Marisa Nuñez, Marisa Hair, Long Island City, NY

Rosaura Lara Reyes

Manhattan Chicago Pizza

Pinecrest, Florida

“It was so easy to work with Ascendus. It wasn’t a huge loan, but it was all we needed.” –Rosaura Lara Reyes

New York or Chicago style pizza? Rosaura, owner of Manhattan Chicago Pizza, prefers hers Chicago-style with a deep bowl of crust and lots of gooey cheese. Her husband, and business partner, prefers New York-style pizza – large slices with pepperoni and peppers on hand-tossed dough. Thankfully, you can get both at their restaurant in Miami.

Rosaura and Dave opened the first location of their pizzeria four years ago. They both share a lifelong love of the dish. Dave, a New York-native, used to ship pizzas back and forth with his brother in Chicago when he was in college. Rosaura operated a chain of pizzerias in her hometown in the Dominican Republic before she moved to Miami. Their first location in Miami now employs a team of five – three full-time staffers, and two part-time staffers keep things running smoothly.

Rosaura recently opened a second location to keep up with demand. When she needed capital to purchase kitchen equipment for the new location – a mixer for dough and a new pizza oven – her banker at Chase referred her to Ascendus. “The guy from Chase saw it was a new business, and referred us to Ascendus. She only needed $10,000, and Ascendus had no problem making the loan,” Dave shared.

Her smaller capital needs made her a great fit for Ascendus. As a women business owner, she was also able to participate in our Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program which offers reduced-interest loans to women entrepreneurs. “It was so easy to work with Ascendus. It wasn’t a huge loan, but it was all we needed.”

Over time, as the loan is paid down, Rosaura will build her credit. Which will be important, as her and Dave continue to expand the business. “We’re looking to open another two or three locations, with our business model, in the future.”

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