Meet Our Latest Borrower: iThinkEvents

Patrick DugganSmall Business Clients And Success Stories, Small Business Loans

iThinkEvents is a comprehensive events management company founded by Gareth Gallagher in 2015. With offices in London, Singapore, and San Francisco, the team at iThinkEvents works to create events that are unimaginable until they happen, and unforgettable once they have. The business has seen tremendous growth since Gareth emigrated to the United States three years ago, securing contracts with Google, Rocketspace, and Coherus. In this time, Gareth has grown to a staff of 20, with plans of hiring on 6 additional employees in the coming year. All of Gareth’s employees are offered unlimited vacation time, and some receive health benefits. Even with all of this success, because Garteth is an immigrant he was having a hard time getting a loan to expand further — so he came to PCV. The business offers a variety of services – Event and travel logistics, finding venues, data management, and audiovisual production – in … Read More

Meet Our Latest Borrower: Tadu Ethiopian Kitchen

Patrick DugganSmall Business Clients And Success Stories, Small Business Loans

Tadu Ethiopian Kitchen is an Ethiopian restaurant located in downtown San Francisco. The owners, Selamawet (Nani) Tsegaye and Elias Shawel, are immigrants from Ethiopia and opened their first location in the Tenderloin District in 2014. Their dishes range from vegan chickpeas (kik alicha wot) to lamb and injera (firfir – lamb alicha banatu). Prices for dishes are between $9 and $15 and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. A true embodiment of entrepreneurial spirit, the couple has spent the past two and a half years working feverishly to grow their 10-table restaurant, expanding into catering and bringing on four employees. In this time, they’ve seen their revenues grow dramatically, and have become something of an institution within their local community. After seeing steady profits from Tadu Ethiopian Kitchen, Nani and Elias made the decision to grow their business by opening a second location, House … Read More

Meet Our Latest Borrower: Native Juice Co.

Patrick DugganSmall Business Clients And Success Stories, Small Business Loans

native juice company

Native Juice Co. is a juice and smoothie bar that specializes in fresh beverages made from local ingredients. The company also serves healthy snacks such as salads, wraps, avocado toasts, and soba noodle dishes. The owners support the broader local economy and local producers by sourcing all of their ingredients from Bay Area farmers’ markets as well as from a local farm in Petaluma that produces ingredients exclusively for them. Founded in 2013 by Caitlin Meade and Nicole Fish, Native Juice started off as a stand at two of the bay Area’s bigger farmer’s markets (Oakland’s Grand Lake and San Rafael’s Civic Center), and as a popoup on the corner of Montgomery Street and Pine Street San Francisco’s bustling financial district. After two successful years building up their name recognition and a loyal local following at this location, Caitlin and Nicole opened Native Juice’s first brick-and-mortar flagship location. And from … Read More

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.