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
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.”
37 S. Moger Ave
Mount Kisco, NY 12508