A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen
A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen, formerly Lamb’s Bread Vegan Café, now has a permanent home in Columbia’s North Main Street neighborhood thanks to one entrepreneur’s persistence and a public-private partnership. Folami Geter, the owner of A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen, needed a permanent home for her restaurant and it was important to her that she be able to continue to serve the North Main Street community.
Folami began working with the City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities as part of the City’s North Main Street area redevelopment efforts. The Office of Business Opportunities wanted to support Folami’s goals for her business but knew they needed a lending partner in order to obtain financing for A Peace of Soul’s new location. South Carolina Community Loan Fund saw an opportunity to help a woman- and minority-owned business secure its place in a community in the midst of a revitalization by joining this partnership and financing the purchase of A Peace of Soul’s new building. SCCLF and Folami worked together for more than a year to complete the underwriting process and building purchase. “Even with our struggles, and the times when the project was placed on hold, they never gave up. Our lending officer went above and beyond to help, and I knew he believed in what we were trying to do.”
Construction on A Peace of Soul’s new location is scheduled to conclude in the spring of 2019. Thanks to a $210,000 loan from SCCLF, Folami is looking forward to opening her doors to the neighborhood that supported her business for so many years. “We’ve always had the support of this community, so being able to stay here means a lot. SCCLF was instrumental in us maintaining our presence in this neighborhood, and we want to serve as a reminder of what Main Street is all about: diversity and small, locally-owned businesses.”