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Flying Squirrel Coffee Company

Veteran-Owned Texas Coffee Shop Gets Its Start with CDFI Financing

Financial and Social Impact

  • 7 jobs retained amid COVID-19 pandemic 

Client: Amy Ryan, owner of Flying Squirrel Coffee Company
Client location: Mansfield, Texas
CDFI: PeopleFund
CDFI service area: Texas
CDFI services provided: Financing

When Amy Ryan wanted to start her own coffee shop, she looked to traditional banks for capital. However, when they asked her for more upfront capital than she could provide, she turned to PeopleFund. After learning about PeopleFund through an advisor at the University of Texas Arlington, Amy felt their terms were more reasonable for a startup business like hers. Named after her own nickname—Squirrel—and her father, who was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force for more than 20 years, Flying Squirrel Coffee Company received an SBA Community Advantage Loan from PeopleFund. The business also secured an interest-rate discount through the Bank of America Veteran Loan Program and Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program.

Today Flying Squirrel is learning to adapt to COVID-19. With support from their local Mansfield community, along with PeopleFund’s efforts to keep clients updated with information about COVID-19 relief resources, Flying Squirrel has been able to employ seven people part-time amid the pandemic. In addition, the business continues to pay it forward through their quarter mile project, where they give back to the community every quarter. During one of their most recent quarters, Flying Squirrel provided live music and more to nursing homes and assisted living centers in the area.

“PeopleFund gave us the opportunity to give back, get involved with the community, and do something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Amy.

Looking for a community development financial institution (CDFI) in your region?

Check out OFN’s CDFI locator.