Client Success Stories
Transforming Lives in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area
In the trucking industry, a space dominated mostly by male figures, it was a breath of fresh air when Cintya Pinto walked through EDG’s doors.
Just four years beforehand, Cintya said she did not know what to do to support her family. As an immigrant and single mom with children to support, she took a leap of faith and learned how to drive a dump truck. She received her commercial driver’s license and began driving dump trucks for an area-excavating firm.
Little did she know that driving would not only support her family, but also pave the way for her to eventually own a business and start her very own company, VPTS Trucking.
Cintya approached EDG because she saw that there was so much demand for truck drivers in the Washington, D.C. area. She said there were times she would be using her own network of truck drivers that she had met in the field just to satisfy a contract won by her then-employer. She realized that if she owned her own truck, she could increase her revenue. So, she approached EDG to borrow a loan to purchase a 2007 Kenilworth truck.
Since then, Cintya has purchased a third truck, has hired her own team of drivers and consistently wins sub-contracts with both government and state agencies.
Meaza Ethiopian Restaurant
Ethiopian business owner Meaza Zemudu was born from humble roots. Founder of Meaza Restaurant, Café and Gourmet Grocery Store, Meaza started her business by supplying local Ethiopian stores with her home-baked injera bread, a crepe-like staple of Ethiopian cuisine.
Demand for the tangy bread grew, allowing her to open her majestic restaurant, which welcomes guests to dine on traditional Ethiopian fare. Many of Meaza’s dishes are flavored with purified, spiced Ethiopian butter, from the “ye beg kikil,” or lamb stew in spicy sauce, to the “kitfo,” ground beef traditionally served raw or rare and mixed with cardamom and a “mitmita” spice blend. The chefs still bake Meaza’s injera from teff grain as an ubiquitous side and utensil alongside the fare.
EDG is proud to have supported Meaza in its expansion phased in 2016 and 2017. Her restaurant also has been featured in numerous media outlets, including the Washingtonian and the Washington Post.
We Build Food Trucks
Osvin first came to EDG in 2015 requesting a $15,000 loan to start “We Build Food Trucks,” a small company that makes and renovates food trucks. Previously, Osvin’s credentials at that time would not support an approval of the loan via other financial institutions.
However, EDG took a chance and decided to give him one-third of the amount he needed, a loan of $5,000, which allowed him to purchase a portable generator that he can use on any worksite. Because EDG reports his repayment to the credit bureaus, he was able to improve his credit score from 604 to 624 in nine short months.
A few months later, EDG contacted Osvin to see if he would be interested in borrowing another $1,500 to help him with expenses. Since his loans in 2015 and 2016, Osvin has been able to renovate 20 food trucks and increasingly grow his business.
He also serves as EDG’s “go-to” person whenever a client would like to purchase, renovate or construct a food truck.
Baltimore resident Jennifer said she initially came up with the idea for B’More Organic after she tagged along on her husband’s fundraising trip with “Jodi’s Climb for Hope” to Iceland in June 2009.
“My wonderful, but lactose-intolerant husband, is a protein freak. One day, for breakfast, our guide gave us granola with some yogurt-like product. I cringed when my husband consumed it, especially in a tent. Surprisingly, he was fine,” she said.
Jennifer says their guide told them the product he shared with the couple was not actually yogurt, but rather “skyr” and he showed them the nutritional content of one 6 oz. serving—22 g protein, 0 fat and only 6 g of sugar.
“This product is much better; it has more protein and less sugar than an American cup of yogurt,” she said. “It’s basically the national food of Iceland, the country with the second longest life span.”
When Jennifer returned to the U.S., she realized that skyr was difficult to find. “I wanted to be able to provide Americans with an easy way to consume healthy protein and bring back a piece of Iceland.”
As a result, B’More Organic was born. Jennifer’s company is now in over 2,000 stores, including Kroger, Harris Teeter, Wegmans and Whole Foods.