Mission, Texas community. But after she won second place in H-E-B’s Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best in 2014, the grocery giant introduced her dips to new customers and stores across the state. Backed by the contest winnings and an SBA-approved bank loan, Pilar was able to move DipIt operations from her home to a manufacturing plant in 2016.
When Pilar approached the SBA for another small business loan in YEAR, they referred her to LiftFund in McAllen, Texas. Through LiftFund, Pilar was able to secure a $20,000 small business loan and purchase the refrigerated box truck needed to deliver her products to H-E-B. Today, six DipIt varieties can be found in over 250 H-E-B locations throughout Texas and several stores in Mexico.
Even after she received the loan, Pilar worked closely with the LiftFund team to overcome financial obstacles, access training programs, and learn how to protect her company in any situation. That support helped Pilar adapt her business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than shut down, Pilar implemented strict new safety measures for her employees, acquired new equipment, and is on track to expand her production in the coming year. Pilar hopes to bring DipIt to at least one other big supermarket chain in the future, but, for now, she is proud to lead a company that inspires other women entrepreneurs, encourages culinary connections, and brings opportunities to her community.