Award-Winning Caterer Overcomes Challenges with Affordable Financing
Long before she left elementary school, Noelle Salinas had already tasted entrepreneurial success.
“My mom’s clients would pay me to make them baked goods like zucchini bread, scones and pies,” said the now 32-year-old owner of Fresh From The Kitchen, an award-winning catering company in Phoenix. “That experience provided the spark that led me down the path to starting my own business.”
“Never doubt yourself and go for your dream.”
Noelle Salinas, Owner
Fresh From The Kitchen
Continuing to gain cooking expertise in high school, Noelle dreamed of starting a mother/daughter business, but at age 19, her mom died unexpectedly, leaving her to blaze her own professional trail. So in 2008, with just $1,000, a spoonful of passion and a dash of entrepreneurial determination, she launched her small business.
From Start-up to Super Bowl Celebrity
Noelle has a passion for creating outside-the-box recipes for special events and weddings. She was recognized by Arizona Foothills magazine as the best wedding caterer in the Phoenix area in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Her success elevated her to celebrity status in 2015 when TV chef and culinary personality Aaron Sanchez (of Food Network and Fox’s Masterchef) hired her to cater Maxim magazine’s Super Bowl party hosted by TV’s Nick Cannon and attended by 1,300 fans, including Paul McCartney and actors Chris Pratt and Chris Evans.
In 2017, Noelle found herself low in cash flow due to high-interest, online loans she had secured, the largest of which was taking $13,000 a month. It was particularly concerning because “so many people depend on me for their livelihood,” she said.
Taking Advantage of Lower-Cost Capital
To remedy her situation, Noelle was referred to CDC Small Business Finance where she got the financial breathing room with a $250,000 SBA Community Advantage loan. With the new affordable capital, she refinanced her expensive debt and gained working capital to support the company.
“When I got the text from Chris Flowers (CDC loan officer) that I’d been approved for the loan, I was extremely relieved,” Noelle confided. “Others I worked with at CDC were also very helpful.”
With 10 years of small business experience under her belt, Noelle is open to sharing the key ingredients of her success with budding entrepreneurs.
“Never doubt yourself and go for your dream, but also don’t be afraid to ask for help when you get in a pinch,” she said.