Lola’s Cuban Food, a restaurant located in the southern part of Fort Worth, is set to open its doors to the public. The eatery, which began as a humble food truck business four years ago, has experienced remarkable growth under the leadership of owner Liliam Morin. The restaurant’s success was made possible through a low-interest loan from the CDFI Friendly Initiative, which has enabled them to open a brick-and-mortar establishment.
For Morin, the loan was a pivotal factor in Lola’s Cuban Food’s success, as she explains, “This is a major leap for us coming from a food truck. It’s challenging to secure a loan given the credit and collateral required.” Last year, the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) was established and has since invested $10.3 million in new capital to support minority-owned businesses in Fort Worth.
Jeremis Smith, CEO of Legacy Construction Solutions, which builds homes in the Stop Six neighborhood, notes that the CDFI’s focus is on supporting underserved businesses and smaller companies. He continues to work towards securing some of the capital because it would help his company establish generational wealth by providing residential units with equity to buyers.
Despite the lengthy process involved in obtaining funding from the CDFI, Morin encourages business owners to give it a shot, remarking, “Ask for help. That’s how we got here. We asked for help.” The initiative has provided a significant boost to small businesses in Fort Worth, particularly those in underserved communities.
Those interested in learning more about the CDFI initiative can visit CDFI Friendly Fort Worth for more information. Lola’s Cuban Food is the latest success story to emerge from the CDFI’s funding, and they hope to continue expanding their business in the years to come.