Business Boom

Angela Brooks

Tucker is undoubtedly one of the fastest-rising business destinations in the Metro Atlanta area.  Each month, the Business Boom will seek to show different examples of how Tucker’s business scene is flourishing. This month's column is written by our Business Outreach Coordinator, Angela Brooks.

Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as a week-long celebration in the U.S. In 1988, President Regan extended it to a full 31 days – Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 which coincides with the National Independence Days of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Mexico celebrates on the 16th, Chile on the 18th and Belize on the 21st. Tucker is home to many Hispanic and Latin-owned businesses that range from food to transportation services to wholesaler–all bringing jobs and commerce to the area. In this issue, we shine a spotlight on two business owners who have replanted their roots here in Tucker.

As a kid, Cleunice Bretas was sure she was going to be a doctor in her native Brazil. But medical school is expensive, and her family was poor. However, she wasn’t going to let that dash her dream. She heard from relatives that America was a land of plenty, so she came here to save every dime possible and go back to Brazil to study.

“I had no intentions of staying,” she says. “I came here with a very decisive goal…to save enough money to maintain me [through] medical school.”


Fast forward 16 years, and it was mission accomplished and time to go back. Just as she was preparing to leave for Brazil, her then-employer convinced her to remain in the U.S. by sponsoring her work visa, making her stay legal.

“Once I got my visa, I made a deal with myself. If I’m going to stay, I’m going to live my full self – not just make money and put it aside,” she says. “I started to invest in me.”

During her years at that company, Cleunice had become a very valuable asset and worked her way through the ranks to food management. Despite her loyalty and stellar performance, she found that she had hit the infamous glass ceiling. “I felt suffocated,” she says. Still, she wasn’t going to let it deter her ambition.

“In the back of my mind, I always thought about having my own business, but I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it,” Cleunice says. This desire grew as she found herself in situations where she disagreed with management decisions, and she soon exited the company.

“Don't give up. You have to understand the core of what you want and ignore the noise around,” she adds.

After taking a year to recharge, she took the plunge, purchased BreadWorks International, and hasn’t looked back. “I put every single dollar I had into it, and we went from $133,000 in sales to 1.5 million in three years. We're still growing.”

Cleunice has around 30 employees in her unassuming 15,000 SF facility where she produces a variety of tasty handmade bread and rolls for commercial clients.

As a teenager, Lizardo Galvez came from Guatemala to the United States for a vacation. He so liked what he saw and experienced that he decided to make this his new home. With a background in architecture, he started working with a local company doing measurements for construction jobs. After working his way up to Shift Manager and learning how to program the latest machinery, he decided that he was ready start his own company, UCS Granite. He began in Conyers in 2020 and in 2021, when he needed more space, he moved his operations to Tucker.

“It’s a not a bad drive from where I live in Lawrenceville, and Tucker proved to be a convenient location for the labor force that I need to pull from,” Lizardo says. “Conyers was too far outside the perimeter, and people weren’t willing to drive that far to work.”

Obviously, having granite in the company name is somewhat of a tip-off as to its areas of specialization and expertise. “We are a leading company in this area for the stone industry,” Lazardo says. “Granite is one of the most popular stones for kitchen and bathroom countertops, which is a good portion of our business, but we also work with marble, quartzite, and quartz.”

They also do custom cabinetry, and with both residential and commercial customers they supply everything from the selection of materials to installation.

Lizardo is primed to grow the company already. “I am looking to hire right now,” he said. He currently has five employees and expects 2022 revenues to come in between $400-500K.

Go to for more information about the company’s products and services.

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