Luis Cruz

Two Hearts Cafe

Luis Cruz came to the United States from with the dream of becoming a successful business owner. He studied hard to make this dream a reality, completing degrees in Business Administration and Culinary Arts. Nevertheless, his education and personal drive were not quite enough. While he tried to access capital from traditional banks to start his business his lack of credit history stood in the way. Luis has to put his dream on hold while he worked as a Chef for almost 8 years and saved every penny to invest in his future business.

In 2009, Luis gathered his entire savings and opened a small cafe in Lowell, MA. With his savings, Luis was able to cover his start-up costs, equipment and building renovations, yet he still did not have enough working capital to purchase supplies and hire employees. He needed a small business loan, and while he now had a strong credit history, it was the newness of his business that made the loan out of reach.

Luis heard about non-profit microlender Accion, and the Brewing the American Dream program and applied for a loan. He was quickly approved for a $10,000 small business loan and is now the proud owner of Two Hearts Café, a welcoming restaurant and bakery located on one of Lowell's busiest main streets. Luis always welcomes his customers with a smile, excellent service and great food. "Accion and the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program didn't look only to numbers, like the banks did. They were able to see and understand my idea and all the hard work I was putting into my business." Luis says. "I am really grateful that they saw the potential in me that I always knew I had."
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