Upbeat music plays. Bud, an older gentleman with a mustache, wearing a collared shirt and blazer, speaks.
Bud Colligan: Whether you're starting a flower shop or opening a coffee shop…
Evelyn, a young professional woman with long, dark hair and a nose piercing, speaks.
Evelyn Huang: Childcare businesses, janitorial businesses…
Eric sits on a chair in the middle of his sunny living room, which is filled with eclectic items, including a patterned rug and a brightly painted desk and chair, and a bookcase full of books.
Eric Weaver: You can have an idea. You can have a dream.
Bud: Restaurants, and beauty salons, and trucking services, and…
Evelyn: Graphic artists and freelance…
Bud: Tax services, and food trucks, and…
Evelyn sits on a chair in the middle of her bright, modern living room, the fireplace and a sofa and TV behind her.
Evelyn: People who come from a different culture, and know how to make that food really well.
Eric: And if you just get a few people to partner with you, you can make it happen.
Bud: People have dreams, and maybe they haven't been to Stanford business school, but they still have dreams about being able to do something, providing a service, doing something that they really love.
Rosa selects a bunch of flowers wrapped in plastic in a warehouse, hands it to a man, and says, “Gracias.”
Rosa Funes [off-screen]: I stay 24 hours working with the flowers.
Rosa sits in her office, which is filled with flower shop supplies.
Rosa [onscreen]: I never got tired. Never.
Close-up of Rosa’s bouquets, including bright-yellow daisies, white and red roses, and a pink orchid.
Rosa [off-screen]: I love flowers because I grew up where there were a lot of flowers in my country, in my home, in my grandma's home. When it’s raining, all the gardenias smell everywhere, the jasmine, all the kind of flowers.
Rosa assists a customer in her store.
Customer: I need a small bouquet.
Customer: I like different things.
Rosa wraps a bouquet of white hydrangeas in light-green tissue paper.
Eric [off-screen]: Rosa was one of the first people we made a loan to, and at that time we had one other employee who was a loan officer but who didn't speak Spanish, so I was the loan officer on that.
Rosa: Somebody sent to me Eric to my home. I don't know how. He knocked the door one day.
Eric: And she asked us for a $500 loan, which was smaller than we'd ever considered,
Rosa bends over the plastic vases on the floor full of flowers and pulls out some pink carnations. She puts the finishing touches on a bouquet for a customer, double-checking the order on an invoice.
Eric [off-screen]: but I was so moved by her and her story and her drive that I said yes.
Rosa shows off a flower garland she made for another customer.
Customer: That's really beautiful! Perfect. Thank you.
The customer signs her credit card receipt.
Eric [off-screen]: If you're someone who is living paycheck to paycheck…
Customer: Thank you so much. It’s gorgeous.
Eric: …and can barely keep a few bucks in the bank, there's really no one wanting to do business with you because they can't make money. That's just the reality. Those are people that we should still do business with. They have a right to quality financial services. We're going to provide them with the same level of customer service and integrity that a bank does with more well-heeled clients.
Rosa: Eric say all the time, "Rosa. You have a dream. Don't stop."
Music shifts to another upbeat melody. Close-up of a bouquet of stargazer lilies. Rosa stands, smiling, in her flower shop, wearing a T-shirt that says “Paradise Flowers & Gifts, 650-368-3228.”
A restaurant named Smoke stands on a sunny street corner. People are sitting and eating at tables out front.
Tina Ferguson-Riffe [off-screen]: There’s none left. Are you gonna need more?
Close-up of barbeque ribs being sliced with a big knife in the kitchen. Customers walk, smiling, into the restaurant. Barbeque sauce is ladled onto a plate of ribs.
Tina: Come on in.
Tina grabs several items out of the industrial fridge in the restaurant kitchen.
Tina [onscreen]: My mission in the beginning was to make the best goddamn barbecue in the state of California.
Tina and two customers stand in front of the menu and “Today’s Specials!” boards, which Tina is explaining to them.
Tina: We do our laaamb saaandwich.
Tina bleats when she says “lamb sandwich” and the customers laugh. Employees bustle around the kitchen doing prep work, including rubbing seasoning on some meat. Front of house, a server rings up a customer at the register, while back of house prepares their order.
Tina [off-screen]: When we first opened, there were just two of us, and we were only open three hours a day. By being able to get a loan, I was able to hire more people. I was able to keep the business running during the really off months when my revenue was really low. I bought a smoker.
A server scoops ice out of the ice machine.
Tina: I bought an ice maker, and I didn't have to schlep ice every day, 20 pounds a day, take it home, put it in my freezer, bring it back up to the café, and use it the next day.
Tina spoons some green salsa into a bowl of cornbread batter and shredded cheddar cheese. She stirs everything together and smooths the batter into a half-sheet pan.
Tina: You want to take some corn chips to this. Oh my God. You go to heaven and back without dyin’. It's a really good salsa.
Tina is seated in her living room, wearing a Smoke Berkeley T-shirt.
Tina: I've never been so tired. I have never worked so hard. But I've never been so happy.
Tina is back in the restaurant kitchen.
Tina: Would y’all like another pan of cornbread?
Employee [off-screen]: Yes.
It’s evening and the sun sets over Smoke restaurant.
Evelyn: I think it fundamentally changes the frame that people have about their lives.
Tina: I just got another loan from Opportunity Fund so we can build a beer garden in the back. This is just going to help us grow so much more. And then maybe we're gonna talk about Smoke Oakland, Smoke Richmond. Hmm. How ‘bout San Francisco? I don't know.
Rosa: In three years, I want to see my business big, grow up, a lot of stuff, and maybe have more employees. I don't know. You never know.
Eric: It wasn't so long ago we were working with maybe 100 people a year. This coming year it'll be more like 2,000. That's 2,000 people that will be able to make a meaningful investment in their own economic futures and that of their children, and that'll have ripples over many generations, and that feels good to me.
Onscreen text: Thanks to (in order of appearance) Bud Colligan, Leadership Councilmember; Evelyn Huang, Donor; Eric Weaver, Founder and CEO; Tina Ferguson-Riffe, Chef/Owner, Smoke Berkeley; Rosa Funes, Owner, Paradise Flowers