LAURA’S FAMILY RESTAURANT: Keeping the Flame Alive

 

“I am incredibly proud of my restaurant and how far it has come. I work tirelessly because I’m truly happy every day when I wake up and go to work. None of it would be possible without support from friends, family and Community Capital New York.”

 

 

NIKKI KAELBER, OWNER

SUPPORT PROVIDED:  Small Business Loan

IMPACT: Woman-owned business, 5 full-time jobs and 2 part-time jobs created or retained, urban neighborhood revitalization

BUSINESS BACKGROUND

With new restaurants popping up all over the Hudson Valley, residents in Poughkeepsie are thrilled to have one of their longest standing eateries, Laura’s Family Restaurant, back on the block. The establishment, formerly named Southside Café, was owned and operated for 27 years by Nikki Kaelber’s mother and step-father who sadly died within 18 months of one another. “I have worked in the restaurant business my entire life. I started working at Southside Café when I was 12 years old – even while I ran my own paralegal firm, I bartended at night” notes Kaelber. The tragic loss of her parents gave Nikki the courage to quit her day job, pursue her passion and continue her family’s legacy. What she lacked was access to capital.

HOW WE ARE HELPING

“Nikki worked with our colleagues at the SBDC to complete her business plan and get loan ready. The plan, along with Nikki’s entrepreneurial drive and lifelong experience in the restaurant business made her a strong applicant” said Fernando Ahumada, VP of Lending at Community Capital New York. The approved loan helped Nikki complete the purchase, rebrand the eatery as Laura’s Family Restaurant (in honor of her mother) and open the doors in February 2019 to a loyal client base. In fact over 60% of patrons are repeat customers. She notes “we have a very strong lunch business so in the coming year I want to focus my marketing efforts to grow the dinner and bar crowd.” She adds, “I am working with local food and beverage producers to expand the menu while also serving up the comfort food classics that Poughkeepsie’s families have come to love and expect.”

COMPANY INFO:

Laura’s Family Restaurant
@laurasfamilyrestaurant
Hudson Plaza – Route 9
2585 South Road
Poughkeepsie, NY

 

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Miller's Touch

MILLER’S TOUCH CLEANING SERVICES INC.

Miller's Touch

 

 

At Community Capital New York, I’m part of a family.  They are truly an asset to the entrepreneur.  I’m not a number to them.  They came to me when I needed them and are helping me build.  I am living my dream.”

 

 

LATREECE MILLER, OWNER

SUPPORT PROVIDED: Small Business Loan

IMPACT: Minority-owned business, 23 full-time jobs created or retained, urban neighborhood revitalization

BUSINESS BACKGROUND

From Beacon to the city and back, Latreece Miller commuted daily to his full-time job as the Director of Environmental Services at a major NYC hospital. On those long train rides he dreamt of taking his 20 years of experience and pursuing entrepreneurship. Latreece recalls, “I wanted the opportunity to create my own destiny.” In 2011 he took the first step to launch Miller’s Touch Cleaning as a part-time business and in 2015, he took the leap, resigned from his job, and put his entire focus on building his dream. Today Miller’s Touch Cleaning Services delivers a full range of quality cleaning services to medical, residential and commercial building offices in Westchester, the Hudson Valley and NYC areas.

HOW WE ARE HELPING

“When our colleagues at Hudson Valley Credit Union introduced us to Latreece it was clear that his business was already well on its way. He had 22 commercial clients and was looking to secure a loan to expand operations” notes Fernando Ahumada, VP of Lending at Community Capital New York.  Armed with a small business loan, Latreece now has the working capital in place to hire additional staff, improve marketing and fund new operational costs. As his staff expands, Latreece comments “I am not in my business alone. I’m in with a group of people who feel like they are partners and family. I always try to find out what their needs are. You can pay people money, a high salary, but they have to feel like they are part of something and they will grow with you.”  

COMPANY INFO:

www.millerstouchcleaning.com
255 Route 17K, Suite 204
Newburgh, NY 12550

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REB Sports Complex

REB SPORTS COMPLEX: Let the Games Begin

REB Sports Complex

 

“When I first started, I didn’t have the business history to secure a traditional bank loan. Community Capital New York was there for me. I am so grateful for this opportunity.”

 

 

 

RICARDO ESQUIVA, OWNER

SUPPORT PROVIDED: Small Business Loan and QuickBooks Training

IMPACT: Minority-owned business, one full-time and one part-time job created or retained

BUSINESS BACKGROUND
“I’ve been playing soccer for as long as I can remember” says Barcelona born Ricardo Esquiva. So imagine how he felt when an old furniture warehouse measuring 18,000 square feet became available in Pelham Manor. Having operated and managed his family’s auto detailing business for most of his professional life, this was his chance to take that business acumen and pair it with his lifelong passion. “As a recreational player myself, I know there are very few indoor, turf fields in Westchester” says Esquiva. He adds “as year-round league play for kids and adults continues to grow, there’s opportunity to capitalize on strong demand for a comfortable, well maintained turf facility.”

HOW WE ARE HELPING
“When I first started, REB Sports didn’t have the business history to secure a traditional bank loan” noted Esquiva. But through an on-line search of business lenders in Westchester he thankfully connected with Julieta McPherson, Vice President of Lending at Community Capital New York. A small business loan helped fund start-up expenses and literally lay the foundation — a turf field — for the launch of REB Sports Complex. In the coming year, several local youth soccer leagues have already secured space at REB Sports.  “We are also hosting open play time, organizing monthly adult leagues and marketing REB Sports to lacrosse, softball and other team sports – really anything that is played on grass.”

COMPANY INFO:
REB Sports Complex
www.rebsportscomplex.com
5 Canal Road
Pelham Manor, NY 10803

 

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MIMI’S COFFEE HOUSE: What’s Brewin’ at Mount Kisco’s Newest Java Joint

Mimi at her new cafe

Owner Mimi Wieland-Tesfaye at her new cafe, Mimi’s Coffee House

I came here from Ethiopia in 1995 with two, five dollar bills, a backpack and tons of dreams. Not once but twice, Community Capital New York believed in my ideas and helped me create an even better plan to realize these dreams. Community Capital New York has been my dream-catcher.

MIMI WIELAND-TESFAYE, OWNER

SUPPORT PROVIDED: 3 Small Business Loans, 2 Educational Scholarships

IMPACT: Minority and woman-owned business, six full-time and four part-time jobs created or retained

 

BUSINESS BACKGROUND

Mimi Tesfaye is no newcomer to the restaurant business. She has owned and operated award-winning Lalibela since 2010 – a Mount Kisco eatery serving up her native Ethiopian fare. “Back then I used credit cards and help from friends & family to get the doors open but it was a loan from Community Capital that really took the business to the next level,” recalls Tesfaye. Fast forward 8 years when Mimi came back to us with Part II of her dream: to open a coffee house a few doors down from Lalibela. Filling a market void in Mount Kisco, her java joint would embrace key concepts behind “third wave coffee shops” that include use of direct trade beans, sustainable/compostable products, innovative brew methods and of course savory, healthy organic and gluten-free food options to complement your caffeine.

 

HOW WE ARE HELPING

To realize her vision CCNY worked with Mimi to better understand the competitive landscape in Mount Kisco and sharpen her business and financial plans. “We also extended a scholarship to Mimi so she could work with The Acceleration Project, one of our partner organizations, to fine-tune her marketing strategy” notes CCNY’s VP of Lending, Julieta McPherson. These business advisory services helped her secure a CCNY loan that was used to for equipment, leasehold improvements and working capital needs.  On what she has learned since opening in early January, Mimi notes “the local business community has been so supportive – wanting to engage in a variety of cross-marketing opportunities. I am also overwhelmed by the pent-up demand for an independent coffee house like mine.
I am so grateful.”

COMPANY INFO:

37 S. Moger Ave

Mount Kisco, NY 12508

facebook.com/mimiscoffeemk

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KAFFURY DESIGNS: Great Ideas, Simple Solutions

 

 

At Community Capital I found the bi-lingual support I needed. My instructor Julieta is always there to keep me focused on the action plan, teach me new skills and help me take the next step.  I am proud to be a small business owner.”

VIVIANA KAFFURY, OWNER

 

 

SUPPORT PROVIDED: Spanish Language SCALE training program, educational scholarship and 2 small business loans.

IMPACT: Minority and woman-owned business, urban revitalization neighborhood, one full time job created or retained

BUSINESS BACKGROUND
Colombian born Viviana Kaffury moved to the United States in 2004, excited to begin a new life and pursue her entrepreneurial dream – to launch her own marketing and communications firm for Latino businesses. But with a language barrier, limited financial resources and few trusted advisors, getting her business started wasn’t easy. Kaffury recalls “I started by going door to door and meeting Latino business owners in my neighborhood. The local deli was my first client that needed new business cards. I could tell there was a business opportunity to assist small, Latino businesses with digital, print and other marketing solutions but I needed a better plan than going door to door.”

HOW WE ARE HELPING
She wisely invested in her own education and enrolled in Community Capital’s free Spanish language SCALE training program. Noting “I worked with my instructor Julieta to complete an Action Plan” Viviana concluded “I also met other Latino business owners in my SCALE class who have become my clients.”  Upon graduation, Community Capital continued coaching Viviana to strengthen her strategy and her credit so she could qualify for a loan to purchase state of the art digital equipment and grow her business.  Today Kaffury Designs offers digital, print and marketing services along with “Kaffury Magazine,” a Spanish language periodical that targets the Latino business community.

COMPANY INFO:
New Rochelle, NY
www.kaffury.com

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WILD LEA FARM LLC: The Hudson Valley’s Newest Kids on the Block

 

“Working with Community Capital has provided us access to capital for infrastructure, equipment and livestock. They helped us design a flexible repayment plan that works with the growth and projected income stream of our agricultural livestock business.”

ALEXA BERKO AND JUSTIN SEELAUS, CO-OWNERS

SUPPORT PROVIDED: Small Business Loan
IMPACT2 full time jobs created or retained, support of NYS sustainable agriculture initiative

BUSINESS BACKGROUND
Alexa Berko and Justin Seelaus have always had a passion for agriculture, animal welfare, ecological consciousness and land re-generation. “I grew up in central New Jersey farm country and met Justin while studying conservation and wildlife management. We spent the first part of our careers working for vegetable and dairy farmers” Lexi remarked. So when Obercreek Estate offered them 30 acres of rent-free pasture and barn space to raise livestock, in exchange for grazing services and pasture management, they knew it was an incredible opportunity to create Wild Lea Farm, a local source for grass fed, naturally raised goat, lamb and mutton products. Lexi recalls “we had some personal savings but needed additional funding to realize our vision: to promote the humane treatment of animals, animal health and sustainable farmland.”

HOW WE ARE HELPING
“Lexi and Justin presented a strong business plan that showed rising demand, particularly for pasture raised goat meat in NYC up through the Hudson Valley. We crafted a loan that would provide startup capital and a flexible repayment plan to help during their initial breeding cycle” notes Fernando Ahumada, Senior VP at Community Capital. The loan allowed Wild Lea to purchase breeding stock and produce a small spring herd that was sold at the 79th Street green market in NYC. “Demand was incredibly strong. Wild Lea was the only lamb and goat vendor at the market and in a 7 week period we depleted our meat inventory” said Lexi. Looking into the next breeding cycle they expect to double their livestock and also supplement seasonal meat sales with wool and hide product merchandising.

COMPANY INFO:
61 B New Hamburg Road
Wappingers Falls, NY

https://www.wildleafarm.com/

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WARES: Small Batch Shopping in the Hudson Valley

“Community Capital was absolutely instrumental in launching my business. They were able to provide me with working capital that allowed me to comfortably start my business. Their advisors made what seemed like a daunting process of acquiring a small business loan smooth and incredibly straightforward.”

ANDREA PODOB, OWNER

SUPPORT PROVIDED: Small Business Loan
IMPACT: Woman Owned business, 1 full time job created or retained

BUSINESS BACKGROUND
It’s no secret that the arts-rich town of Beacon, NY has emerged as a hub for consumers seeking ethically sourced, sustainably created and locally produced goods. However, many of these producers are small, independent designers so Andrea Podob took her artistic talent, retail savvy and entrepreneurial spirit to open Wares, a boutique that offers an affordable way to connect small batch and emerging designers with these consumers. Designers are charged a monthly fee and in exchange, Andrea merchandises the items and provides ongoing, real-time feedback so the designers can make product and inventory adjustments. All sales revenues revert back to the artisans – no commissions are charged. Andrea notes “Wares is just as much about supporting small-batch designers as it is about offering consumers an ever changing selection of apparel, home goods and jewelry.”

HOW WE ARE HELPING
“Andrea’s challenge was securing financing to fund startup expenses such as leasehold improvements, display furnishings and working capital. “I had some personal savings to invest in the business but since Wares was a start-up and I had limited collateral a bank loan was simply not in the cards” Andrea remarked. “I connected with Community Capital who supported me through the loan process so I could launch my business.” Six months later foot traffic is building and goods are being sourced from local and “far-flung” designers alike. Andrea also notes “it’s gratifying to be part of a strong, collaborative arts community in Beacon that cares deeply about supporting small, emerging and independent creative talent.”

COMPANY INFO:
2 Tioronda Avenue
Beacon, NY
http://www.warestheshop.com

 

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JAEGER HAUS: A Love of Food, Hospitality and the Hudson Valley

“We were blindsided by many of the building requirements that cost more than expected in terms of professional fees, equipment and landscaping. Community Capital was able to get us the necessary funding in a timely manner so we could meet our November opening goal.”
EMILY CARVAJAL and ANDREAS NOWARA, CO-OWNERS

SUPPORT PROVIDED: $125,000 Small Business Loan
IMPACT: 50% Woman Owned business, 2 full time and 6 part time jobs created or retained

BUSINESS BACKGROUND
What happens when you’re able to self-fund the creation of your dream restaurant but then you hit a major unanticipated construction snafu? In the case of Jaeger Haus, three family members who also happen to be experienced chefs and restaurateurs had a vision for an authentic German restaurant in the heart of the Hudson Valley. They wrote a compelling business plan, purchased a former eatery and started renovations. However, deep into the project they discovered the building needed an entirely new septic system to accommodate the planned bathroom expansion. “We had exhausted our savings and needed a loan to get over the hump and open,” recalls co-owner Andreas Nowara.

HOW WE ARE HELPING
“This is a huge obstacle for many start-ups who simply lack enough operating history to qualify for a conventional bank loan” says Fernando Ahumada, Sr. VP of Lending at Community Capital. She adds “Community Capital saw opportunity and extended a $125,000 loan to fund the remaining start-up costs.” Jaeger Haus opened in November and continues to grow in popularity due to its top notch cuisine and the fact that the neighboring towns of Red Hook, Rhinebeck and Germantown each have roots in German-American culture. Furthermore, by using local meat suppliers, farm produce in season and Hudson Valley brewers to supplement traditional German selections, Jaeger Haus is earning the respect and loyalty of its community for helping to fuel other businesses in the area – a perfect recipe for success!

COMPANY INFO:
5084 NY Route 9G
Tivoli, NY
www.jaegerhaustivoli.com

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ELDER’S AUTO SPA: Tender Loving Care For Your Car

Community Capital helped us create an Action Plan and identify our target market so we can continue to grow. Three years later we are still working with our instructor Julieta who continues to guide us every step of the way.”
EUGENIA ZACARIAS and ELDER RAMIREZ
CO-OWNERS

SUPPORT PROVIDED: Credit Builder Loan, Spanish language SCALE business training graduates
IMPACT: Woman and Minority Owned business, 5 full time and 3 part time jobs created or retained

BUSINESS BACKGROUND
Eugenia Zacarias and Elder Ramirez are hardly newcomers to entrepreneurship as both have owned and/or managed small businesses for over a decade. So not surprisingly, when the two met and Elder was managing a local carwash, they recognized a market opportunity: to open a custom “auto spa” providing elite levels of service to owners of specialized, high-end vehicles. They took their professional backgrounds, hard work ethic and personal savings to launch Elder’s Auto Spa but it didn’t take much time for them to realize that they needed more than money to grow. “We needed business advice and help to create a growth strategy” remarks Eugenia.

HOW WE ARE HELPING
We enrolled in a Spanish language business training program and three years later we are still working with our instructor Julieta who continues to help us zero in on our target market and implement our Action Plan” says Eugenia. In addition to coursework and financial education, Community Capital’s VP of Lending, Julieta McPherson notes “we extended a credit builder loan to fund equipment purchases and improve their credit – a factor that will become increasingly important as the business grows.” Since opening, Elder’s has doubled in size, grown from 2 employees to 5 full time and 3 part time employees and now operates 2 garage bays. “Our dream it to open a third bay and possibly purchase a mobile unit to make house-calls. Community Capital has been with us every step of the way” says Eugenia.

COMPANY INFO:
25 S Bedford Road
Chappaqua, NY 10514
Lower Level at The Mobil Station

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MEGABRAIN COMICS: A Neighborhood Respite For All Ages

“We had a very clear vision of what we wanted our shop, Megabrain Comics to be and Community Capital gave us the means to bring our vision to life.”

ALEXANDRA AND JEAN MICHEL, CO-OWNERS

 

SUPPORT PROVIDED: Small Business Loan
IMPACT: Woman and Minority Owned business, one full-time employee

BUSINESS BACKGROUND:
A love for comic books and the entrepreneurial desire to own a “destination” shop in the community where they reside drove this husband and wife team to launch Megabrain Comics. The journey to create a profession out of a passion began nearly 10 years ago for Jean Michel when he wrote and self- published the comic book, American Dark Age — an experience that helped him gain a foothold in the growing comics/graphic novel industry. Coupled with his wife Alexandra’s business acumen and her lifelong connection to Rhinebeck the duo are leveraging their backgrounds and recently opened Megabrain Comics. Jean Michel notes “today most kids only know about comics through movies. They come here and we offer them a deeper, literary dive into their favorite stories and characters.” For adults, the market is often driven by nostalgia and/or a passion for collecting. For all patrons, Jean is ready to find a back issue or curate the newest titles

HOW WE ARE HELPING:
Using personal savings, the Michel’s secured a prime location in the heart of Rhinebeck but still needed additional capital to fund the remaining startup expenses. Senior VP Fernando Ahumada says “ I worked with Jean and Alexandra to firm up their financial plan and create a road map so Community Capital could extend a small business loan.” Since opening in December sales have grown steadily. A separate activity space has also been created to offer board games that can be rented on an hourly basis. “We’ve created a clubhouse feel – a safe place where people can read, play, put their devices down and engage with one another” says Jean.

COMPANY INFO:

www.megabraincomics.com
20 Garden Street
Rhinebeck, NY

 

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