La Creperie Caffe of Sarasota County
Chef/owner Konstantinos Chilias operates a chain of successful cafes in Sarasota, Ybor City and Miami, and will soon be opening a location in Orlando. The café, known to be frequented by tourists, specializes in French crepes, paninis, salads and breakfast.
As one would expect, Hurricane Irma took a direct hit to the chain’s bottom line, as customers fled the state to escape its path.
With cash flow coming to a halt, Chilias was looking for a short-term solution to help the business weather the storm until season kicked in again. He reached out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida to apply for a State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loan.
When asked about his experience with the storm and the assistance received, he recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
The electricity was down so we had to close for a week. There were no tourists, no customers one week before, one week after because it’s on the water.
How will the Bridge Loan help?
This will help us to improve the business and go back to normal. This loan is going to be helpful because it will take some time to get things back up and hopefully we’ll get back to season and back to normal.
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
This is the first time we’ve done this and they did an excellent job with communication. Thank you. You did an excellent job and it was excellent service.