Owner: Edith Gárcia
Business: Mission Soccer
Address: 2435 Mission St. #2
Type: Retail
Product: Soccer equipment, accessories and apparel, plus trophies

What gave you the idea to start your business?
Fútbol has always been more than a sport for our family — it is a way for us to express who we are and, more importantly, it is a way of life. Whether it was seeing my father and other family members play when I was young or even seeing my young son enjoy the game, futbol is a way for generations to communicate with each other. It is a foundation that helps tie my family together.

What has your experience been opening a business in the Mission?
Our experience has been a very positive one, as we have seen genuine interest in our products and are seen as an outlet for soccer lovers that reside in our community. We have found that it is a very supportive community, even tying together our Latino and non-Latino residents. While it has been a slow start for our business, we find that there is a strong need for our services in the community.

How does your business/business idea relate to your life?
As I have mentioned earlier, fútbol is a way of life that has brought my family together. My 6-year-old son currently plays soccer at school and shows an ever-growing interest in the sport. I hope that through my business I can foster a love for the sport and create a community in the Mission for this wonderful sport.

Why should potential customers invest in small businesses?
Small businesses are the life and blood of this neighborhood. While I am a relatively new venture in the Mission, I am bringing to this community a complementary business that helps preserve and bring our communities together. Not only with my store, but I think people should invest and support small cultural businesses like mine that help the Mission feel like home.

Where do you see your business in five years?
I hope to be able to grow my store within the next five years. I would love to be a cornerstone of the community and help our Mission families meet all of their soccer needs, so that they can continue practicing and playing this sport that we all love. I want to be able to grow and be the go-to store for all soccer-related equipment and supplies. Eventually, I would like to take my concept and serve the entire Bay Area via an online store, and maybe even other locations.

What do you love about the Mission?
I love the atmosphere and feel of the Mission – it has always felt and been a home to Bay Area Latinos. There is a strong sense of community and belonging here; unfortunately I feel like our community is slowly changing, as even the Mission Street commercia; corridor feels less busy. I still love the business, however, as it has been my home for many years and will continue to be as long as there are Latinos that call the Mission home, as I do.