Total loan: $5,000
San Diego, CA, United States / Food
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Leticia's loan finished fundraising,
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A loan helped to purchase fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods to cook and sell.
Leticia grew up in Mexico and dreamt of owning a business and home. She immigrated to San Diego 16 years ago, and before starting Paradiso Fruit, she worked for a local Panaderia, or Mexican bakery. The popular bakery was known both for its empanadas and the variety of healthier options, including gluten-free goods. This mother of six children is no stranger to hard work. Leticia helped scrub and clean at the popular bakery. While taking out the trash one day, she walked by another storefront and noticed that it was empty. “The shop looked trashed, the walls were collapsing,” Leticia shared. As she looked at the empty storefront, she felt inspired to create healthy food alternatives for her family and community. Back at home, her family enjoyed the baked treats that their mother helped create, but Leticia noticed a growing problem. “I was watching my kids get fatter and fatter,” she exclaimed. Setting up the new store was no small feat and was a community effort from the beginning. Leticia’s church jumped in to help. A church member created the beautiful murals that customers can now enjoy in the store. Another scraped and painted the store. Her son and another friend dragged junk from the store and reconstructed it. Leticia’s Kiva loan will help her purchase her initial inventory of healthy food. Customers can enjoy fruit salads, sandwiches and more nutritious meal options. Business is already growing. She shares, “Before this it was just Taqueria after Taqueria! People come in and thank me for the healthy options.” The current menu has been a success and Leticia will stick with what she knows. “People are looking for ways to be healthier,” she says. She plans to grow the new business, then open new stores and create more jobs for the community.