Marisa Nuñez, Marisa Hair, Long Island City, NY

Stefani Jakubowski

Anna’s Café

Detroit, MI

“I got the capital I needed, and I’m prepared to open Anna’s Café this Fall. I couldn’t have done it without Ascendus.”

From Coffee Cart to Café: The Impact of One Loan

Stefani opened her mobile coffee cart in May 2022, but she always had her eyes set on a storefront. “The dream was always to have a store in addition to the cart. But I felt it was out of my league. When I first launched, there were a lot of long days, outside, sometimes in the rain, where I would make maybe $20 sales. It was pretty rough, but I kept persisting, and saved as much as possible. By the end of the year, I had built a strong customer base.”

After two years, Stefani had saved almost enough to open her physical location; she just needed a final push. “I was just about there. But there were so many unexpected costs. The biggest one was equipment. Espresso machines alone can range from $20K to over $200K. I just needed a little extra help to make my dreams come true.” Stefani found Ascendus and received the capital she needed to open her physical location.

“My loan consultant was a doll. She was lovely, sweet, responsive, and cared so deeply about me and helping my small business. I got the capital I needed, and I’m prepared to open Anna’s Café this Fall. I couldn’t have done it without Ascendus.”


Stefani’s café is one of three coffee shops in her community, and it’s a hub for community connections. “The small business community in Detroit is tight-knit, and we all look out for each other. I wouldn’t be here today without the support of my community and the small businesses around me.”

Her café is inspired by another small business owner, her yiayia. “My yiayia (grandmother) owned the original Anna’s Café, a Greek restaurant in Detroit. She was a Greek immigrant and a single mother. She had resilience, and never stopped trying to create a life that was more progressive than the society around her at the time. She worked a lot and never gave up on her dream of owning something of her own. And at the age of 60, she saved up enough to open her own restaurant. I’m so proud to be keeping yiayia’s vision, spirit, and story alive through the second iteration of Anna’s Café.”


For Stefani, Anna’s Café is about more than just owning her own coffee shop. “The concept of my café is more than coffee; it’s about carrying on the ideas that built the original Anna’s Café – great hospitality can change the course of someone’s entire day, can support collective compassion in communities, and create safe and positive spaces. I want my café to be playful, fun, and inclusive. A place where friends, neighbors, and strangers can share great coffee.”

Not only is Stefani building a community, but she is also helping to provide employment opportunities to those around her. “I am about to have my first baby any day now, and I feel really grateful to be able to put my business on pause while I focus on another ‘project.’ To have this space and time to figure out life with a new baby is really special. Come August, I’ll be working on hiring baristas and management for the café, so we can open together in early Fall. And I’m so excited to bring the baby to work with me!”

To learn more about Stefani, visit:


sign up for our newsletters

Skip to content