Loba Pastry + Coffee turns to crowdfunding loans to open new location in Roscoe Village

ROSCOE VILLAGE — The owner of Loba Pastry + Coffee in Lakeview hopes community support will help her finish building her new home in Roscoe Village by fall.

Owner Valeria Taylor announced last year that she was moving to a location at 1800 W. Addison St., near the Roscoe Village-Lakeview border.

Taylor is trying to raise $25,000 to $50,000 in small, funded loans through the Honeycomb Credit website over the next month to help cover construction costs.

Loan crowdfunding allows supporters to essentially invest in a business. As the business grows and generates revenue, the owner repays the investors with interest by the end of the loan term, according to the Honeycomb website.

Taylor raises funds with an interest rate of 10.25%. On Tuesday, she raised $28,600 from 18 investors using Honeycomb.

“Construction keeps pushing and the materials are very expensive,” Taylor said. “I feel like the big things are almost done and I have my new business license. I just need to make sure things are done and up to code so the health department can give us a shot. tomorrow.

Taylor planned to open in September 2021, but converting the old dry cleaners into a cafe and bakery took longer and proved more expensive than expected, she said.

After consulting with her architect, Taylor estimates it will cost about $225,000 to complete the redesign of Addison’s spot, she said. The $25,000 she raised through a GoFundMe last year to help cover the cost of the move and construction quickly dried up, she said.

“I didn’t have a complete idea of ​​everything that needed to be done to open this place,” Taylor said. “But once I made contact with an architect, that’s when I really understood all that needed to be done.”

Taylor has been able to cope with the pandemic disruptions in the restaurant industry through customer support, her GoFundMe and her savings, despite being told her business is “too small” to receive a financial aid, she said.

“While surviving the pandemic, I realized my options for funding were very limited,” Taylor said. “It was very upsetting for me, but luckily my clients, my community, they pulled through.”

Taylor relaunched the GoFundMe earlier this month with a new goal of $50,000. Taylor lifted $27,577 Tuesday. For the latest push to open the store, Taylor decided to research new financing options as well.

Credit: Provided.
A first rendering of what the finished cafe will look like at 1800 W. Addison St..

“The GoFundMe was a good place to start. And I had some savings and was able to get a little loan,” Taylor said. “But that estimate is why Honeycomb Credit loans are so important. is my last chance to complete the build.

Honeycomb came to Taylor’s attention after seeing another small business post about a successful social media campaign, she said.

“With GoFundMe, the model is, ‘Please give me this money, I really need it,'” Taylor said. “But with Honeycomb it’s, ‘Hey, do you have X amount of money you can spare? You will get one back. I think it’s really cool, and I hope it works.

Taylor is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, and moved to Florida in 2004 before coming to Chicago in 2010.

“Growing up in Mexico, food was always the centerpiece of any family gathering,” Taylor said. “You don’t just prepare a meal. You’re doing something to share with people, to have fun and have a good time.

After moving to the United States, Taylor realized she lacked that sense of community, which led her to become a pastry chef and open her own cafe and bakery, she said.

When it came time to choose a name for the company, Taylor remembered a podcast about reintroduced wolves in Yellowstone National Park. She said she was captivated by one of the wolf who was “absolutely badass”, a fierce hunter and warrior and the leader of her own pack who took in stray wolves.

“She just shattered all of the scientists’ expectations of what scientists thought a wolf could do, and I thought that was awesome,” Taylor said.

That experience — combined with Taylor’s childhood memories of her grandmother in Mexico warning her of wolves in the desert — led her to name the cafe Loba, which means female wolf in Spanish, she said. .

“Loba is a way to share my passions, the things that make me very happy,” Taylor said. “Sharing food with people from a neighborhood that welcomed me with open arms.”

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