Client: Javier Olvera, owner of Supermercado Mexico
Client Location: Grand Rapids, MI
CDFI: Northern Initiatives
CDFI Service Area: MI
- Financing, with support from the Finance Justice Fund
With more people eating at home during the pandemic, the Olvera family needed more space for their growing business, Supermercado Mexico. Based in a low-income neighborhood and federally recognized food desert in Grand Rapids, MI, Supermercado Mexico grew 50 percent in the first year of the pandemic alone and sought financing to expand locations. After meeting owner Javier Olvera through a referral from a local business accelerator, Northern Initiatives stepped in to provide Supermercado Mexico with a loan for property purchases, other expansion costs, and working capital.
The Olveras have now grown Supermercado Mexico from one store to three. The business employs more than 75 people, with more than three-quarters working full-time and receiving benefits. Along with more space, the new store also features a mural by Arturo Morales Romero, a muralist since his teenage years in California and now a resident of Grand Rapids for the past seven years. The mural depicts cultural aspects and scenes from Mexico’s 32 states, including Jalisco where Javier lived as a child.
“Northern Initiatives saw the potential we saw and was the first lender who helped us … You [Northern Initiatives] are the ones who made this happen,” Javier said.