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Garrick

Mason Catering Services Inc.

Brooklyn, NY

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Personal Story

My name is Garrick and I was born 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica West Indies. I always dreamt of being an entrepreneur and finally managed to start that dream at age 38.

In March 2011, I started my food and beverage / catering business with $150. I used this $150 to do only one thing: which is to file the documents to officially start being an entrepreneur.

But it was a long and winding (and often circular) road between 1973 and 2011. In that time, I worked in a grocery store to stocked shelves, a salesperson, and a cook. In between jobs, I was jobless for a total of 24 months. I was homeless - not just once but twice.

During one of those periods, I was sleeping in an abandoned building. It reminded me of the Bob Marley song, “Cold Ground was my bed last night and rock stone was my pillow.” Woken up by a passing dog at 2am, I made a promise to myself that I would work as hard and as long as I can to make sure I’d never experience this again.

After I incorporated my business in 2011, I still needed startup capital to start making income as a caterer. I applied for more than 10 loans at several institutions but was rejected each time. Not knowing that each loan rejection would hurt my credit. In the end, I funded my first business purchases (computer, printer, chafing dishes, etc.) bit by bit by selling soda.

Today....I am chef-owner of Mason Catering Services that caters to customers in 5 different New York boroughs. But the dream is bigger still: to expand my business to multiple locations and to hire people and serve even more great food to more people.

Business Description

I am the chef-owner of Mason Catering, that serves beautiful Carribean-American food, that specializes in oxtail, curry goat, curry chicken, meat and jelly sandwiches and more.

Our clients currently span a wide-range of catering needs: from corporate clients catering office events to customers with weddings, backyard barbecues and baby showers. Because of the diversity of our clientele, we also customize functions to fit within different budgets and needs: from a $400 school party to $1600 for larger events.

Here are what some happy (repeat) customers have to say:
- “Garrick’s food is always unique, delicious and creative.” – Juan Carlos (bank manager, Flushing).
- “I strongly recommend anyone whose looking to plan their graduation, wedding or any other special occasions to have Mason Catering as your Caterer, you will get the best service and the most delicious, amazing menu for your special day...Job well done Mason Catering..” – Joseph Natalie

What is the purpose of this loan?

I want to move Mason Catering to the next level. We would like to add more corporate clients to our customer base as they can provide more stable, recurring business and also more prompt payment.

In order to expand to be serve this more corporate clientele, I need:
(a) A lease for a new space including a commercial kitchen, office and storage space -- $2000
(b) Portable warm box to carry food to locations -- $700
(c) Used stove -- $1000
(d) Other equipment and minor renovations for a professional office to consult with clients -- $1300

Garrick's loan is endorsed by CAMBA, Inc.. The information below explains why his trustee thinks Garrick is a great candidate for a Kiva Zip loan.
How long have you known this person?

1-6 months

Tell us about your relationship with this borrower.

Garrick came to CAMBA Small Business Services after several unsuccessful attempts at securing commercial bank financing. It was not until he came to CAMBA that he discovered that each loan application was bringing down his credit score and thus making it increasingly difficult for him to receive financing. Our Business Counselors worked with Garrick on his financial projections and cash flow management and connected him to CAMBA's free credit repair services. We are helping Garrick to explore alternative funding options as he re-builds his personal credit.

Tell us about this borrower's personality and character, and why you are endorsing him or her for a Kiva Zip loan.

It was evident to us that Garrick was fully committed to growing his business and embodied resilience and hard work, having overcome homelessness twice to bootstrap his business without any outside help. So persistent and charismatic, Garrick was able to turn a local bank that had declined his loan application into a corporate client! We are endorsing this loan because Garrick has managed to build a business in the midst of much personal adversity and this loan will be instrumental at this critical growth stage as he seeks to scale his operations.

Tell us about this borrower's business, and why you believe a Kiva Zip loan will contribute to his or her success.

Mason Catering Services is a full-service catering business specializing in Caribbean-American food with service contracts ranging from $400 for parties to $1600 for larger events. He is currently home-based and rents out a commercial kitchen space by-the-hour for cooking which is becoming increasingly expensive and restricts the hours that he can fulfill orders. His current home-based office, coupled with the restrictions of not having his own commercial kitchen, limits his ability to expand his client base. A Kiva Zip loan will help Garrick to upgrade his cooking equipment, secure a rental space equipped with a commercial kitchen, storage and office space to meet with clients. Garrick is constantly thinking of new ways to leverage his professional relationships to gain more client referrals. This loan will increase his operational capacity to service a higher volume of clients and lay the foundation for the next phase of growth that will provide Garrick and his family with financial security.

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PAYING BACK

A loan of $5,000 helps me to lease a professional work and consultation space and purchase a portable warm box and stove to help cater food to larger clients.

Disbursed Jul 19, 2013
Repayment Term:
24 monthly payments
Grace Period:
N/A
Listed:
May 1, 2013
Disbursed:
Jul 19, 2013
Paying Back:
Jul 20, 2013

About Mason Catering Services Inc.

Industry:
Restaurant / Caterers
Years in Operation:
1 year - 3 years
Website:
masoncatering.com/
Follow:
Facebook Twitter Linkedin
Badges:
Badge_connectedness_gold_small

What are Borrower Badges?

Borrower Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward borrowers’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

This loan is endorsed by

Trustee Type:
nonprofit
Location:
Brooklyn, NY
Badges:
None
On Zip Since:
May 1, 2013
(11 months)
Loans Endorsed:
1
Total Value:
$5,000
Fundraising/Raised:
0
Paying on Time:
Not enough data
Paying Back Late:
Not enough data
Repaid in Full:
0
Defaulted:
0
Repayment Rate:
Not enough data
Why are you endorsing Garrick?

It was evident to us that Garrick was fully committed to growing his business and embodied resilience and hard work, having overcome homelessness twice to bootstrap his business without any outside help. So persistent and charismatic, Garrick was able to turn a local bank that had declined his lo...

What are Trustee Badges?

Trustee Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward trustees’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.
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