Building a Sustainable Catering Business with a 504 Loan: The Story of Left Coast Catering

Left Coast Catering owner Laurine Wickett loves to create memorable occasions, bringing people together over delicious food. She’s been doing just that for over two decades in San Francisco.

After renting in several different locations, she obtained help with a small business loan through Capital Access Group to buy a building in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood. Laurine was able leverage the SBA 504 program to secure $1,668,872 in total project to purchase a 5,000 square-foot building at 1400 Yosemite Ave.

“I would not have been able to afford to buy a building without the 504 loan,” Laurine said, noting the usual 20-30 percent down that a commercial lender would require.

Ever since the start of her career, Laurine has focused on sustainability. She recognized that building ownership was essential to make the necessary changes to be a truly sustainable business. “How do we reduce our carbon footprint and how can we be green and energy efficient?” she asked. “We put solar on the roof, we have LED lighting, and because all of our equipment is new, it’s all energy efficient. This was a great opportunity to be able to put all of my beliefs into action in the building.”

“There’s an important message here for businesses—especially food businesses—that want to be sustainable,” said Jacklyn Jordan, President and CEO, Capital Access Group. “In most cases, it’s not possible or feasible to make the infrastructure changes necessary to be truly sustainable. As Laurine demonstrates, owning the building changes the equation and gives the business complete control over the future of the business.”

Laurine is grateful for the help that Capital Access Group provided. “We never felt like we got the same kind of attention and support from the traditional lending institutions. With Capital Access we always felt like they were on our team and supporting us.”

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