A loan of $5,000 helped open a locally-sourced worker-owned restaurant in the Old Town Artisan Village of Berea, KY.


Ali's story

I am a 38 year old single mother of three. I was born and raised in East TN and moved to Berea, KY one year ago. I have been living in poverty and on state assistance for the last 8 years, since leaving a marriage that included domestic abuse and addiction; I wanted to create a healthy living situation for my family. Since moving to Berea, I became involved with Ben Ibershoff, Brett Hetzell and David Dinsmore and began pursuing this idea of a worker-owned cooperative restaurant in which we were all equal members who would equitably share ownership/managerial/operations responsibilities AND profits from the business.

The worker-owned cooperative model is incredibly appealing to me as a way to combine our efforts and skills and provides a holistic approach to our "work." We are able to create the kind of environment that meets our collective needs: healthy foods purchased from area farmers to serve to our community in a space that nurtures our families and the local music and art scene. This truly is the light at the end of the tunnel for me as a path out of poverty and a way to be truly self-sufficient.

I have applied for and received a United Way Back On Track small business ownership incentivized savings grant, in which I save $1000 and it is matched with $4000. I am scheduled to be able to access these funds in August. Even on a bootstrap budget we have been able to do a lot with little resources. We have the support of our community and with this business are striving to stimulate our local economy to ensure our money stays in the place where we live and work. This how I want to raise and provide for my family.



Loan details


About Village Trough

Industry: Food
Years in operation: New Business

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Loan details