20 in their 20s: Ted Montoya


Ted Montoya, 29

Caló Provisions, a Venice Mexican food vendor that specializes in pozole at L.A.’s Smorgasburg Sunday market.

Employees: 4

Financials: N/A

What led you to start your own business?

I am able to utilize my creative talents to not only contribute to the industry but progress it forward.

Where did you get the startup money?

I am privileged to have loyal partners, which include both family and old co-workers. My uncle gave me the startup capital as a loan, and since then, I’ve taken on a cousin of mine and some old pals as partners.

What’s been the biggest challenge so far?

As a growing small business and up-and-coming entrepreneur, the challenge has been taking up multiple responsibilities while still balancing my time with my wife and children.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

To carry myself with respect and loyalty.

How many hours a day do you put in?

I spend roughly 14 to 15 hours working almost every day. I do social media networking, which involves a lot of groundwork. I also have to create planning menus and organize event dates and staffing for each event. Then I also physically drive to and hand-select every ingredient I cook with; in L.A. traffic that can take quite some time. By the time I get to my prep space, some days it can be 8 p.m. But as far as I am concerned, I am always working. You cannot turn off creativity and determination.

Has your youth led to any awkward situations, such as when you supervise older employees?

Fortunately, I have not experienced those types of issues. Through hard work, I lead by example, which in turn makes my staff respect me.

Would you start another company?


Could you work for another person?

Yes, through collaboration and helping other entrepreneurs grow. As a business person, I understand lucrative opportunities and how

important it is to seize them when they present themselves.

What do you do to unwind?

I’ve played music for a long time, so I like to play

my guitar with my two sons or listen to vinyl records with them. I also love to eat at new restaurants with my wife.

– Howard Fine

No posts to display