Big Mista's Barbecue Group
The idea to compete came from the great guys Neil met on the BBQ Brethren Forum. After posting, reading and finding community on the site, he decided he wanted a BBQ smoker. At the time, they lived in a two-bedroom apartment. As competitions produced awards, so came more requests for Neil’s signature barbecue.
After a brief period of unemployment, Phyllis decided it was time to dedicate her time into expanding their talents into a business.
They started vending at the Watts Certified Farmers’ Market (CFM) on Saturdays in November 2008. With plans to grow slowly, they hit the road crawling. It never occurred to either of them that folks were getting ready for Thanksgiving and other holiday parties (who wants barbecue during the holiday season?). Sales were truly pitiful.
By February 2009, Phyllis had registered them into six farmers’ markets that Neil couldn't do because he was still with Wells Fargo. She explained to him that it didn't make sense for them to pay people to do what Neil wanted to do. He tried to talk his boss into letting him work part-time (afraid to take the leap). He came home disappointed that his boss said no. He was soon all smiles when Phyllis told him to go ahead and quit. It scared both of them, but they were stepping out on faith and good food.
Ever since then, Neil and Phyllis have put all their time and efforts into making their business grow successfully. The Kiva loan will allow them to open a full-service restaurant that would help to increase activity in all service areas of the business. It would also allow the company to increase its capacity to increase farmers' market presence.
More information about this loan
This loan is part of the Kiva City Los Angeles initiative in partnership with the Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Small Business and VEDC (Valley Economic Development Center). Kiva City Los Angeles is a subset of Kiva City, a program that allows Kiva lenders to make microloans to small businesses in the United States with the help of community organizations and U.S. Field Partners.
Important InformationValley Economic Development Center (VEDC) is a non-profit community development financial institution and the largest provider of loans for small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs in the Greater Los Angeles area. In addition to loans, it offers extensive training opportunities, workshops, consulting and small business support services.
This is a Group Loan
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This loan has been fully funded!