Total loan: $10,000
Saint Peters, MO, United States / Food
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A loan helped fund the costs of re-opening my restaurant in a new location, and offer services to the community like music lessons and GED classes during hours that the restaurant is closed.
I was born and raised in the Chicago area by a single mom. There were nine of us altogether, so we never had enough of anything! My mom worked multiple jobs, including a night shift, to keep a roof over our heads. We didn't have much, but it taught me a lot about how to be creative with what we had, grateful for everything we received and tenacious about the things I want to achieve. I learned early on that I found great satisfaction in preparing delicious meals for my older and younger siblings. This led me to earn my degree in culinary arts at the age of 23. My life forever changed when my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2005 and died later that year. She taught me so much about hard work and the importance of family. In honor of her life and the values that she instilled in me and my siblings, I continue to work hard, provide for my family and pursue my dreams with everything I have. In 2016, while I was in the process of opening my first restaurant, my father, a retired Amtrak cook and a terrific home chef suddenly passed away. This was another tough blow for our family. Although I chose to close that location within its first year, every difficult lesson has presented a new opportunity for growth. Through every hardship, my dream of owning a restaurant has come into clearer focus. I won't stop until I achieve it.