San Francisco, CA
Irene Parada Quinteros started Emanuel Coffee, a café that offers organic food and coffee, in 2015. She was inspired by her mother, and Irene decided that a café would allow her to share her culture and her family’s food with the San Francisco community.
Now, Emanuel Coffee includes Salvadorian food and is open for breakfast until 10pm. They offer large portions at low prices. The pupusas are a very popular menu item.
To pay for the business, Irene used her own money and credit cards. “I didn’t have money to take care of myself,” reflects Irene. “I spent everything to follow my passion.” With her loan from Main Street Launch (then OBDC), Irene was able to buy everything she needed to get the business open, pay off her high interest rate credit cards, and finally have money to pay her personal bills. “The experience with Main Street Launch was excellent,” Irene says. “With the loan I had the capacity to open with business without the burden of credit card debt.”
Irene’s advice for other San Francisco entrepreneurs is simple: “Accept help when you start a business. With support there are more possibilities for your business.”