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Get Growing: Up Start Loan Fund Small Business Success Stories

When the team at CenterState CEO began designing Up Start, a collaborative, neighborhood-based business development program, they knew they would need a lending partner that was flexible, creative, and mission-driven. Cooperative Federal was excited to help, building on our three-plus decades of experience serving microbusinesses in Syracuse. Salt City Coffee was among the first cohort of Up Start graduates to be funded by a dedicated loan pool at Coop Fed.  

Aaron Metthe channeled a life-long love for coffee brewing into the founding of his business, Salt City Coffee. He started as a home-based business, selling bags of finely roasted coffee beans and fair-trade tea leaves through an online store, but his vision was bigger than that: Aaron wanted to share his craft with customers at his very own community-minded coffee shop. This vision led him to UP Start, which helped him navigate the “curvy road" (as he describes it) to secure a cafe location; and to Coop Fed, which gave him a loan for key cafe equipment. Today, Salt City Coffee is a welcomed addition to the Near West Side business community – a place Aaron designed to feel “warm, comfortable, inviting, a place to connect.” 

 

Learn more about our Small Business Loans Programs.