Centerfold Story: Chef Tate
“It’s a cue to keep going. It’s motivational…” Cheryl Tate is a private chef and entrepreneur who had no idea she could qualify for the SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Chef Tate has been working with Aja Beard, a business advisor with The Center by Lendistry, and the two women were on their weekly consultation when Beard brought up the possibility of a grant.
A fourth generation Angeleno and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Tate owns and operates Nurturing Chefs LA, Inc and participates with many local healthy-eating initiatives. She is passionate about convenient wellness for busy people, so she started making healthy drinks with a beneficial combination of fresh fruits and spices. This sparked a new business, Everyday Elixir. With The Center’s guidance, Chef Tate is navigating the state requirements and licenses involved in opening a certified commercial kitchen.
When the pandemic put catered events and private cooking engagements to a halt, Chef Tate no longer had capital coming in. The U.S. Small Business Administration launched the RRF to provide grants to restaurants and other food and drink establishments that lost significant income due to the pandemic. The program prioritized businesses owned by women, veterans, people of color, and businesses in low-income areas.
Business Advisor, Aja Beard adds, “What makes this whole situation so phenomenal, she wasn’t even going to apply if I hadn’t mentioned it to her.” Chef Tate didn’t think the program was meant for businesses like hers, but the worst they could do was say no, so she applied: “They looked at my revenue from 2019 and my revenue from 2020 and made up the difference. It’s a shot in the arm! You need capital, and there’s no way around it. I’m going to make every penny work.”
The Center by Lendistry provides education and resources to small businesses located in underserved communities. Cheryl was first introduced to The Center through the Bridges to Business Program at USC. Chef Tate says, “The regulations are so complicated and no one wanted to help me. I’m so grateful to The Center. It’s so hard to come across good information when nothing is expected from you in return.”
With the boost of capital, Chef Tate can continue to run her business and develop her elixir on her mission to “make you well.”
“…It’s motivational, finally hearing ‘yes’. It makes you want to go out and find the next person who will say yes again.”