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Success Stories

Boon Boona Coffee Overcomes Rejection to Bring More Than Just Coffee to Seattle

Situation

Efrem Fesaha started Boon Boona Coffee in 2012 after he took a trip to Asmara, Eritrea that changed the course of his life. Fesaha returned from the East African country with newfound joy, passion, and a desire to share the experience of coffee with Seattle. Fesaha pitched his theoretical business idea to banks, hoping to get the funding he needed to open a café, but he his applications for loans were denied at every bank he visited. Fesaha didn’t let the rejection stop him. When he realized he didn’t have enough capital for his café, he adapted his plan and began selling high-quality, responsibly-sourced green coffee beans from Ethiopia for East African communities in the Seattle area. Although Fesaha has a background in finance, he found himself with more questions than answers when it came to starting and running his business.

Solution

Fesaha turned to Bernard Bossom,... Read More

Bellingham Bakery Utilizes SBA Resources and PPP Loan to Spread Joy Through Cake

Since a young age Andi Vann has had a fascination with baking, the science that goes into it, and the self-proclaimed world’s biggest sweet tooth. Vann earned a degree in psychology and worked in the field for four years before turning to business ownership. In 2008 she started Pure Bliss Desserts, a one-person baking operation in a leased kitchen at a friend’s café. In 2010 she had the opportunity to make her dream of having a storefront come true by taking over the café and making it her own. Working 100-hour work weeks, Vann thought that she might have to give up her other dream of one day having a family. Vann struggled with the business side of managing employees, delegating tasks, and trusting that her team would perform their jobs the “Pure Bliss” way as they had been trained. By 2018, Vann purchased the building and continued to grow the business until the pandemic arrived. Vann... Read More

Seattle Chef Uses SBA Assistance to Grow Business and PPP Loan Keeps Business Open During Pandemic

Situation

In 2010, after spending more than a decade in the restaurant business, David Boyd lost his mother and he wanted to do something that would make her proud. David completed culinary school where he developed a passion for organic food and sustainable living. He wanted to find a better way to source foods that would positively contribute to people’s lives and wellbeing. In 2016, he took a leap of faith and started Down to Earth Cuisine, wondering if he had what it takes to be a business owner.  

Down to Earth Cuisine provides personal chef services including in-home weekly customized meal preparation service, private dinners, and cooking classes. Chef David specializes in custom menu planning with an emphasis on dietary restrictions and organic, non-GMO foods that are sustainably sourced. 

When the pandemic hit earlier this year, Chef David... Read More

Tacoma Security Company Grows into Multi-million Dollar Company with SBA Certification

Founded in 2003 by Owner/CEO Cy Oatridge in Tacoma, WA, Oatridge Security Group (OSG) provides protective armed and unarmed security staff and a wide range of security services to government and commercial entities. To keep costs down and avoid taking on debt, from 2003 to 2017 the business operated out of an office space of about 250 square feet where the three members of upper management directed work. During that time, OSG was profitable and increased employee count each year. Although OSG saw steady increases to profitability and staff each year since opening in 2003, by 2010 they were generating less than $1 million in annual revenue. Oatridge knew he wanted to grow the business by competing for government contracts and he needed a way to get his foot in the door.

Solution

In 2010 OSG enrolled in the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, a nine-year government... Read More

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