Kiva borrowers to thriving business people: The food edition

Many of our Kiva borrowers are entrepreneurs who need Kiva microloans to pursue their passions, whether it’s to expand their current business or create a new one. Here at Kiva, we love supporting our past borrowers who have successfully established their businesses thanks to Kiva loans. Read on to learn about all of the ways lenders can continue supporting our borrowers even after they’ve repaid their loans!


The Xocolate Bar 

Organic and fair trade chocolates from the heart of the Bay Area -- yum!

Malena of Berkeley, California had her chocolate store open long before receiving funding from Kiva. As a young entrepreneur who always had an interest in crafting and cooking, Malena started The Xocolate Bar in 2006. She managed to keep it going through the 2009 recession, graduate school and a baby. But soon it was time to go from a “skeleton crew, DIY operation” to a “mature business” providing quality jobs for community members and financial stability for her family. Malena turned to Kiva for a loan, and made it happen! At The Xocolate Bar, in person or online, find organic and fair trade chocolates that are handmade and ethically sourced.



Sedona Pies 

Marilyn is here to spread pie-love to all!

Marilyn in California has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. She spent several years working in sales and hospitality before starting her own pie business. Sedona Pies, partially funded by a Kiva loan, sends 5% of its profits to charities that focus on feeding the hungry. Check out their special pies infused with beer, wine and spirits!




Olive & Marlowe 

Olive & Marlowe is available online for all of your oil and vinegar needs!

Named after owner Heather’s daughters, this brick-and-mortar olive oil shop has products available online and in-person at their store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After having a baby, Heather began her career selling olive oils and vinegar for another business before opening her own with the help of a Kiva loan in 2011. Now, with three kids, Heather enjoys having both a career she’s passionate about and plenty of time for her family. Visit the Olive & Marlowe website to find oils, vinegar, honey and more!

 

Fuego Coffee 

Fuego Coffee loves to experiment with new blends and styles.

Kiva loans are meant to expand businesses and benefit whole communities. That’s exactly what happened when Tony and Renee received a loan through Kiva. As the owners of Fuego Coffee in Rochester, New York, were able to open new locations and create jobs for community members, thanks to Kiva lenders. If you don’t live in New York, you can buy their brand new Brazilian and Colombian roasts online.

 


Turkitch 

Turkitch is one of the most unique businesses that Kiva has had the pleasure of hosting on our platform!

Turkitch is the first 100% Turkish food brand in the USA, created by Kiva borrower Ozkan and his wife Feyzan. They offer authentic ingredients like Antep pistachios, which are only produced in a certain region in Turkey. But they’re best known for the most authentic baklava! With Ozkan and Feyzan’s Kiva loan, they were able to afford higher quality marketing and buy more products, leading to the successful company they’ve built today!

 


Becky’s Blissful Bakery 

Becky's Blissful Bakery -- once a daydream, now a business!

Caramels, caramels and more caramels! After getting a divorce and losing her job in 2010, Rebecca from Wisconsin knew it was time to follow her passion for making and sharing desserts. hat’s when Becky’s Blissful Bakery was born! Her gluten-free caramels sold online and in-person are free of high-fructose corn syrup, making them a healthier option than many other desserts. Rebecca’s personal goals: run another marathon, teach her son the value of hard work and make the world a sweeter place. Sounds good to us!


About the author

Casey Miller

Casey Miller is the content and media coordinator at Kiva in the Portland offices. She began her journey with Kiva as a New Media and Branding intern in the summer of 2019 before continuing on as the content and media coordinator, now managing Kiva's social media accounts and the Kiva blog. Casey graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Journalism, and still uses this journalistic background in her storytelling at Kiva. With a passion for travel and cultural exchange, Casey seeks to spread the stories of our cultures and communities for those whose voices are often ignored.