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Café Blends Healthy Juices in Mattapan

Grants and Technical Assistance available to help Boston small businesses grow

By Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist


Small businesses in the City of Boston have a wealth of resources available to help them start and grow.  In addition to support from the SBA resource network – Boston-based business owners can access free trainings, technical assistance and grants from the local government.

As the owner of the building at 1290 Blue Hill Avenue in the Boston neighborhood of Mattapan, Denise O’Marde needed a little assistance and took advantage of available resources to transform her idea into reality.  


Storefront improvement grants available from local government
The big obstacle for O’Marde was updating her building to conform to modern food service standards.  In order to bring the building up to commercial code with the city’s inspectional services department, O’Marde learned that she had to replace all of the plumbing in the building from PVC piping to cast iron. 

Support by the City of Boston’s Office of Economic Development and Dorchester Bay Economic Development helped O’Marde finance the plumbing renovation and storefront improvements needed in order to open.

O’Marde met Business & Design Services Manager, Steven Rumpler who helped her discover all of the resources available from her local government, including the ReStore Boston program.  She learned Café Juice Up was eligible for the ReStore Boston storefront improvement program, which reimbursed small businesses up to $5,000 in a grant to upgrade their storefront signage – and up to $7,500 for façade improvements.


Simple application and quick turnaround for SBA microloans
In order to pay for the storefront improvements, O’Marde was introduced to Dorchester Bay Economic Development, where she took out a $28K microloan to pay for all of the construction services to upgrade the building and signage.

Denise O'Marde


“Dorchester Bay was extremely helpful and the process was really simple too,” said Founder and Owner Denise O’Marde.  “They ask for a lot of stuff. They ask for projections and what we’re making on a monthly basis - but we have a great accountant, so he put together all of the paperwork.”


The application process with Dorchester Bay Economic Development took about one month to turn around and get the funds released.  O’Marde credits to DBED staff Johnny Charles, Brenda Guerra and Anthony Ciavattone for walking her through the application process and making it easy every step of the way.

Today, Café Juice up has been sustaining revenue and building a following in the local community and through online delivery services.  O’Marde is now planning the next phase for her business – renovating an outdoor terrace that will allow customers to connect, relax and enjoy a healthy smoothie!




Participating SBA Microlenders in Massachusetts


Accion USA
10 Fawcett St., Ste. 204
Cambridge, MA 02138
Service Area: Statewide
Common Capital Inc.
4 Open Square Way, Ste. 407                        
Holyoke, MA 01040                              
Service Areas: Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden Counties & parts of Worcester.
Community Teamwork, Inc
Merrimack Valley Small Business Center
165 Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Service Areas: Essex and Middlesex

Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation
594 Columbia Rd., Ste. 302
Dorchester, MA 02125
Service Areas: Lower Roxbury and Dorchester
Economic Development Industrial Corporation of Lynn
Lynn City Hall
3 City Hall Sq., Rm. 307
Lynn, MA 01901
Service Area: City of Lynn
Fall River Office of Economic Development
139 South Main Street, Suite 400
Fall River, MA  02721
Service Area: City of Fall River
Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation
Schrafft’s City Center
529 Main Street, Suite 201
Charlestown, MA 02129
Service Area: Statewide
New Bedford Economic Development Council
1213 Purchase St., 2nd Fl.
New Bedford, MA 02740
Service Area: City of New Bedford.
North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation
860 South Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
Service Area: Franklin County, Worcester County, Middlesex County.
South Eastern Economic Development Corporation
80 Dean St.
Taunton, MA 02780
Service Area: Barnstable, Norfolk, Bristol, Plymouth, Dukes, Nantucket Counties

Company Name: 
Cafe Juice Up