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Stories of Impact



In this edition of our Grow America Diaries series, we’re bringing you insights and perspectives directly from entrepreneurs who have used a Grow America loan to reach their business goals. This month, Inoussa Compaore, Burkina Faso native and owner of Zaca Café in Brooklyn, NY, shares his perspective on how a Grow America loan helped him seize an opportunity to grow his physical location and double his revenue projections. 

Business name/brief description: Zaca Café, a French-American restaurant offering a wide selection of food, baked pastries, and spirits in the heart of the historical Bed-Stuy neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Grow America loans: $1,250,000 in 2024

What was going on at the business before it received its first Grow America loan?

My first loan with Grow America just closed in January. I wasn’t looking for a loan for my business operations, but I had the opportunity to purchase my business location. Zaca is located in a commercial condo building that has three retail spaces on the ground floor, and I was renting one of them. 

The landlord offered me the opportunity to buy all three retail spaces. They said “if you’re interested, you have the first option, but if not we’ll look for someone else.” Buying the spaces was a good opportunity for me. The restaurant, which only has 30 seats, was starting to feel small and I only had four years left on my lease. Buying my restaurant space and the neighboring retail spaces would allow me to expand when the other leases run out. So, I spoke with my accountant who recommended Grow America to me.

What changed in the business after you received your loan? How were you able to meet your goals?

Right now, things are the same because I have to wait for the other two leases to run out to expand. But when that happens, I’m planning on increasing seating by 20 or 30% and extending hours to include bar service. Lunch and breakfast are profitable, but to be able to be open later at night with a full bar and bartender will really generate revenue. I’m hoping that when the full project is complete, revenue will have doubled from where I am today. 

And, owning my location provides stability. If I had to move, it would have cost me double in rent for a smaller space!

What was different or unique about borrowing with Grow America?

The Grow America team has so much patience. They went through all of the details with me and explained how the loan would work. I met with my lender, Conor McCarthy, many times. I had such a good experience with them. 

What’s your #1 piece of advice for other small business owners right now?

Really, my advice is that if you need financing go to Grow America. I had such a great experience with them. I’ve noticed the different financing options online and when I see them, Grow America just stands out. I would recommend Grow America to anyone!

If you’re interested in leveling-up your business with access to affordable and flexible financing, contact us today for a free one-on-one consultation.