Chicago, Illinois. Frances Matos has organized a GoFundMe to support the opening of her Uptown, Chicago-based coffee shop, Crema.
Frances was born in Puerto Rico, which instilled a passion for coffee in her from a young age. Being surrounded by coffee led her to start Crema in October 2018.
“I started from my kitchen in a little one-bedroom apartment on the north side of the city. Since then, I have developed a full brand and coffee label and have proudly sourced high-quality teas and local products to offer the community,” Frances said.
Uptown and Chicago are home to a diverse tapestry of people with rich histories. Frances has proudly collaborated with numerous other small business owners and wants to “continue supporting small BIPOC businesses and my immediate community.” This mission is what drove Frances’ goal of opening a brick-and-mortar coffee shop for her community.
“Early last year, I signed a lease for a commercial space in the Sheridan Park area of Uptown, with the intention of getting my company to grow while leaving a positive footprint,” Frances explained, “Then, COVID-19 hit. It has been a long year of expenses and loans to cover all that is needed to open.” Unfortunately, the funding that Crema has received thus far still is not enough.
Frances emptied her entire savings and even maxed out her personal and business credit lines. She truly believes in Crema’s mission but realized she cannot make it happen on her own.
“I am at a loss at this point,” Frances said, “Friends suggested I reach out for help, which has always been difficult for me. But any help does make a difference; every donation really matters.”
The GoFundMe currently has a goal of ten thousand dollars. This money will be used to fund the opening’s final details– including furniture, final equipment installations, and permits. So far, the community has donated just over one thousand and six hundred dollars to support France’s vision.
GoFundMe; pictured above is Frances