Small Biz Story | Mamacitas Cafe

Small Biz Story | Mamacitas Cafe

Borrower Stories, CNote, Small Businesses
A Different Startup, With a Quirky Mission Mamacitas Cafe, a specialty coffee and baked goods retailer in Oakland, is different. A lot of other coffee shops may say the same. Be it their brewing methods, the coarseness of their grind, or the music heard playing in the background, this cafe is on a mission to elevate women of color.  This coffee shop offers it's employees professional training, community building, and the ability to directly take part in day-to-day business tinkering and planning. Impact First. Profit Second. As with any coffee shop, Mamacitas Cafe was not immune to the challenges of a newly formed business. From payroll, equipment purchases, and construction to the unexpected removal from a commercial space it took serious commitment and foresight to stick to their guns and…
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Small Biz Story | Z011 Coffee Roasters in San Francisco

Small Biz Story | Z011 Coffee Roasters in San Francisco

Borrower Stories, CNote, Small Businesses
A whole new coffee experience For San Franciscans, coffee drinking has become a ritual and an experience to be savored. And discovering coffee shops offering new flavors, aromas, and brewing methods has become a popular pastime in the city. In 2015, Belen and her husband decided to offer a completely unique coffee drinking experience to the San Francisco coffee-loving community. Combining their passions for baking and coffee, they opened Zo11 Coffee Roasters on Fillmore St. While starting the business meant a major step into the unknown, Belen believed that because they were doing what they loved they would be able them to face and overcome any challenge together. And they did exactly that. A founder driven by passion "Follow your passion" became Belen's compass to navigate. And for Belen this meant…
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Borrower Story: Prospect Cleaning Service in NYC

Borrower Story: Prospect Cleaning Service in NYC

Borrower Stories, CDFIs, CNote
Community lending - Helping small businesses grow Running a small business is a huge challenge. Even with the best laid business plan and capital to spare, if you want to follow the long road to success you are going to need some help. Be it financial planning or access to skilled employees, a small business’ ability to leverage this help is critical to surviving and growing. We spent time with Prospect Cleaning Service to learn more about their experience working with the Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF), one of CNote’s CDFI partners. EGF worked with Propsect's owner, Ingrid Murray, to help her get her business positioned for sustained growth and financial success. Her story illustrates that CDFIs do a lot more than just cut a check for borrowers--they invest in their long-term success. …
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Small Biz Story: MAFIA Bags, a small business with big ideas about sustainable design

Small Biz Story: MAFIA Bags, a small business with big ideas about sustainable design

Small Businesses
MAFIA Bags is more than just a series of stylish, functional, and sturdy bags, totes, backpacks and accessories. It is a company which represents community and cohesiveness around two inspirational goals. To give new life to materials and to transform the way we do business. Started in 2012 by brother and sister Marcos and Paz Mafia, MAFIA Bags began with an idea to upcycle used sails into backpacks. Their idea originated from the need for a durable backpack to carry their wetsuits while traveling to surfing locations around the world. And since day one, as they have perfected the design, MAFIA Bags has also fostered the tradition of community by bringing on friends and employing locally to scale the business. Even as the business has expanded from their hometown in…
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