Meet Our Latest Borrower: Maker’s Common

Patrick DugganSmall Business Clients And Success Stories, Small Business Loans

makers common

Maker’s Common is a combined eatery and retail market, located in Downtown Berkeley, from the team that created the popular Mission Cheese restaurant in San Francisco. The restaurant is opening in 2017, and the team’s plan for the space is to have — of course — tons of cheese, plus charcuterie, wine, bread, and beer to go. The restaurant portion will be in line with the offerings at Mission Cheese, but with an expanded in-house charcuterie program, family-style dinners, and more. At the core of their business is the community of Bay Area makers that the team seeks to support as vital to the economic, environmental, and social health of our country for a multitude of reasons. By sourcing almost exclusively from this community of small responsible producers, Maker’s Common advances healthier eating, more responsible land management, more economically resilient communities, more connected communities, and diversity in opportunities for working … Read More

Meet Our Latest Borrower: Preservation & Co.

Patrick DugganSmall Business Clients And Success Stories, Small Business Loans

preservation and co

Preservation & Co. offers a line of jams inspired by cocktails, and also cocktail mixes and pickled products. It was founded by Jason Poole in 2011, after he’d worked for 17 years in the service and hospitality industry. His passion for food got bigger and bigger, and he decided to start the company as a creative outlet. His grandfather was a farmer, so preservation of crops came as a natural interest. He decided to incorporate that with two sides of his life: working in a bar, and loving food. Since then, the company has really caught on and grown. In 2012 they won a national Bloody Mary competition, and were finalists for several Good Food awards. They started to be sold in major grocery stores, and over 600 bars and restaurants. With all of that growth, Jason needed to scale up and came to PCV for support. With PCV as … Read More

Meet Our Latest Borrower: Boba Guys

Patrick DugganSmall Business Clients And Success Stories, Small Business Loans

boba guys

Boba Guys offers artisanal boba and tea. The company brews real tea leaves and never uses powder. All teas are steeped in house. They have partnered with local producers like Straus Family Creamery to use organic milk and offer Califia almond milk or organic soy milk for non-dairy alternatives. For sweeteners, the company makes their own syrups from natural brown sugar. Boba Guys also offers Hong Kong Toast made with their own housemade buttercream. Boba Guys began in 2011 when owners Bin and Andrew worked together at Timbuk2 (another PCV company!). Bin and Andrew found they had the same upbringing despite their geographic and cultural differences: Bin from small-town Texas and Andrew from New Jersey. They bonded over lunch runs to the local small business boba shop in the Mission. One day, it closed down. After watching countless hours of YouTube videos about making the perfect cup of boba milk … Read More

Meet Our Latest Borrower: Red Door Catering

Patrick DugganSmall Business Clients And Success Stories, Small Business Loans

red door catering

Red Door Catering is a local business that supports local business. They work with local farmers and producers to gather the best organic, seasonal ingredients they can to make their food simply taste good. The company prides itself on composing new fusions to excite the palette as well as putting a fresh twist on the old favorites to satisfy the soul. Chef Reign Free has been in the kitchen since she was nine, seated on a stool beside her mother cooking traditional West Indian dishes for her family. As an entrepreneur, Chef Reign continues to push the envelope of customer service, community consciousness and innovative cuisine. Chef Steven Rubin grew up on Philadelphia’s Main Line and perfected his craft at a number of Bay Area establishments including Stars Restaurant. He also emcees Iron Chef competitions, traveling the country when time allows! Red Door Catering is a special event planner for … Read More

Meet Our Latest Borrower: Out Of The Box Collective

Patrick DugganSmall Business Clients And Success Stories, Small Business Loans

out of the box collective

Out Of The Box Collective is a certified B-Corp farm-to-table home delivery service. Founder Jennifer Piette had an international career in film before moving to Los Angeles in 2007. She was a screenplay writer for three more years before her passions for food, health, and the environment led her to start Out Of The Box Collective in 2011. They were one of the first companies nationally to specialize in sourcing local foods from not just farmers, but ranchers, fishermen, bee-keepers, artisans, vintners and more. Jennifer manages the daily operations, sales, and logistics of the company, while her husband Jason manages the accounts, deliveries, and web presence. Every week, Out Of The Box Collective provides a curated local selection of organic produce, pastured meats, artisan goods, meal plans, and recipes to households across Southern California. They prioritize buying local, organic or pesticide-free, GMO-free whenever possible, and sustainably produced foods. The company … Read More

Meet Our Latest Borrower: Scholastic Expeditions

Patrick DugganSmall Business Clients And Success Stories, Small Business Loans

scholastic expeditions

Scholastic Expeditions was started by Susan Schai in partnership with educators who sought to reimagine the traditional educational travel experience for students. Susan Schai began leading tours for U.S. middle school and high school students to Costa Rica, gradually adding Panama, Nicaragua and the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. Susan’s trips regularly sell out, and are designed to expose students to science, environmentalism, and principles of global citizenship. The goal of the company is to educate students in the complexity of conservation in today’s global society, support eco-tourism as a force against destructive economic growth practices, and encourage students to make responsible economic choices that positively impact local communities. Her business was growing year-over-year, but in 2015, Susan saw her revenues level off due to limited employee bandwidth. She contacted PCV’s Business Advising program, and has been working closely with PCV advisor Rebekah Helzel. Rebekah provided Susan with fundraising and hiring … Read More

Small Business Success: Kainbigan

Patrick DugganSmall Business Clients And Success Stories, Small Business Loans


Kainbigan is a minority-owned, female-owned Filipino restaurant and catering company in the heart of Oakland, California. Kainbigan’s success suddenly made their space seem cramped, so they needed to grow by purchasing kitchen space and catering equipment (including a van!) Kainbigan chose to work with our CDFI, Pacific Community Ventures, because after liquidating personal assets (and with a lack of family wealth to rely on), the business needed a loan to help support growth. Not yet bankable, they had also become overwhelmed by a high-interest loan from an online lender—and turned to PCV’s nonprofit small business lending program to find a way out. See what happened: In 2015, Kainbigan hired two full-time cooks, expanded their catering, and is planning the opening of a second location in Oakland.

Meet Our Latest Borrower: Goldilocks Bakery

Patrick DugganSmall Business Clients And Success Stories, Small Business Loans

pacific community ventures small business impact investing quality jobs

Goldilocks Bakery is a fast-casual Filipino bakery and restaurant with dine-in, to go, and catering options. Aside from offering lunch, dinner, and small plates, they sell delicious prepared baked goods and custom cakes for special events. Their South San Francisco and San Francisco locations are particularly well-known for special event cakes, and recently expanded their line of prepared packaged baked goods. Not as well known in the States, Goldilocks is a big name in the Philippines. The Bay Area’s Go and Yuzon families were the first to license the well-known Filipino brand and bring it to Northern California. The Go family’s first flagship store in Milpitas proved that the fast-casual concept that worked so well in the Philippines could indeed be replicated in the Bay Area, which boasts a burgeoning Filipino-American population. Since then, Goldilocks has spread throughout the Bay Area with locations in Concord, Mountain View, San Jose, and … Read More

Equator Coffees And Teas Named California Small Business of The Year

Patrick DugganPCV News, Small Business Advising And Mentoring, Small Business Clients And Success Stories

equator coffee

A major congratulations is in order for Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell at Equator Coffees And Teas. They’ve been selected as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Persons of the Year for California. This is the first time in the SBA’s 63-year history, that they’ve selected lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) business owners. A major milestone! Here at PCV, we couldn’t be happier for them. Helen and Brooke began working with us in 2007, where we provided them with pro bono business advising from a variety of experts. When we first started working together, they were trying to figure out how to both grow and get ready for equity investments without losing their social mission, commitment to sustainability and living wages, and their brand identity. And boy did they figure it out. In 2011, Equator was the first coffee roaster in the U.S. to become a certified B … Read More

Meet Our Latest Borrower: Batter Bakery

Patrick DugganSmall Business Clients And Success Stories, Small Business Loans

batter bakery

After two years of part-time “tinkering” and recipe experimenting, owner Jennifer Musty launched Batter Bakery in 2008. Since then, Batter has grown from a one-woman business to a full-fledged local bakery that’s made a name for itself alongside several iconic San Francisco favorites. During their first three years, Batter operated out of a shared commissary kitchen. After opening Batter’s first retail spot (a tiny kiosk on a corner of San Francisco’s Financial District), the company started to receive an overwhelmingly positive response from customers. Thanks to the loyalty of their regulars, Batter’s kiosk has become a sweet Financial District landmark. They also support the broader local economy here in the Bay Area. Batter sources all of its produce from local farmers, and use only what is in season. In 2011, Batter opened a brick-and-mortar kitchen and retail shop, which they operated as a joint concept shared with a fellow business. … Read More