RPC makes loan to Downtown Market catering business

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Patria Webster. Courtesy Rende Progress Capital

Rende Progress Capital awarded a local caterer a loan from its RACE4Progress fund.

The Grand Rapids-based racial equity lender recently said it approved a loan of an undisclosed sum to the Black- and woman-owned business Scratch By Patria, a catering business launched in 2019 by Patria Webster that is based at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, at 435 Ionia Ave. SW.

“In addition to launching her catering business shortly before the pandemic changed lives and the market, Ms. Webster persisted, with resilience, first coming to RPC last year for our racial equity small business lending,” said Eric Foster, co-founder, chair and managing director of RPC.

He said the loan application was delayed for a time due to several factors, but Webster persisted as she continued to be helped and mentored by SpringGR until she was eligible to secure the loan.

“As with all RPC customers, the staff and loan committee reengaged with Ms. Webster and focused on due diligence, assessment of applicant needs, and business fundamentals, merged with our racial equity processes,” Foster said. “…Scratch By Patria (is) a business that our team is lending to based on many qualities and elements, including one of the best aspects in a business model: resilience.”

Scratch By Patria selects and prepares handpicked and fresh ingredients for every dish on behalf of individual and group customers. The business is known for made-from-scratch recipes “with robust flavor profiles and beautiful presentation,” RPC said.

Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Webster learned to cook at the age of 7 in her grandmother’s kitchen, where she helped prepare family recipes and eventually learned to make her own.

She started her venture preparing dishes for friends and family. Those in her community encouraged her to turn her hobby into a business, and she did so officially in 2019.

As the pandemic emerged, she faced financial challenges like everyone else. Since reopening, many regular customers have returned as individual and company events resume.

​Scratch By Patria is a RACE4Progress loan customer. RPC structured this loan program to assist local excluded entrepreneurs of color who have incurred financial harm due to COVID, and who face barriers from other relief programs.

The RACE4Progress Loan will allow Scratch By Patria to buy equipment and technology for production and operations, as well as to expand her onsite and mobile offerings.

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