Total loan: $10,000


Oakland, CA, United States / Food

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A loan helped our small business to purchase a catering van and build capacity to take our mission-driven catering business to the next level.

Shana's story

I grew up in Oakland, a student of fierce women: immigrant women, queer women, women of color and survivors, like my great grandmother Aghavne. Aghavne Jorjorian arrived to Oakland with her family decades ago as a refugee. A survivor of the Armenian genocide, she landed in West Oakland and started a small carpet restoration business. The business gave her and her family stability, which eventually gave me economic access and the opportunity to thrive in Oakland. In 2014 I launched Mamacitas Cafe with members of my chosen family because it is clear to us that lack of economic access, and systematic racism, is violently marginalizing too many of our sisters. Our family-business is made up of the same beautiful cross section of women that raised me: innovative women, women new to business, women who heal, survivors, elders and youth. Our collective lineage inspired us to build this small business and continues to lend urgency to why it must survive. At it’s core, Mamacitas Cafe is our prayer for Oakland. We believe now, maybe more than ever, we need inspired and empathic women to radically lead, heal and rebuild our communities. The young women of Oakland are the perfect people for the job, but we have allowed their brilliance to be neglected. We have ignored their voices and instead magnified their mistakes. Mamacitas Cafe is a critical space for us all because when all women can thrive economically and spiritually, the whole world will win! We are at an exciting moment in this vision. In spite of a deeply distressing climate for small businesses, our multi racial and intergenerational family business is miraculously growing in a way that is truly translating our dream into practice. But, we need more capital to invest in critical infrastructure that will make this enterprise sustainable.