Total loan: $9,500


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Roxbury, MA, United States / Food

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A loan helped the First Black Owned Beverage in New England to expand our manufacturing.

Richard's story

My name is Richard I’m originally an immigrant from Jamaica. Food is ingrained into my culture, so coming to America it was natural that I gravitated towards the food industry. Growing up I worked a variety of different positions from a cashier, to cook, to a Sous chef, and finally landing my first management position as a Restaurant Manager at the Holiday Inn. Working at the Holiday Inn, I focused on refining my management skills, and people skills. After 4 years, I left the Holiday Inn to work as a General Manager for a Poke shop. I built my own team of employees who I treated like family. I am a hands-on manager so I asked my employees to do what I was more than willing to do for myself. Fast forward 10 years I’ve used my cultivated knowledge as a seasoned General Manager to create what is now Smile Drinks. Smile Drinks is not just a beverage company, we are much more. Smile is about promoting a positive energy throughout our community. Giving back is part of our foundation; Every month we collect donations & provide food and necessities to the less fortunate people in the Boston area. With the expansion of our business, we intend to create jobs and provide a second opportunity for these people. My hope is that with the growth of my business I can raise awareness about the growing homeless population, and their lack of available assistance. My intention is to encourage change within my community and beyond.