Changing Lives and Communities

What We Do

UPAC’s Neighborhood Enterprise Center is an innovative social enterprise; a revenue generating program with a mission. NEC provides mentorship, training, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for underserved and diverse youth living in City Heights and Southeast San Diego. To achieve its mission, NEC operates the Neighborhood Café and Catering business and Writerz Blok Print Shop. Youth receive training in all aspects of NEC and have opportunities for employment in one or all of our business endeavors. With a focus on underserved youth, NEC builds employment opportunities around school schedules to encourage all youth to achieve their academic goals. All revenue from our business operations goes back into training and hiring at risk youth. The Neighborhood Enterprise Center also serves as a multi-cultural community hub, where local residents can receive assistance with Medi-Cal enrollment, CalFresh applications, Mas Fresco, and shop in our weekly Cultural Food Pantry.

The Center consists of these components:

  1. The Neighborhood Café: A full service dine-in or take-out café that features cultural dishes reflecting the different ethnic groups in City Heights.
  2. Catering with Heart: Chef Eddie and his talented team provide unique dishes for large and small events, from a business or social luncheon to a formal sit-down dinner.
  3. Writerz Blok Print Shop: Our print shop has state-of-the art equipment to produce banners, window signage, t-shirts, stickers, tote bags, buttons and much more using your own design or one created by our youth. We also offer mural consultation and production.

Additional NEC Resources:

  • The Community Gathering Place is available for meetings, trainings, workshops and more for a nominal fee.
  • Cultural Food Pantry

Our Team

NEC Team


Dante Dauz, Director, Community Engagement and Business
Eddie Gochicoa, Chef/ Kitchen and Catering Manager
Joe Fraser, Enterprise Center and Programs Manager
Jose Venegas, Writerz Blok Print Shop Manager
Peaceful Land, Assistant Manager

5296 University Ave., Suite A&B
San Diego, CA 92105
Phone: (619) 255-7644

Thank You to Our Funders

Major Partners

City of San Diego
Price Philanthropies
San Diego HHSA

Program Partners

AT&T, AT&T InspirAsians and AT&T Pioneers | Bank of America | Blue Shield of CA | City National Bank | Comerica Bank, Community Reinvestment | Dan & Louise Groszkruger | Iwanaga Penrose Fund | JP Morgan Chase & Co. | New World Ltd. | San Diego Gas & Electric | S. Lew & Associates, Inc. | The Parker Foundation | Union Bank | Wells Fargo

Gold Partners

Connie Matsui | Irwin & Daisy Hom | Ito Girard & Associate | Scott & Candi Drury | Trott Properties

Green Partners

Caroline Winn & Michael Manry | Citi Bank | Claire Reiss | Dan & Lisa Hom | Dennis & Elaine Otsuji | Minh Nguyen | Robert Brothwick | San Diego Chinese Women’s Association