A loan helped us grow our successful 6-year vegan pop-up into a brick and mortar.

Marie's story

I am a queer, Chinese-Singaporean immigrant who learned how to cook both from Michelin-starred restaurants and my aunties' treasured recipes. My partner Shane and I have been operating our Oakland-based small business (pop up and catering), S+M Vegan, for 6 years, and for the past couple years as I've gotten more homesick, and more unapologetic about where I come from, we have focused on cooking from my heritage.

The name Lion Dance Cafe 舞狮咖啡座 comes from my vivid childhood memories, while “cafe” pays homage to what neighborhood eateries in Singapore are often called.
As a child growing up in Singapore, witnessing martial arts schools driving around town to perform lion dances brought joy and excitement. The whole team, sitting in the back of an open pickup truck, would play their drums and cymbals to alert of their whereabouts, and with other young kids I would eagerly run outside in hopes of catching a show.

To this day, the sound of percussion still makes my heart pound and takes me back to that feeling of warmth and familiarity. I hope our cafe can elicit that same feeling in our guests -comfort for those who share my background, and excitement for those who don't.

This loan is special because:

It helps a business overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

Loan details


Industry: Food
Years in operation: More than 5 years
Website: smvegans.com


Lenders and lending teams

Loan details