Success Stories

More than a Restaurant: Creating Jobs and Help for Refugees

The Café received an SBA 504 loan for $445,000 to provide long-term, fixed financing to purchase equipment and relocate a restaurant to an older building on the edge of downtown Louisville, KY. There are 39 employees at the restaurant; approximately 22 jobs were created by an SBA 504 loan.

“We absolutely could not have pulled this off without the help of the SBA and the bank” said Sal Rubino. “The loan officer at the bank along with folks at the Certified Development Company (CDC) completely walked us through the process of obtaining the SBA loan.  It was their dedication and support that ultimately made our dream come true."

The Cafe is more than just a restaurant. Forty year restaurant veterans Sal and Cindy Rubino, co-owners of the restaurant, are all about MORE.  They are committed to giving patrons more than expected on the plate and more than expected in hospitality and service. But, it does not stop there. More than 70% of The Cafe's staff is either refugees... Read More

Brief description of the business:  Brittney Howard sought financing to launch a brand new business. She and her husband, Marcus, had recently relocated from Flint, Michigan to Louisville, Kentucky. Brittney was considering new opportunities. After working in the automotive industry in Flint, she decided to become a restaurant owner and developed a plan to open her own franchise. The Howards secured a small business loan through CEI 7(a), also known as C7a. Brittney then opened Freakin’ Unbelievable Burgers, a new fast casual restaurant that had its original location in Flint. She and Marcus became the first franchise operators for the company.

SBA Assistance: An SBA loan to purchase the franchise through C7a, a non-bank lender licensed by SBA to participate in the SBA 7(a) loan guaranty program.

Number of employees: 12

Response to adversity or problems: The Howards relocated to Louisville from Flint, Michigan in 2015. Brittney had spent 11 years working in the... Read More

Business Description: Greg Lyles, a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant, started a barbeque company with his son, Chandler, who also served in the USAF. Greg and Chandler both transitioned out of the military in 2013. That same year, Greg and his wife, Jennifer, attended a Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot Entrepreneurial Program offered by SBA at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas, where they were stationed. Greg and Jennifer Lyles used the entrepreneurial knowledge gained by participating in the SBA program to form Lyles BBQ Company, LLC in 2014.

Lyles BBQ is the result of a hobby gone full-time. The family had always enjoyed barbequing, and when a fundraising opportunity arose, they decided to sell BBQ, based on Jennifer’s family recipes, as a way to support a good cause. This small fundraiser turned into several catering jobs, which evolved into a Lyles BBQ food truck and eventually to restaurants in Nicholasville and Lexington, KY. They recently... Read More

Robyn Stuart

Description: Founded in 2008, DB Bourbon Candy, LLC offers many different flavors of bourbon filled candy, liqueur filled truffles, chocolate-covered fruit, a dessert bar for special events and gift baskets. The business specializes in bourbon balls, a recipe created by CEO Robyn Stuart’s mother, Johnnye S.Cunningham.

In its short life, DB Bourbon Candy has enjoyed tremendous success, placing product at high profile events such as the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, the Breeder’s Cup, a U.S. Presidential Inauguration and numerous other events. DB Bourbon Candy is also the official candy of the Kentucky Derby Festival, a 6-week series of events leading up to the running of the Kentucky Derby each May.

DB Bourdon Candy is a women owned, veteran owned and minority owned business. Product has also been placed in Kroger and Liquor Barn stores in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the U.S. 

SBA Assistance:  Robyn Stuart has received small business consulting... Read More