How being laid off led to a new career for one Mesa business owner

In Mesa, AZ, a woman who had worked in corporate America for nearly two decades found herself without a job when the pandemic hit. Marina Flores, with bills to pay, had to find a creative solution to make ends meet. That’s when she turned her side hustle of making shave ice into her full-time job.

For four years, Flores operated from a trailer, building her dream and forming partnerships with local schools to support their students and programs. Instead of charging schools to come, Flores made money from the students and then gave them a percentage of the profits. This helped her grow her business and connect with her community.

Now, after years of hard work and perseverance, Flores is opening her own brick-and-mortar shave ice store near the area where she grew up in Mesa. This new chapter in her life is a testament to the idea that there is always something good to come out of challenging situations.

Flores hopes that her journey will inspire entrepreneurs of all ages to bet on themselves and pursue their passions. Despite losing her job in her 40s, she was able to start a new career and build a successful business from the ground up. Marina’s Fresh Fruit Shave Ice will be a place where the community can come together and enjoy a sweet treat while supporting a local entrepreneur.

By Samantha Johnson

As a content writer at, I craft engaging and informative articles that aim to captivate readers and provide them with valuable insights. With a background in journalism and a passion for storytelling, I thoroughly enjoy delving into diverse topics, conducting research, and producing compelling content that resonates with our audience. From breaking news pieces to in-depth features, I strive to deliver content that is both accurate and engaging, constantly seeking to bring fresh perspectives to our readers. Collaborating with a talented team of editors and journalists, I am committed to maintaining the high standards of journalism upheld by our publication.

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