• Calla Norman

How Three Small Businesses Crowdfunded their Growth on Honeycomb

.What do a brunch spot, a dry cleaner, and a delivery van have in common? They’re all projects that were funded with community investments, thanks to Honeycomb Credit crowdfunded small business loans which helped the businesses find investors within their own backyard.


We’d like you to meet Sherree, Justin, and Naomi - three entrepreneurs who took their growth into their own hands and invited their biggest fans to invest in their success.


Square Cafe triples their square footage with restaurant expansion


Since 2003, Square Cafe has been a mainstay brunch spot in the Regent Square neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In 2020, they had the opportunity to move into a new location, in nearby East Liberty, to a spot that was three times the size of the original location.


“The place needed a facelift,” says Sherree Goldstein, owner of Square Cafe. So, she ran a Honeycomb campaign and raised $250,000 in just 47 days.


Running the Honeycomb also helped Square Cafe with finding investors for the project. “I also got a lot of support from people who were so excited to support us and help us,” says Sherree. “In the last two days, it just crazy blew up and we were able to max out at $250,000.”


Now, you can find Square Cafe on Highland Avenue in East Liberty and enjoy a stack of pancakes in their freshly remodeled restaurant.


Strong’s Cleaners shifts towards success in the pandemic


Strong’s Cleaners has been in operation for 90 years, steadily providing quality dry-cleaning, tailoring, and laundry services. Owner Justin Strong was planning to renovate the space, but he was having difficulty accessing fair funding to get the job done.


Then, 2020 happened, and Strong’s Cleaners had to switch gears. So, Justin made the decision to shift business operations toward cleaning medical uniforms. This still needed capital, and as a result he turned to Honeycomb Credit to crowdfund the funding he needed to make this shift.


Justin ended up raising $25,000 with his Honeycomb campaign, finding investors for his business in community members who believed in him and his vision for Strong’s Cleaners. One such investor was actually his fourth-grade teacher!


About his crowdfunding campaign, Justin was overwhelmed by the community response and how it made him feel: “It’s the only time we get treated like a Fortune 500 company,” he says.


Pressed for success: How the Pittsburgh Juice Company crowdfunded their delivery van


The Pittsburgh Juice Company’s Honeycomb campaign is very near and dear to our hearts, because they were actually the first-ever campaign on our platform! Just as owner Naomi Homison took a chance on us, so did the 67 investors who helped Naomi raise $38,850 to purchase a new delivery van.


Naomi’s campaign allowed her to get the delivery van, which helped her expand her raw, cold-pressed juices into more wholesale locations across the city - in over 40 locations.


Not only did her campaign help with the end goal - getting the van, but it also helped her find investors in her loyal customers, and also turn community investors into loyal customers! “What Honeycomb truly offers is the ability to turn your loyal patrons and your supporters into your investors. There’s the sense that people felt they have a stake in the success of your business.”


“With Honeycomb, there’s a huge support network and they have the resources to help you get the word out,” says Naomi. “You can almost think of a Honeycomb campaign as not only a capital campaign but also a marketing campaign.”


Small businesses like these guys are making their communities more vibrant and financially empowered


And a Honeycomb loan helps speed up their success! Are you looking to grow your business, find investors, and make an impact on your community at the same time? Learn more about Honeycomb Credit crowdfunded small business loans by filling out the form below.