Helping With Love Market & Café bring a new food hub to Los Angeles
NCB and Self-Help Federal Credit Union partner to finance a social enterprise that’s making a difference for an underserved community.
Until recently, consumers in the low-income neighborhood of southwest Los Angeles had limited access to fresh, healthy foods.
But all that has changed as the result of a partnership between National Cooperative Bank (NCB) and Self-Help Federal Credit Union.
Together, the two financial institutions financed the new With Love Market & Café, [http://www.withlovela.com/] a 3,000-square-foot start-up grocery market and café in a southwest Los Angeles food desert.
The loan allows NCB and Self-Help to share the risk to provide With Love Market & Café financing beyond conventional lending parameters. Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation also provided an 80 percent loan guarantee via the State of California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program.
In addition to the grocery store and café, With Love Market will include a community development arm focused on providing heath and food courses and seminars in a community meeting space. The business aims to be the neighborhood’s source of produce and other healthy foods as well as a public community hub and learning space.
“Partnering with Self-Help Credit Union and NCB on this unprecedented loan was equally rewarding as it was challenging,” says With Love CEO Andrew McDowell. “Though we all had to flex and adjust many times beyond our previous comfort level, we were held together by each group’s driving passion, beyond financial gain, to improve healthy food access and empower urban poor communities.
“With Love could not have found better partners,” McDowell adds, “and we look forward to all our future work independently and together.”