Lola’s Cuban Food restaurant, located in the southern part of Fort Worth, is preparing to open its doors to customers. According to owner Liliam Morin, the restaurant has experienced significant growth since starting as a food truck business four years ago. The success of the business was aided by a low-interest loan from the CDFI Friendly Initiative, which has now helped them open a brick-and-mortar establishment.
Morin believes the loan was instrumental to Lola’s Cuban Food’s success, stating, “This is a large step for us coming from a food truck. It’s hard with the credit and the collateral that you need to secure a loan.” The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) initiative was created last year and has since provided $10.3 million in new capital to minority-owned businesses in Fort Worth.
Jeremis Smith, CEO of Legacy Construction Solutions, who builds homes in the Stop Six neighborhood, says the CDFI is geared towards helping underserved businesses and smaller companies. Smith is still working to secure some of the capital because it could help his company build generational wealth through offering residential units with equity to buyers.
Despite the process to borrow from CDFI being lengthy, Morin advises anyone looking to grow their business to give it a shot, stating, “Ask for help. That’s how we got here. We asked for help.” The initiative has provided a significant boost to small businesses in Fort Worth, particularly those in underserved communities.
CDFI Friendly Fort Worth provides more information about the initiative for those interested in learning more. Lola’s Cuban Food is the latest success story to emerge due to CDFI funding, and they hope to continue to grow their business in the coming years.