Total loan: $10,000


Brunswick, ME, United States / Services

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A loan helped us buy a new espresso machine. Espresso drinks are consistently our highest growth item. Growing our coffee sales will help us make improvements to our cafe.

Paul's story

I grew up in an industrial town, my dad a fireman and my mom, the center of our universe. No frills, lots of family and friends, our church down the street. I was an alter boy, a crossing guard, and a boy scout. I started drinking coffee when I was seven, in my grandmother's kitchen. Coffee has been at the center of my life ever since. After college, many jobs, and a career as an Outward Bound instructor, I found myself as an economic development specialist in Midcoast Maine. Toughest job I ever had, and, the most thankless. After four years of that, I wanted very badly to go out on my own. I figured that it just couldn't be any more difficult than my then present situation. The coffee shop in our town moved off of Maine St. My wife and I wrote a business plan and convinced a bank to lend us $86,000 to open our own coffee shop. We opened in January 2005 and had twins in November 2005. I would go to to work at 4:30 am, come home between 7 and midnight, often stay up all night with our kids, take a shower, and return to work at 4:30 the next morning. 7 days a week, 363 days a year. We made no money at first and lived off of our retirement savings from previous jobs. We make enough now to pay our bills and raise our kids as two hands-on parents. I'd always hoped to expand to several shops, but life and business got in the way. With twins and a 7 day a week business, I think of no more than making our lives and businesses the very best they can be, for us, for our kids, and for our community.