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Seattle Entrepreneur Revives Grandparents’ Restaurant with Support from CDFI

Financial and Social Impact

  • Black-owned business able to continue building family’s legacy and generational wealth in high-poverty community
  • 4 full-time jobs created
  • Leveraged $794,000 in third-party investments

Client: Terrell Jackson, owner of Jackson’s Catfish Corner
Client location: Seattle, WA
CDFI: Craft3
CDFI service area: Oregon and Washington
CDFI services provided: Financing and technical assistance, with support from the Grow with Google Small Business Fund and Grant Program

Terrell Jackson grew up working in his grandparents’ restaurant, Catfish Corner, a beloved fixture in Seattle’s historically African American Central District. In 2008, after more than 20 years, the restaurant — like many Black-owned businesses in the Central District — was displaced and Terrell’s grandparents retired. When Terrell revived the business in 2019 by cooking at pop-ups and opening Catfish Corner Express, he turned to Craft3 to help him achieve his dream of finding a new permanent home for the restaurant in the Central District.

Referred by a business development program at Seattle University, Terrell received advisory services from Craft3 for more than a year, including credit-building and connections to grant opportunities and a bookkeeper, until eventually receiving a $100,000 working capital loan. The funds allowed him to open for business in a new, long-term, rent-stabilized home with a 15-year lease, and two options to renew for additional five-year periods. Now Terrell is able to concentrate on cooking, not far from where his grandparents served up catfish and other Southern dishes.

Jackson’s Catfish Corner celebrated its ribbon cutting and return to the Central District on Juneteenth 2021. It was a festive community event attended by local residents and elected officials, and of course featuring catfish and champagne!

“It means everything to me … to be open on Jackson Street and to come back to the Central District where we belong … where we started at,” Terrell said.

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