Investing in Community and Culture

Investing in Community and Culture

When Minneapolis College alum Roberto Palma received his Community Health Worker Certificate in 2016, it introduced him to a network of supportive faculty and staff at the College along and a curriculum that taught him the basics of good health and how to link people to health care and social service systems. 

Passionate about improving access for underrepresented groups, Palma leveraged the new information he gleaned to make a difference in his community. His background in finance and consulting and the bachelor’s degree he earned in banking in finance while living in Peru, his birthplace, created the perfect combination for his path forward. 

Investing in Children

One of the opportunities Palma saw in his community was how good childcare centers didn’t always know the business side of the work. He began consulting with childcare centers, creating a replicable administrative approach for finance, compliance, and staff development. “Taking on the administrative services allows centers to focus on what they are good at, taking care of children,” said Palma who witnessed an increase in business during the COVID-19 pandemic when childcare workers were considered essential along with other professionals. “Childcare centers had to become increasingly creative during the pandemic and our services supported their ability to respond to the needs in the community with ease.”

At the same time Palma was consulting on the administrative side of childcare centers, he invested in the first Spanish immersion childcare franchise in Minnesota, developing a turn-key franchise model center which he ultimately sold it to an investor. 

Investing in Native Culture

Just as the Spanish immersion childcare center brought his native language to children, Palma’s latest venture brings his culture to Minnesota through food. Created in partnership with two other fellow Peruvian families, K’kinaco Nikkei & Pisco Bar allows guests to dive into an unforgettable culinary Nikkei journey where the vibrant flavors of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine blend seamlessly to form it. The restaurant brings the finest Nikkei dining experience, paired with an exclusive selection of handcrafted Pisco cocktails. 

“There has been no formal Peruvian restaurant representation in Minnesota for 14 years,” said Palma who aspires to give people a place to gather and understand the flavors of Peru at K’kinaco. “Our restaurant offers classic sushi rolls, nigiris, and traditional maki, among ceviche, tiraditos, causas, and other signature Peruvian dishes along with unique, never-seen-before, creations and Pisco drinks.” 

Palma balances family responsibilities alongside his business ventures and encourages everyone who crosses his path to pursue their dreams. “If you have an idea, don’t postpone action” said Palma who believes there are many opportunities to leave behind a trail of positivity. “Take your idea and create a plan because you don’t know what will happen until you put something into practice.”

Palma recalls his graduation from Minneapolis College one of his most memorable experiences because his children were present, and to this day remember their shared experience. “My graduation was an inspiration for my children,” said Roberto, who alongside his family, values education. “My certificate from Minneapolis College enabled me to see things differently and bring ideas to life that support our community while keeping my culture at the forefront,” said Palma.

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