Entrepreneur Cesar Sandoval is the creator of EthnicQuest, an online advertising company that connects Cleveland-based ethnic and immigrant-owned businesses with anyone seeking international products or services. Explore EthnicQuest on Global Cleveland HERE.

Cesar Sandoval’s family is originally from Spain, but he grew up in Mexico. He arrived in Cleveland with a student visa in 2001 to enter the MBA program at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). After completing his MBA, he began working for a business consulting firm and was able to stay in the United States, first on an OPT (optional practical training) visa, then on a NAFTA visa offered to Canadian and Mexican citizens. In 2010, Cesar was granted permanent resident status. He spent five years at a consulting firm, followed by a stint at Lincoln Capital, before branching out on his own as a business consultant.


As a consultant, Cesar traveled all over the world and although he was successful, he often found himself thinking about an idea originally conceived during his graduate studies. While at CWRU, Cesar noticed many international students from India, South America, and Europe looking for restaurants and businesses related to their ethnic background. He observed that the students shared their information primarily via word-of-mouth.

Cesar had kept the idea of creating an online method of searching for international businesses and services on the backburner while he pursued a professional career, but in 2014 – after ten years of development – EthnicQuest was launched. “It’s the only website of its kind in the market,” says Cesar. “There is nothing like it anywhere else, not even in large cities like New York and Chicago.” The website is a work in progress, and Cesar is working with developers to improve the speed and functionality of the search functions. Cesar notes that “We are currently collecting ethnic listings for Chicago, so in a few months the site will also have listings available for the Chicago Metropolitan Area.” Cesar’s new business can be a great help to newly arrived immigrants and international students who often seek a sense of community in the flavors and customs of their native countries.

Cesar enjoys exploring ethnic enclaves such as Slavic Village, Asia Town, and Little Italy, and named Saffron Patch as one his favorite picks from his website. For more information, please click here