By Patrick McCallister
For Hometown News
Ana Rosa-Randolph came to town with a family secret: her father's seasoning recipe perfected in Puerto Rico.
"(Abraham Rosa) sold it to the locals and he sold to small businesses, business to business," she said. "He had a restaurant."
Ms. Rosa-Randolph owns Abraham's Seasoning, one of about a dozen upstarts at the University of Central Florida's Business Incubator at the Daytona Beach International Airport, 601 Innovation Way.
"This seasoning is moist - it's a rub," she said. "All the ingredients are fresh."
Abraham Rosa moved to Florida in the 1980s, and the family talked him into labeling his seasoning and selling it.
"We sent a shipment to Tampa and someone was going to help us market it." Ms. Rosa-Randolph said.
Then the ocean he loved so deeply claimed the devoted fisherman in 1990, ending the effort to acquaint America with his seasoning.
"He dies - everything stops," she said.
Except for the family making the secret seasoning, which kept gaining fans.
"He had given me the recipe," Ms. Rosa-Randolph said. "I kept making it - giving it to friends and teaching my children. We weren't making money; we were giving it away."
And like her father before her, the family was urging Ms. Rosa-Randolph to sell the seasoning.
She was already an entrepreneur and her son, Axel Rosa, a Rollins College grad, had a business degree. Her daughter, Anachristina Randolph, had advertising and marketing skills. The elements for a family business were well in place. But where to start?
Ms. Rosa-Randolph ran into Doris "Connie" Bernal, the business incubator's Daytona Beach site manager at a chamber of commerce meeting.
"I said, 'I want to finish what my dad started, to flavor the world,'" Ms. Rosa-Randolph said.
At the end of August, Abraham's Seasoning moved into the incubator. The younger Mr. Rosa said the new company is looking to locate its manufacturing near the DeLand Municipal Airport or Orange City. He estimated Abraham's Seasoning could draw about $5 to $10 million to Volusia County in five to 10 years. One idea of the business incubator is to create jobs in the county.
"I'm thinking 13 to 14 (employees) in five years," Mr. Rosa said.
In 2010 the Volusia County Council approved $1.4 million to renovate a 10,000-square-foot facility to house the business incubator. Additionally, the county gave the university $750,000 to run it for three years.
"The business incubator is a place to start a company," Ms. Bernal said. "The entrants have a lot of resources to work with here. They have professionals who help them with a number of areas."
Ms. Rosa-Randolph said she thought she knew everything about business, until she got into the business-cultivation program.
"The incubator has tremendous resources, from angel investors to market research" she said.
"Angel investors" are affluent individuals who seek to invest in smaller start ups, and refer other investors to them, too.