Homemade Meals Fueled a Dream and Created a Community
The Buttered Tin, a critically acclaimed neighborhood bakery/restaurant is serving up fantastic food and helping to reinvigorate a neighborhood and invest in community.
Two passionate young women entrepreneurs, Alicia Hinze and Jennifer Lueck, shared a love of the restaurant business. Jennifer had worked on the floor and behind the scenes of many popular Twin Cities restaurants. Alicia, a creative and talented pastry chef who had attended Le Cordon Bleu’s Patisserie and Baking program and even appeared on The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.They dreamed of opening a bakery/café in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood, a previously blighted area that was experiencing a resurgence.
They were thrilled when they received a loan and grant from the city because the project met the criteria of “economic development activity that could add to the revitalization of the surrounding low-income community.” But, when the pair went to obtain a bank loan, they were shocked that a number of banks turned them down because they didn’t want to take a chance on a startup.
“We actually thought our dream might not happen,” says Jennifer. But, one kind loan officer referred them to Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), a Community Development Financial Institution that provides small business loans to those who have trouble accessing traditional capital. CRF was impressed by the pair’s experience and the projected community impact of the business, which included 9 – 12 new jobs to be filled by people from the local community.
The Buttered Tin opened in June 2013 and the investment exceeded expectations in its first year – raving reviews from the media and public; lines of hungry diners waiting for a table; and 30 new jobs mostly filled by people from the surrounding area.
So the next time you’re considering where to go for a delicious lunch or weekend breakfast, head over to the Buttered Tin and let Alicia and Jenn know you’re a proud supporter of the Ours to Own movement. We can’t promise any discount, but we think it’s a safe bet that you’ll leave satisfied.