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Big Mista's Barbecue Group
In this Group: Neil, Phyllis
Bigmista’s Barbecue is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team, Neil, “Bigmista”, and Phyllis, “Mrs. Mista”. It started out as a way for Neil to raise money for barbecue competitions he started doing back in 2006. He would cook lunches that Phyllis would then deliver to places such as Kaiser, Wells Fargo and LACOE.

The idea to compete came from the great guys Neil met on the BBQ Brethren Forum. After posting, reading and finding community on the site, he decided he wanted a BBQ smoker. At the time, they lived in a two-bedroom apartment. As competitions produced awards, so came more requests for Neil’s signature barbecue.

After a brief period of unemployment, Phyllis decided it was time to dedicate her time into expanding their talents into a business.

They started vending at the Watts Certified Farmers’ Market (CFM) on Saturdays in November 2008. With plans to grow slowly, they hit the road crawling. It never occurred to either of them that folks were getting ready for Thanksgiving and other holiday parties (who wants barbecue during the holiday season?). Sales were truly pitiful.

By February 2009, Phyllis had registered them into six farmers’ markets that Neil couldn't do because he was still with Wells Fargo. She explained to him that it didn't make sense for them to pay people to do what Neil wanted to do. He tried to talk his boss into letting him work part-time (afraid to take the leap). He came home disappointed that his boss said no. He was soon all smiles when Phyllis told him to go ahead and quit. It scared both of them, but they were stepping out on faith and good food.

Ever since then, Neil and Phyllis have put all their time and efforts into making their business grow successfully. The Kiva loan will allow them to open a full-service restaurant that would help to increase activity in all service areas of the business. It would also allow the company to increase its capacity to increase farmers' market presence.

Additional Information

More information about this loan

This loan is part of the Kiva City Los Angeles initiative in partnership with the Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Small Business and VEDC (Valley Economic Development Center). Kiva City Los Angeles is a subset of Kiva City, a program that allows Kiva lenders to make microloans to small businesses in the United States with the help of community organizations and U.S. Field Partners.  

Important Information

Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC) is a non-profit community development financial institution and the largest provider of loans for small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs in the Greater Los Angeles area. In addition to loans, it offers extensive training opportunities, workshops, consulting and small business support services.

This is a Group Loan

In a group loan, each member of the group receives an individual loan but is part of a larger group of individuals. The group is there to provide support to the members and to provide a system of peer pressure, but groups may or may not be formally bound by a group guarantee. In cases where there is a group guarantee, members of the group are responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members in the case of delinquency or default.

Kiva's Field Partners typically feature one borrower from a group. The loan description, sector, and other attributes for a group loan profile are determined by the featured borrower's loan. The other members of the group are not required to use their loans for the same purpose.


About United States

  • $54,800
    Average annual income
  • 12
    View loans »
    United States Loans Fundraising
  • $12,909,200
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • US Dollars
    Loan transacted in USD
Paying Back

This loan has been fully funded!

A portion of Big Mista's Barbecue Group's $10,000 loan helped a member to expand their catering services and eventually open their storefront restaurant.
29% repaid
Repayment Term
62 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Mar 24, 2014
Apr 6, 2014
Currency Exchange Loss: