Once Upon a Praline
Loan amount: $5,000
Resilience: It’s not something you can find on a balance sheet, but it’s a small business owner’s most important asset. And at the Bayou Microfund, we think that each one of our clients has it in abundance.
Take, for example, Lynn Kelly. Lynn is the proud owner of Once Upon a Praline, LLC, a confectionary that makes pralines—classic recipes that evoke fond French Quarter memories as well as her 21st century twists like “CreamyDreamy Cheesecake” and “Banana Pudding”. Her fan-base seems to be as diverse as her flavors, too: The pralines might be found anywhere from the counter of Southern Creole Foods in Beaumont, TX, to a wedding in Chicago to the hands of a bishop in The Holy Land. The Bayou Microfund had an opportunity to fund Lynn by facilitating a $5,000 Kiva Zip loan in 2014, which will be repaid in full in July 2016.
But, Lynn’s story is full of obstacles. And we’re not just talking about your typical last-minute permitting problems (though she’s handled those), or quickly scaling up to meet more-than-expected demand (though she’s handled that, too). See, in addition to being the proud owner of Once Upon a Praline, Lynn is the proud mother of two children, one who was diagnosed in 2009 with autism. In addition to managing the stress of growing her praline empire, she’s also managed the mainstreaming process for her son and finding him the right educational and medical resources. She’s also used her business to expand these resources. Once Upon a Praline® supports many Autism related organizations and their “Pralines with a Purpose” program provides summer scholarships to families in need at The Westview School, a school for high-functioning students on the autism spectrum.
However, as she describes, her life as a dedicated mother, wife, advocate, volunteer and entrepreneur is every bit as rewarding as it is challenging. Since the diagnosis, she has made it her mission to give back to the community that helped her in caring for her son. She now serves on the board of Autism Rescue Angels, advocating for and supporting those in need. At Once Upon a Praline, their motto is “Every bite tells a sweet story.” We have been astounded by her resilience and optimism, and her story is one that we are proud to be a part of.
If you are interested in our mission—as an entrepreneur, mentor, or a funding partner—reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 832-680-0977, and together we can write the next success story.