“I don’t need to work additional jobs outside my business anymore, and I can now focus 150% of myself on Not Jus Southern.”
“The Ascendus loans helped further me and allowed me to grow. Since the Line of Credit, my business is the strongest it’s ever been. I just sat down and started crying.”
In 2015, Annie had vision of starting a catering company that focused on providing a diverse range of culinary options. Although she had a solid business plan, over two decades of culinary experience, and an innovative idea she still had trouble getting a loan from a traditional bank.
Annie reached out to Ascendus and received her first business loan for her catering company. She used it towards working capital and to buy equipment. Through the loan she got her foot in the door, and Not Jus Southern was born. It provided clients the ability to combine flavors from around the world, such as Latin, Asian, Caribbean, Italian, and Southern home cooking.
ANNIE’S ASCENSION TO INDEPENDENCE
Due to her work ethic and delicious food, Annie grew her business primarily through referrals, and in 2017 she was ready to expand her business. Originally, Annie was cooking in her home, but she needed more space and equipment. “It was hard to make everything in my personal kitchen, the space was the biggest problem. I was growing so much that I needed a bigger kitchen.” She reached out to Ascendus and received a $5,000 loan to rent an incubator kitchen. Through using an incubator kitchen, she could rent the space and supplies needed to work at a greater scale.
Annie’s business kept growing throughout the pandemic. She opened a café, expanded her catering, and moved from her basement office to an office building. In 2022, Annie had reached the limit on her personal cards, and she found herself in need of funding. She reached out to Ascendus and received a $5,000 Line of Credit. “I must put down the money first before I get paid, so I needed a line of credit or else I wouldn’t be able to afford the overhead. Putting everything on my personal cards for catering made it hard to get a traditional loan, I needed something separate. Ascendus gave me the business credit I needed to grow.”
THE POWER OF TIMING
Her Line of Credit came just in time, and Annie used her loan to purchase the equipment she needed to cater a three-floor event for the Mayor’s office. “Since the Line of Credit, my business is the strongest it’s ever been. I just sat down and started crying.”
Today, Annie has a team of four and she continues to grow exponentially. Annie is the preferred caterer for the Department of Health and the Department of Education, and has also catered to Target, Best Buy, Capital One, and more.
Because of Annie’s business growth, she could take time to focus on herself. She got her Bachelor’s in Economics and used her learnings to continue expanding her business. “I don’t need to work additional jobs outside my business anymore, and I can now focus 150% of myself on Not Jus Southern.”
To learn more about Annie, visit: https://www.notjussouthern.com/