Client: Caitlin & Michael Clare, owners of Clare’s Creamery & Confections LLC
Client Location: Greenville, SC
CDFI: South Carolina Community Loan Fund and Appalachian Community Capital
CDFI Service Area: AL, GA, KY, MD, MS, NY, NC, OH, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV
- Small business financing
Caitlin Clare, the visionary founder of Clare’s Creamery & Confections LLC, has turned her passion for homemade ice cream into a heartwarming endeavor to create local community impact. From humble beginnings sharing her delightful scoops with family to serving the Overbrook neighborhood in Greenville, South Carolina, Caitlin’s dream of establishing a hub that fosters a strong sense of community has become a reality.
Drawing inspiration from her work experience at a small-town, family-owned ice cream shop in Ohio, Caitlin was deeply influenced by the owners’ commitment to the local community. This sparked her aspiration to create Clare’s Creamery, infused with the same community-centric values. After initiating her ice cream venture by selling batches in a frozen cart, Caitlin’s dedication and vision led her to expand into a brick-and-mortar establishment.
In coordination with Appalachian Community Capital (ACC), South Carolina Community Loan Fund (SCCLF) provided vital financing for Caitlin’s food-based startup for leasehold improvements, machinery, fixtures, and equipment during the challenges of a global pandemic.
Clare’s Creamery received support through ACC’s partnership with SCCLF’s small business loan program, which is a testament to SCCLF’s dedication to uplifting individuals from diverse backgrounds, including people of color, women, low-income individuals, and those in rural communities.
Caitlin has since paid off her loan and continues to expand. As Clare’s Creamery flourishes into a brick-and-mortar establishment, its presence is set to leave a lasting impact, both economically and socially, within the community it proudly serves. As a woman-owned business, Clare’s Creamery embodies a commitment to fostering a sense of belonging and unity.
Caitlin expressed her gratitude, saying, “Finding financing for a food-based startup during a global pandemic was difficult. If we did not find South Carolina Community Loan Fund, I’m not sure where we would be. We are thankful and grateful.”
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