Total loan: $5,875
Santa Cruz, CA, United States / Food
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I grew up in a place and time where small business was all we knew. In the process of becoming an entrepreneur in my hometown, I often think back on the locally-owned places that have shaped my perspective of business. Some of these places still exist, tucked into neighborhoods among Targets and Starbucks'. Along with the warm and familiar feeling of home, what I still find in these places is a sense of reliability, quality and care. I do not have a general disdain for big box business, and am not poised against that type of growth for my own, but I do appreciate that the importance of quality and service has been ingrained by a town that has supported its entrepreneurs with passion and intent. I left home for almost 10 years, from San Diego to Humboldt County for college, possessing some sort of unidentified entrepreneurial spirit. Instinctively, I developed a past time of analyzing markets; my thoughts formed in the framework of business plans, and I would draw mental plans at the sight of vacant spaces. Upon moving home, I met my partner, Michael, working at a local café. It was clear when we met that his drive and know-how paired with my creativity and communication skills would serve well in starting a business. We spent the next 6 years building a family and essentially relying on random jobs to get us to the position, financially and mentally, to take the leap. Three years in, we find ourselves right where we want to be; supporting our family by doing what we love in a community that appreciates us. Mindful growth is our agenda for the future, and we’re starting to realize that that steps we take on the route to success are meant to be enjoyed as well.