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  • Writer's pictureAnnamarie Galante

Meet the 12 small business entrepreneurs funding their futures on Honeycomb!

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

What do all of these 12 lovely people have in common? From Phoenix to Detroit to Baltimore, their businesses are all looking to blossom! Meet the entrepreneurs this week on Honeycomb and see how you can help them strike home!

Candace and Kurtis of Squash the Beef stand in front of their festival set up

Meet Kurtis Williams & Candace Maiden of Squash the Beef Catering!

Squash the Beef Catering is a family-owned vegan catering company based in Northeast Ohio. In order to make healthy lifestyle changes, both Kurtis and Candace became vegans in 2017, with a mission to create delicious, comfort-foods. It was this passion that led them into the opening of Squash the Beef Catering! Kurtis and Candace are looking to purchase a food trailer to cover more locations and sell more products!

Our family went plant-based in 2017. We noticed that there were not a lot of options for vegan comfort-food in Northeast Ohio. We were tired of going to events and the only thing people had to offer for vegans was fruit and salad. Vegans like to eat! So we wanted to create culturally-based comfort-foods.”

Aekeam Awad, owner of Financial Freedom

Meet Aekeam Awad of Financial Freedom!

Based in Baltimore, Financial Freedom Investments LLC is a real estate investment company. Aekeam’s ultimate goal is to create a blueprint for intergenerational wealth through real estate investing. He became interested in and started learning about real estate investing at the age of 23.

Aekeam would like to share his knowledge about real estate investing by acquiring more property and start a training/mentorship program that will teach his community how to achieve the same success.

“I have seen the impact that mentors can have firsthand because when I got started in real estate, I was fortunate enough to find two mentors that walked me through their business model step- by- step. I aim to fill that role for others as we continue to climb to the top!”

Owners Abigail and Andrew in front of Madeleine's Bakery and Bistro

Meet Andrew & Abigail Stump of Madeleine Bakery and Bistro!

Based in Pittsburgh’s Regent Square neighborhood, Madeleine Bakery & Bistro is a small, family-owned bakery that specializes in classic French baked goods like baguettes, macarons, and croissants. After both graduating with degrees in nutrition and hospitality, Andrew and Abigail met at The Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA.

From there, they fleshed out their dream vision for Madeleine Bakery & Bistro and in 2017, their dream became a reality! Abigail and Andrew are now seeking investments for working capital during COVID-19 and to eventually expand into the wholesale market.

“We are working daily to expand our customer base by increasing our presence and engagement on social media, and by encouraging our current customers to recommend us to their friends and neighbors. We are growing the wholesale aspect of the business by reaching out to premier businesses in the city that we think would be a good fit for our products. As we approach the maximum capacity in our current location, we are looking for new locations that will be the perfect fit for our business.”

Owners Lauren and Jason Perry of Trident Shield

Meet Lauren & Jason Perry of Trident Shield!

Trident Shield is veteran-owned consulting company for workplace violence and emergency preparedness training. As a retired Navy SEAL and retired Boston Police Officer/SWAT Team member, Jason has over 30 years of experience. Jason’s main goal is "To save lives. Not just lives from being lost, but also to protect innocence.” Lauren has also been a professional trainer since 2012, and has been leading training in the security field since 2014. Lauren’s mission is to create positive change in as many lives as she can. Lauren and Jason want to increase their marketing and public relations efforts.

Your investment has the power to save lives and protect innocence! You are not just helping a small business continue in their mission; you are empowering people across the country with skills that could possibly save their lives or prevent other personal violence, such as domestic violence, muggings, or sexual assault.”

Owners Marcus Coleman and Quinton Reid of Peer Pantry

Meet Marcus Coleman & Quinton Reid of Peer Pantry!

Established in Cleveland, Peer Pantry is a health and wellness business that offers gluten-free, allergen-friendly sauces that can be used as healthy alternatives for a wide variety of dishes. After adopting a “clean-eating” diet free of dairy, gluten, soy, and grains, Marcus lost 100 pounds and now is able to give others the opportunity to do so as well. Marcus and his co-owner Quinton are looking to become more competitive on a regional level through trade shows and inventory purchases.

“As an educator at Cuyahoga Community College, I [Marcus] learned that many students consuming nutrient deficient food products. I sought to provide free food education workshops for youth, parents, and school officials to develop solutions”

Owner Kandis Hall of Studio iPlay

Meet Kandis Hall of Studio Iplay!

Located in Detroit, Studio IPlay is an indoor playground that offers art classes for kids with paint, play, and party. With a Master of Science in Leadership and Administration and Entrepreneur Facilitator certificate, Kandis decided to open an indoor playground in the Detroit suburbs because she was tired of driving 30 miles away so that her four year-old daughter could play during the harsh Michigan winters.

Kandis is now looking to purchase new equipment to safely reopen.

“Paint, Play, Party is what we are known for, and why we are loved. We have grown so much in the community and people look forward to celebrating with us, whether for a birthday party or just a paint session with their child. My vision for Studio IPlay is to have a model that I can completely duplicate throughout the city. I believe every community will find value in this business model”

Owners Chuck Moore and Steve Cislaw of Chaco Flaco in Phoenix

Meet Chuck Moore & Steve Cislaw of Chaco Flaco!

Based in Phoenix, Chaco Flaco is an artisanal drink company that creates all-natural craft cocktail mixers. Chaco Flaco got started one night in 2012 by accident when Chuck, mixologist for over 20 years, brought in his homemade cocktails to the bar that he managed. After customers kept drinking one after the other, another customer asked what Chuck was making, to which he replied, “Chaco Flaco!”

With Chuck’s vast experience in the restaurant industry, and co-owner Steve’s 20+ years in senior-level finance and operations, the two make for a fun team! Chuck and Steve are now looking to fund their first canned cocktail product run and to increase marketing efforts for the new product line.

“With our launch of the canned cocktail line in fall of 2020 we anticipate a very successful rollout. Our goal is to capture a significant amount of the consumer base through various affiliations in the extreme sports arena, i.e. IndyCar, Nascar, Motocross, Baja 1000, 500 etc. We are also going to heavily be involved in many music festivals in Arizona, California, and Nevada.”

Looking to make some dreams come true?

With as little as $100, you can create a tangible, positive impact in your community by investing in local businesses on Honeycomb. These business owners have big plans and ever bigger dreams—and they’re waiting for you to say yes. Learn more about these small business owners, see how you could make a few dreams come true, and earn up to 5-14% interest all at the same time.


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