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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Borrower Story: Roberto’s Winds & Michiko Studios in NYC

Borrower Story: Roberto’s Winds & Michiko Studios in NYC

Borrower Stories
Finding the space to create While New York City is overflowing with artists and creatives, one thing the city is always short on is space. This is especially true for musicians who need rehearsal spaces that are both affordable and acoustically sound. That’s where Roberto Romeo (pictured) saw a tremendous opportunity to expand his small business and support the community of local musicians. As the owner of Roberto’s Winds for more than a decade, Roberto had established a reputation as the premier retailer of woodwinds in New York City. With a showroom and shop known internationally, musicians travel from abroad to purchase instruments and accessories from Roberto, to view his high-end saxophone collection, and to hear his stories after 35 years in the the New York music business. Getting the…
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Borrower Story: Meet Fany Gerson with La Newyorkina

Borrower Story: Meet Fany Gerson with La Newyorkina

Borrower Stories, CDFIs
La Newyorkina is a fan favorite in New York City. Found at kiosks, carts, and coffee shops in the East Village and a retail store out of Brooklyn, its authentic, tasty frozen treats and sweets from Mexico are a special treat in the heat of NYC summer. After making tens of thousands of satisfied customers happy, La Newyorkina was ready to bring their goodies to even more people and expand into other parts of the city. And then Hurricane Sandy happened. The expansion was stalled indefinitely. Fany Gerson, the founder of La Newyorkina, did not give up. She continued with her plans for growth and was even preparing to ramp up the business for the next season. But she needed capital and needed it quickly. “If we had to wait…
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