Eddie Cruz, a Guatemalan-born immigrant in New York, was envious--of the Chinese, the Portuguese, even the Israelis. Each of those groups had a local telephone directory in its native language. But not New York's Spanish-speakers, despite being the city's fastest-growing ethnic group. So in 1998, Cruz published the Spanish Yellow Pages USA. Cruz's 25-person company, Hispanic Media Group USA in Great Neck, N.Y., has since distributed 200,000 copies of the 600-page directory, amassing annual ad sales of $2.5 million. His next move: expand to Miami and Los Angeles. He'll be competing with existing publishers, but Cruz, 30, figures the Hispanic market can handle one more.
By Naween A. Mangi