Husband and wife Jaeyeon Kim and Hyo Jung Kim, originally from Korea, operated a successful restaurant in Flushing, Queens and wanted to open another in Long Island City, but the pandemic set them back. However, the Kims persevered and named their new restaurant “Ziggle,” after the “sizzling” sound of a hot plate of food fresh out of the kitchen. In 2021, Mr. and Mrs. Kim received a loan from Renaissance providing working capital to support Ziggle’s start-up phase, and the restaurant successfully opened in October 2021.
Mr. Jin Yu Lin, originally from China, owned a business in his home country before immigrating to the U.S., where he started as a delivery person before opening Pho Grand in 1999 in Chinatown. Mr. Lin has been a Renaissance client since Pho Grand’s startup phase and this relationship continued through the pandemic, when Renaissance provided him with an emergency loan. Pho Grand is still thriving today thanks in part to its owner’s secret to success: “Stick to one thing and do it well!”
Ivan Arteaga and Olivia Allbe worked together as baristas for several years, but when the pandemic forced their coffee shop to close, they stepped up – by partnering with local restaurant owner David Hurtado and reinventing the coffee shop as Café Calaca, infusing it with Latin culture. Renaissance provided the co-owners a small business loan in July 2021 to support Café Calaca’s start-up operations. The trio’s secret to success so far? “Build your team first, and around that, build your business.”
R&D Foods, a specialty foods shoplocated in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, opened in May 2014and offers made-to-order sandwiches, vegetable-driven prepared foods, grocerystaples, and treats like old-fashioned cake donuts made fresh every morning.
Plaques by Azra, a Queens-based manufacturer and distributor of awards, was started over 50 years ago by Azra Khalfan-Kermali’s parents, AunAli & Shirin Khalfan, who immigrated from Tanzania. The couple ran the business, raised three children, and became highly involved in serving their local community. In 1997, Azra, the company’s namesake, joined the team. She now runs the bustling Plaques by Azra, building on the belief that awards and premium incentives are key to expressing appreciation for employees, donors, scholars, and customers.
La TropiKitchen, a Brooklyn-based food business inspired by Stephanie Bonnin’s passion for the gastronomic traditions of her home country Colombia, has been evolving since it started.