Feeling at Home at OHSUN Banchan Deli & Cafe

Woman- BIPOC-owned business

Business in high-poverty area

4 Jobs created

$50,000 Owner equity leveraged

Sara Upshaw wanted her business to feel like a cozy home, but she herself didn’t feel at home in the world of business, which she found to be secretive and opaque. Determined to launch her business, Sara connected with Craft3 for coaching and loan support. The loan she received covered tenant improvements and startup costs, and provided an opportunity for a new entrepreneur to feel at home.

For Sara Upshaw, opening OHSUN Banchan Deli & Cafe and her journey as an entrepreneur have both been about feeling at home. She explains, “I wanted to make the place warm and cozy, like you’re coming home to Grandma’s house.” The restaurant, which serves small Korean plates known as banchan, is named after Oh Sun Pak, Sara’s grandmother. As an entrepreneur who as she puts it, “looks different,” she struggled to feel at home in the world of business.

When asked about things she didn’t know when she started, Sara laughs. “The stereotype is that entrepreneurs come from money and they're not diverse. I look different. I'm a woman, I'm Korean, and I'm not part of the boys’ club. I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I didn't think I was allowed to. Then the pandemic hit. Everyone was examining their lives and I had time to slow down and listen to myself.”  

Sara connected with a lender at Craft3. For Sara, that experience was a breath of fresh air. “Before Craft3, every conversation I had about financing was terrifying because of the gatekeeping; it was secretive and opaque. Working with Craft3 was the complete opposite. Every step of the process was clear, transparent, and felt personal.”  

Craft3 referred her to their in-house Business Services program. They coached Sara through the process of getting loan ready and learning how to generate and work with cash projections. Sara refers to her coach as “a guardian angel.”  

After a few months, Sara was ready to apply for and receive a loan. “Craft3 is a big part of why my restaurant and space looks so great. The loan gave me an opportunity and a chance I wouldn't otherwise have been able to get.”