A loan of $5,000 helped buy a sign, platters, domes, and materials to refresh my store, driving new customers to the shop, and current customers to new items.

Mike's story

Growing up in Charlotte, NC, I always dreamed of moving somewhere more exciting. Charlotte is fine, and in the years since I've developed a fondness for it, but at 18 I wanted out.

I went to school in Boston, far enough away that I couldn't be asked to come home every weekend (not that my mother ever would have done that), and for my junior year, I decided to move to Spain to immerse myself in the language and culture. Shortly before I left, my mother was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, which proved terminal in less than two years. She insisted I go abroad, but thankfully I was home in time to say my goodbyes.

Apart from doing a great deal to shape my perspective on the world, my mother left me with, as I put it to my wife recently, enough money to make some mistakes, but not enough to not worry about the consequences. With that in mind I used my inheritance very sparingly, waiting for the right opportunity. The extra money allowed me to pursue different options, even if they were not very lucrative.

I found myself always coming back to restaurants in some capacity, and in 2008, I enrolled in the pastry arts program at L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, MD. After successfully completing the program, I spent the next five and half years gaining experience as a cook, barista, and manager, in various restaurants and cafes, before opening my own business in 2011, financed in part by my inheritance.

I hope to turn this one shop into a restaurant group of four or five independent concepts that all add variety and value to the neighborhoods they are in.

Loan details

About Flying Fish Coffee and Tea

Industry: Food
Years in operation: 3 years - 5 years
Website: flyingfishcoffeedc.com


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Loan details