A loan of $3,500 helped hire a contractor to physically expand my storefront allowing me to have more space to display my products in the customer service area and install new baking equipment in the back.

Maria's story

I was born in Peru and lived there until the age of 29. I grew up without my parents, but was raised by my grandmother and uncles who instilled in me a hard work ethic and strong sense of community/family. I completed my secondary school education and earned a business administration degree in Peru. Soon after graduating, I gained valuable experience in the food industry working as a restaurant manager for about 8 years.

I arrived in the U.S. in 1998 and stayed with friends in Florida. One of the most striking things for me was the high cost of living in the U.S. I was able to find work at a restaurant as a waitress, but after giving birth to my first child in 2001 and the 9/11 attacks I struggled to find work. In addition, if I did find employment, I did not have someone to take care of my baby . As a result, I decided to move to Boston where one of my uncles lived. However I faced the same issue of not having someone to take care of my baby while I went to work. After much thought, I decided to go back to Peru and enrolled in baking courses with the goal of making cakes from home. I decided to go to Peru because I was not familiar with any courses here in the U.S. and at the time my English was not very good. The decision to go into baking was driven by wanting a source of income while also raising my family.

This decision has turned into a passion that allowed me to return to the U.S.

Today I am the owner of Bella Cakes -- , a small bakery that officially opened in August of 2009. One of my biggest dreams is to grow Bella Cakes beyond a small business. I envision Bella Cakes being a source of employment for my community because I understand the importance of having access to work in order to raise a family. I want the Bella Cakes stores to employ at least 100 individuals.

Loan details

About Bella Cakes

Industry: Food
Years in operation: 3 years - 5 years

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details