Charleen Caabay started her cooking career on the streets of San Francisco's Bay area. In 2012, she opened Kainbigan, a pop up restaurant in Oakland that served Filipino food. Its popularity among foodies encouraged Chef Charleen to open a more permanent brick-and-mortar spot, which she established in 2013.
To grow the small business, Caabay liquidated her personal assets, but, even still, she needed capital. She reached out to Pacific Community Ventures (PCV), a San Francisco-based CDFI. PCV helped the entrepreneur pay-off debts from a previous high-interest, predatory loan, purchase kitchen and catering equipment, and move forward with her dream of bringing her Filipino comfort food to more people.
Today, Kainbigan has two locations. With larger and more kitchen space, the restaurant is able to add offsite catering to its menu offerings and seat more customers onsite. It’s also created ten new jobs.