This owner became passionate about Belgian waffles after trying them. She decided that she wanted to learn everything she could about how to make them. After going to Belgium for training for several months, she returned to the US and found a location for her shop on a busy street in Berkeley. A loan was made to build-out and redesign this location, a former pizza shop. Customers loved the waffles which came in different flavors–and with ice cream if you wanted it. This company continues to do well today.
We worked with this client from the very beginning to help her establish the business in the Marina district in San Francisco. The company had a vision of offering high quality daycare as well as overnight care for some pets. Their doggie daycare service was an immediate success and did so well that they decided to open a second location in Marin County. In addition to doggie daycare, they also do obdience training for a the dogs as a separate service. Loans were made to both of these locations for leasehold improvement and working capital. They have a well-known brand now in the area.
The owner was working as a stylist for another salon. An opportunity arose to buyout an existing hair salon nearby in downtown Alameda. But this location was quite dated and they wanted to modernize it and make it more contemporary looking for younger customers. A loan was made for leasehold improvement work. The owner was able to bring her existing customers with her and recruit other independent stylists. The salon has become very popular.
We made a loan to this business for renovation work to convert a small retail area into a take-out restaurant. After many struggles with the City’s permit department, the business was finally opened 1 year later. The restaurant specializes in BBQ food, beef ribs, chicken, and pulled pork and have become one of the more popular BBQ destinations in San Francisco, although it’s primarily takeout and delivery. The restaurant also makes excellent macaroni and baked beans.
This husband and wife team wanted to open a nail salon in mid-town San Francisco but needed more funds to complete all of the construction. We made a loan to help them with the final construction expenses as well as marketing. The exterior and interior of this salon is pink making it very distinctive and with a very feminine atmosphere. It’s a like a woman’s cave inside complete with a large stuffed bear. Needless to say, it has become very popular for women for nail services. They also do eyelashes.
A husband and wife team developed a restaurant business focused on their home-made sausages based on Greek and Italian recipes. The restaurant, in Petaluma, was extremely popular as people came to eat the sausages. However, although the business was successful, they had always wanted to make the sausages for wholesale only. They closed the restaurant and hired a co-packer to manufacture and package the sausages. They started to sell them to retailers and restaurants. Their efforts were set back by a fire disaster in Northern California and they were left with little cash to make more inventory. We made a Microloan to them for this. One year later, we followed this with a second loan as their business grew. Their sausages can be found in many Bay Area grocery stores.
This client approached us for a loan after having researched the recycling service market in San Francisco for 2 years. He was a recent immigrant from Hungary. He believed independent service that would collect recyclables in exchange for reimbursements from the state could be very successful. So after finding a good location and investing his own money, he came to us for a working capital loan. Three months later, this business had already reach the sales projected for the entire year. We continued to make additional loans to this client for more machinery and vehicles. He has become the top independent recycling center in the City.