Los Primos Meat Market, A Small Business Client Feature

Since 1987, Los Primos Meat Market has worked behind the scenes of the restaurant industry, providing hundreds of Dominican, Mexican, Colombian, Ecuadorian, and other Latino restaurants in New York City with farm-sourced meat, poultry, and dry goods products. As one of the oldest meat distributors in Brooklyn, they have built direct relationships with butchers and farmers across the country and a high-touch delivery process for their restaurateurs.

Juan Raul Espinal, co-owner and operator of Los Primos Meat Market, never intended to make the family business his full-time career. But after stepping away for a few years to pursue his undergraduate degree and consulting work, he knew corporate life wasn’t for him. He came back to the business his father started and, twenty-four years later, has a vision for the company’s growth over the next two decades. He manages day-to-day managerial tasks, logistics, and operations, including overseeing 30 employees and the distribution of nine trucks across four New York City boroughs.

“When I am at work, I am still kind of at home. Running a business has a lot of positives, like not having to answer to corporate America. I also appreciate the ability to expand and grow our customer base and profits at our own pace,” says Juan.

With over 70 long-term customers, Los Primos Meat Market is still recovering from the supply chain impacts associated with the pandemic. For example, the team had to find creative solutions for the numerous out-of-stock ingredients, offering their customers alternative items.

“The costs for everyday grocery items like dried spices and take-out containers are still high because the supply was very low. Pricing has gone down a little, but not much; they are still high compared to before 2020,” explains Juan. “Thankfully, though, business is finally starting to pick up again.”

We are proud to have weathered the storm together, supporting Los Primos Meat Market since 2010. They first approached us for a small business loan, using the working capital to triple the capacity of their warehouse freezers and refrigerators. After experiencing our personalized approach to banking as one of the only community banks in Bronx, NY, they moved their business checking account and opened a new business bank account with us, too.

During the pandemic, we also helped them manage and receive the EIDL and PPP loans. “Spring Bank is very accommodating. They are much easier to work with than a corporate financial institution. For example, they stay on top of every daily transaction. If anything in our accounts looks off, they give us a call to warn us. It’s this type of service from a community bank that we would not likely experience from a big bank,” says Juan. “We highly value this as a small business with a value of personalized service, too.”

The longevity and growth of small businesses in the Bronx and across New York City are core to our mission. We do not take it lightly that family-owned businesses like Los Primos Meat Market trust us with their accounts, and we do our best to ensure they have what they need to thrive in the competitive New York City business landscape.

Learn more about Los Primos Meat Market and how your restaurant can source the highest quality ingredients. As you consider your choices among banks in NY, we hope you will consider our small business accounts and commercial lending opportunities. Please contact us here to learn more about how we can help your business create more capacity and scale for years to come.

Primary Information: A Spring Bank Nonprofit Feature

A Brooklyn-based organization and one of our nonprofit clients, Primary Information, works to “advance the often-intertwined relationship between artists’ books and arts’ activism,” by publishing artists’ books and writings at affordable rates to the public and creating a platform for historically marginalized artistic communities. Building on the tradition of the artist book medium dating back to the 1960s, Primary Information is committed to democratizing the distribution of artists’ books.

“Executive Editor and Artistic Director James Hoff started the press with Miriam Katzeff back in 2006 with the idea of bringing long out-of-print, inaccessible publications back into circulation at affordable prices by creating facsimile editions, working to reproduce the original publications as closely as possible to their original form— including matching the original paper stocks as closely as possible,” says Matthew Walker, Executive Director of Primary Information.

They also work with contemporary artists to commission new publications, facilitating intergenerational dialogue with historical publications that remain of critical relevance to contemporary conversations and welcoming the next era of readers.

“Part of our mission is to foster diverse conversation between these historical publications and newer generations of artists working at the vanguard of contemporary practice,” explains Matthew.

The artist list at Primary Information is extensive and includes Pippa Garner, author of the 1982 Better Living Catalog, who has had a recent Renaissance in her career and whose book is already in its third printing since being published in facsimile form in June 2023. The organization’s most recent title, On and Off-Screen Imaginaries by contemporary artist Tiffany Sia, is a collection of six essays written in the wake of the 2019-2020 Hong Kong Protests. Check out their complete catalog here.

The Primary Information team continually reflects on how they can create a more inclusive experience for readers, starting with affordable prices. For example, the price range for a publication is $10 to $40. And $40 gets you a lot for your money: a 600-page, full-color book. Their subscription program, priced at just $125 for the year, is a deal, shipping every book they produce to subscribers for a calendar year.

“We price our books at cost with the aim of breaking even on the production costs of the books, so we have to supplement our sales revenue with grants and donations. We have a generous community who supports our mission to make artists’ books affordable and accessible,” says Matthew.

Primary Information has been a nonprofit customer since 2018, and we are proud to be part of their community.  As a community bank in Bronx, NY, they knew we prioritized the needs of the city’s hardworking small business owners and nonprofits.

“Spring Bank is very supportive of small businesses, and they give lines of credit to organizations that might not otherwise be able to get one, including nonprofit organizations like us,” says Matthew. “Our line of credit was invaluable to helping us navigate cash flow, especially when our budget was smaller.”

It was also our pleasure to support Primary Information through the pandemic with PPP lending and to offer them one-to-one support when they need it. Despite the distance between their offices and our branches in the Bronx, they have never found an issue with accessing the services they need.

“It is so rare to have a personal relationship with your banker these days,” says Matthew. “We use the app and online mobile banking platform daily and have never had an issue doing business in different boroughs than the branch.”

We hope you will take the time to learn more about Primary Information. You can also read more about how we can help your nonprofit manage cash flow through a line of credit or nonprofit checking account. Our nonprofit checking account benefits include no maintenance fees, remote deposit capture, mobile deposit, and personalized service. And if you’re a small business owner, we have what you need via our business checking account or another one of our small business accounts.

Spring Bank Staff Feature, Yahaira Peralta, Operations Clerk

As one of the few community banks in Bronx, New York, our team is the heart of our institution, each member contributing to the success of our mission. Today, we spotlight Yahaira Peralta, Operations Clerk, who has been an integral part of our team for the past three years.

Yahaira’s journey began as a teller during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the unusual and difficult circumstances, her dedication and passion for people’s financial wellness shone through. After three years of exceptional service, she was promoted to her current role as an Operations Clerk.

In her day-to-day responsibilities, Yahaira verifies checks, handles online banking, and assists with online account openings.  As we continue to grow, so do Yahaira’s responsibilities. She is enthusiastic about embracing new challenges and seizing opportunities to expand her knowledge base in the financial industry, including helping our clients by supporting them once they’ve opened a new business bank account.

“I miss working with our customers one-to-one, but now I am learning something new, and I am growing professionally at Spring Bank,” she says, reflecting on her promotion.

Banking has been a long-held dream for Yahaira since she moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic. Relocating to New York City fourteen years ago, Yahaira overcame language barriers and developed her career step by step.

“For me, banking has always been one of my dream professions. I saw people who could manage money and wanted to build that skill and offer it to others,” she says.

A friend recommended us to her, igniting her interest in community banking. One of her current goals is to continue working toward her bachelor’s degree, and she sees Spring Bank as a place to foster growth in various areas, especially within the operations department.

A deeply spiritual person, Yahaira believes that when you pursue something with all your heart, the universe helps to guide you. Her journey exemplifies this belief and is a testament to the values of dedication, growth, and community that define us here at Spring Bank.

“If you want something, you can get it. You just have to work hard for it,” Yahaira shares.

Customers at Spring Bank perceive our team as more than just bankers; they see us as part of their family. Yahaira values the personal connections she’s created with clients, allowing her to understand their unique needs and concerns.

“Customers come to you like you are a part of their inner circle. They see that we are here every day for them. They take the time to share their experiences and problems because they know we are going to take care of them. It’s nice that they can rely on us,” she shares empathically.

Working as a teller, Yahaira recalls her customers’ appreciation when they wanted to open a checking or open a personal savings account but didn’t meet the requirements, and she would work with them on the necessary steps to qualify. Her customers were grateful for the type of one-to-one guidance bigger banks in NY don’t typically offer.

“It’s good to open an account with us because we can closely monitor and manage your money — faster than a bigger bank. We see transactions daily and can provide customer service on the spot. We are more likely to avoid problems, such as fraud, with your account this way,” Yahaira says.

If you are ready to experience the exceptional service of a community-focused bank, contact us!  Stop by a branch or call us at (718) 879-5000.

Kings Co. Imperial — c/o Leisurely
Kings Co. Imperial — c/o Leisurely

A Small Business Client Feature

If that image above didn’t already make your mouth water, we want to warn you that by the end of our feature of Kings Co. Imperial, you will most likely be hungry.

Kings Co. Imperial marries a farm-to-table philosophy with a Brooklyn-style spin on traditional Chinese food. Their unique philosophy? Offer home-style traditional Chinese food with a creative cocktail program and an eclectic vibe. As Jacob Dean wrote in a 2018 article for the Michelin Guide, “Josh Grinker and his business partner Tracy Jane Young made a name for themselves by serving up a menu that didn’t pull its punches.”

We agree. Kings Co. Imperial’s menu punches include dim sum: sesame shrimp toast, Chinese hanging pork ribs, and bok choy potstickers; dishes like Dan Dan Mian (preserved mustard stem, Sichuan pepper, chili oil, minced pork, peanuts), Ocean Wealth Shrimp (baby shrimp, smoked tofu, snow pea, egg, ginger) and many classics, too. They serve dishes from multiple regions of China, including Canton and Sichuan, and don’t forget their beverages.

“Our fruit, herb, and edible flower garden supports our robust and enticing cocktail program, and we do our best to use fresh herbs and juices as often as we can,” says Tracy.

With three locations—Lower East Side, Downtown Brooklyn (for take-out and deliveries), and Williamsburg, they became a hit quickly. We are proud to be part of their small business growth story.

Kings Co. Imperial chefs and owners Tracy Jane Young and Josh Grinker, met in culinary school 20 years ago and trained under the same master Sichuan chef. Later, they traveled to China together, learning and honing their skills. They discover a shared love and passion for the craft and highly technical, diverse cuisine—the most technically difficult cuisine to master in the world.

“China has more recipes than any other country in the world because there is so much originality,” explains Josh. “It’s like the mother source of South Asian cuisine, all other Asian cuisines stemming from China.”

After traveling throughout Southeast Asia and China and working for some of the best restaurants in New York City, including 11 Madison Park, River Cafe, and Nobu, Josh knew he wanted to open his own Chinese restaurant. He approached Tracy, who was traveling the world as a chef on a superyacht, and at first, she thought he was crazy. She wasn’t sure why anyone would come, but also knew she had to find out, and in 2015 they opened their first location in Williamsburg. Eight years later, they still love it.

“We don’t pretend to be experts and we’re not classically trained Chinese chefs. We feel lucky to be able to continue learning and cooking a cuisine that we love,” says Josh.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Josh reminisces about eating Chinese food with his family.

“When we could afford to celebrate a special occasion, we went to Chinatown, eight or six of us around a table,” says Josh. “It’s a special culinary experience for me and the cuisine that makes me most excited to cook.”

Dedication and commitment continue to pay off for Kings Co. Imperial. In 2016, they made the Micheline Guide, and they never closed their doors during the pandemic. They continue to grow and expand. Through our commercial real estate loan program, Kings Co. Imperial bought their Williamsburg location, and they plan to purchase their next property, too.

“This is truly beyond our wildest dreams — to own our own building. Five years ago, we were looking down the line at the end of our rental extension. And now, we own our flagship. We are so grateful to Spring Bank for helping us get the loan process done so quickly,” says Tracy.

“Spring Bank went out on a limb for us.  Our financials are strong, but we didn’t have a lot of cash, so they allowed us to put only 25% down, which is less than most commercial real estate deals,” says Josh.

The next plan is to buy the building next door, which they already rent, and own contiguous buildings with almost 3500 square feet. The plan is to expand private dining options, host more events like their dumpling classes, and continue to support their local followings.

“Rising tides lift all boats; the community can support the businesses, and the businesses can support the community,” says Tracy.

We couldn’t agree more.

Visit Kings Co. and check out their menu.
Learn about the Kings Co. Imperial garden and read their Michelin Feature.

Learn more about our commercial real estate program and how we can help your business grow through a business checking account or business bank account.

Announcing the Launch of Clubhouse Café

Starting as a grassroots soccer program, South Bronx United has transformed from a soccer program into a multifaceted organization— expanding its services far beyond the soccer field and now serving over 1600 young people and their families. From offering academic and career support to social work and immigration services, South Bronx United is a community resource.

At Spring Bank, we’ve had the opportunity to work and partner with many committed Bronx-based nonprofit organizations. As one of a few community banks in Bronx, New York, we take seriously our role as lender, banker, and financial partner. Today, we are introducing South Bronx United, their youth empowerment work, and the exciting launch of their new Clubhouse Café!

“It’s about reevaluating what the community needs, what’s working well and what’s not, how we can do better to serve the students and families we’re already serving and who are we missing as well,” says Andrew So, South Bronx United’s Executive Director.

Realizing that young people faced many barriers after leaving the soccer field, South Bronx United combined the recreational sports program with professional development programs. By tapping into the passion for soccer, the organization engages young people and finds innovative ways to support their diverse needs.

In 2010, the second year of the soccer program, South Bronx United started offering free after-school tutoring and college prep nights. The coaches also served as mentors and teachers, discussing the value of academics and developing leadership skills.

“We provided the students a chance to compete, practice, play in a league, and then we realized pretty quickly that we could do a lot more and have a much bigger impact than just soccer,” Andrew says. “It’s powerful when you start with what a young person loves to do or what they’re really interested in. That’s what really engages them long-term.”

Additionally, South Bronx United recognizes the importance of holistic and family support. Their first full-time hire was a social worker.

“Even if they have a supportive family, these kids need reliable adults outside the home, especially in more challenging environments. We aim for them to feel comfortable here,” Andrew emphasizes.

In addition to their youth programs, they offer adult and family services, including immigrant and citizenship services, social gatherings, job boards, workshops, and more.

“To serve the youth, you also have to serve the family. To provide stability to a young person means helping the family find stability, too,” Andrew states.

South Bronx United’s newest endeavor is their Clubhouse Café, a “social enterprise operated by Bronx youth.” As part of their 3,000-square-foot clubhouse, where they run programs, host classrooms, and run practices on an indoor mini-soccer field, they now host a community café.

In addition to delicious coffee and treats, the Clubhouse Café serves as a training ground for students aged 16-24, providing them with job training, food handler certifications, and resume-building opportunities. The cafe aims to benefit the neighborhood and the youth, preparing them for careers and providing a space for the community to unite.

“We thought it would be great to generate additional awareness in the community and bring people in through a café for everyone,” Andrew explains.

How You Can Support South Bronx United:

  1. Visit the Cafe: Stop by River Avenue and 157th Street. Your visit not only supports Bronx youth but also contributes to the growth of a local small business.
  2. Encourage Participation: Young people of all ages, from toddlers to teens, are welcome to join South Bronx United programs. Classes in the clubhouse are open to all, and no one is turned away based on their financial situation.
  3. Make a Donation: Financial support is crucial for organizations like South Bronx United. Consider donating to help them continue their impactful work in the community.
  4. Spread the Word: Share the inspiring story of South Bronx United and encourage others to get involved.

We were introduced to South Bronx United through Rocking the Boat, a client we’ve worked with over the years who has also been having a large positive impact on youth in the South Bronx through educational programming around boat building, sailing, and environmental stewardship.

“We’ve been with [large financial institutions] since day one, but we’ve never had a personal relationship with our bankers. There’s not a branch on every corner, but the relationship and the support with Spring Bank has been fantastic,” shares Andrew.

If you are a nonprofit organization looking for personalized community-driven financial services, explore our nonprofit checking and lending programs. You can also learn how your personal checking account, personal savings account, or business checking account creates local impact for our nonprofit partners.

Mother helping her son with his Hearing Aid

 

“Where else can you get a 4% loan? I would not have been able to purchase the equipment at all. I have three more years of payments, and it’s manageable. The assistive vision technology has made all the difference for me.” — Karen Bezem, Assistive Technology Loan Program Recipient 

Are you or a loved one having challenges affording the medical devices and assistive technology you need? Hearing and vision aids, communication devices, environmental adaptations, wheelchairs, and home or vehicle modifications – can be expensive. We know that often, these types of expenses are unexpected.

That’s why we are happy to share that through our partnership with National Disability Institute (NDI)— the first national nonprofit committed exclusively to financial inclusion and empowerment for people with disabilities—individuals can purchase devices they need without getting caught in high-interest debt. Spring Bank and National Disability Institute can help you find and afford assistive technology through the Assistive Technology Loan Program.

The NDI Assistive Technology Loan Program includes a loan of up to $45,000 with competitive interest rates and no credit score requirements for residents of New York and New Jersey. Built into the program is also the opportunity to build credit with every timely loan payment reported to credit bureaus.

Assistive technology products or devices that can improve your independence and quality of life may include:

  • Computer equipment
  • Hearing aids
  • Vision aids
  • Modified vehicles
  • Scooters/wheelchairs 
  • Accessible bathrooms
  • Smart home technology

“Spring Bank is very generous. We found out together that a credit score and debt-to-income ratio aren’t as important as being able to verify that a person can afford their monthly expenses, that they are addressing their outstanding credit, and that they can afford the costs of these loans, too,” says Laurie Schaller, Manager Financial Empowerment at National Disability Institute.

Additionally, Laurie and her team at NDI will work as your financial guides, ensuring you can afford the technology you need before you take out the loan. They can help you create a spending plan and understand any benefits you may be eligible for to help people afford their monthly expenses. NDI may even be able to help you find additional funding to help reduce the size of the needed loan; this may be helpful for people who need to hire a contractor for home adjustments for a wheelchair or need a modified vehicle with hand controls, for example.

“For the majority of people who call us, we can usually find a grant or other line of funding to help them purchase the assistive technology and maybe reduce the amount of loan they need,” explains Laurie.

The Assistive Technology Loan Program provides affordable loans of up to $45,000 for the purchase or refinance of assistive technology to residents of New Jersey and New York. Learn more about this opportunity or contact NDI at 202.449.9521

Learn an easy way to alleviate stress in the workplace. 

Money is the number one stress for all Americans, higher than work stresses, family responsibilities, and health concerns.*

New York City— continues to make the top five of most expensive cities in the United States. With rising inflation, income does not always equate to financial security. It feels like money is tight for all of us, and many of us know all too well, that circumstances can change quickly, impacting financial goals. 

That’s why we designed our Employee Opportunity Program. Let your employees know you care in a tangible way, and help them access funds to manage unforeseen expenses—and not get caught in cycles of debt and stress. Through our Employee Opportunity Program, you can help your employees learn to build credit and personal savings, receive free financial counseling, and access our Employee Opportunity Loan

We often describe the Employee Opportunity Program as a financial health benefit, part of your larger employee benefits package. When you join the program, we partner with you, too. 

Learn more about how you or your employer can build a financially healthier workforce through the many benefits of our Employee Opportunity Program in this video above & linked here, too:

https://spring.community/employeeoppprogram

 *73 percent of Americans rank their finances as the number one stress in life, according to new Capital One CreditWise survey.

Jason Garcia, Credit Analyst, a Spring Bank Staff Feature

We’re a Bronx-based community bank in NY dedicated to helping our community and the greater New York City area thrive with affordable banking products. We couldn’t do this without the compassionate and talented people that make up our team. This month, we spotlight Credit Analyst, Jason Garcia, and his contributions to the commercial lending team.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jason graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in finance. A long-time athlete, he launched his career as a middle school basketball coach, and highly valued the opportunity to witness his team grow and improve their game. The discipline and teamwork he taught them were transferable skills he brought to our lending team at Spring Bank when he joined us in October of 2021.

“I’ve always wanted to pursue banking as a long-term career, and the teamwork and leadership training I learned as a coach equipped me in commercial real estate lending,” Jason shares.

As a Credit Analyst, Jason works on underwriting loans as part of our small business lending services. He also improves the annual review process for regulatory requirements by institutions like the FDIC. Jason has learned many aspects of working on the lending team — from portfolio management to auditing and underwriting. He loves educating clients and wearing various hats.

“Being a part of a community bank requires performing in multiple roles so that the lending process runs smoothly, and our clients are well informed and confident in their loan,” says Jason.

For example, Jason guided Kings Co Imperial Chinese restaurant in Williamsburg in securing their first commercial real estate purchase. This is a significant win; a restaurant that owns property in New York City is an asset if the business encounters risk.

“The lending team at Spring Bank is highly committed to the long-term success of our clients. We customize each experience, and integrity and teamwork are always present.”

Jason is also pursuing an MBA at Baruch College. He’s adjusted to balancing his time between work, school, and leisure activities and looks forward to a spring 2024 graduation. He aspires to move into a managerial role and support the launch of our upcoming Brooklyn location.

The value of building a relationship with a small bank is that you will receive personal, one-on-one support. We will work to get a loan that meets your needs while being transparent about the information and the loan process. Our unique services are tailored to fit your financial goals and situation.

We’re grateful to have people like Jason on our team who bring compassion and ambition to our community. Our small business account clients receive an exceptional experience and build meaningful relationships thanks to our small business and commercial lending teams. Contact us if you want to expand your small business or open a small business account.

For many of us, November and December kick off a season of celebrating, family, feasting, and yes…spending. The holidays are a chance to make memories, but this can also be a time of financial stress—especially if you wait until the last minute to make plans. The last thing you want to do is drain your personal savings, causing more stress than joy later. 

Here are a few savings strategies to help you plan ahead, avoid credit card debt or the need to apply for personal loan, and enjoy a healthy, happy holiday season.   

Travel 

Comparison Shop: Last minute flight or hotel plans? Compare discount sites against airline and hotel sites, which may offer promotional discounts if you book directly. You can also compare the cost of one-way tickets, which can be cheaper than round-trip fare.  

Flexible Dates & Times: Flying a day earlier or later can significantly reduce the cost of your tickets. Likewise, pay attention to departure times. Early morning or red-eye takeoffs versus afternoon flights can trim as much as $100-$200 per ticket.  

Alternate Airports: When searching for holiday flights, be sure to include other airports within your filter parameters. Sometimes, flying into or out of a smaller airport (even on one leg of the trip) can reduce your total checkout cost.  

Bundle Deals: Do you need a rental car or hotel in addition to your flight? Many travel sites offer discounted rates if you book everything together — this one-stop-shop approach also saves you planning time.  

Reward Points: If you have accumulated frequent flier miles or credit card reward points, now is the time to cash in on them. They can trim your travel expenses or even cover the cost of a flight. 

Gifting

DIY Gifts: Thoughtful gifts don’t require a big budget or expert crafting – a video tribute, photo book, or curated snack basket for the sweet tooth, coffee lover, or home baker in your life are just a few ideas.  

Swap: Many of us have something in our home that we don’t use – an appliance collecting dust or something you were gifted twice. Host a party where your friends or family bring a quality item they’d be happy to swap.  

The Gift of Time: The holidays are an especially busy time, and caregiving is often a steep hourly expense. Instead of buying gifts, offer cost-free babysitting or pet sitting to someone who could benefit from a date night or weekend away from home.  

Opt for an Outing: Gifts aren’t the only way to connect during the holidays. Suggest a group experience you can enjoy together. Whether it’s a holiday performance, snow tubing, or a festive exhibit, experiences are often what make a season memorable.  

Feasting

Potluck Dinners: Host a potluck dinner where each guest brings a dish to share. This not only reduces the cost and pressure of cooking for a large group but also makes the meal more diverse. You might even walk away with a favorite new recipe! 

Keep it Simple The holidays are a hard time for so many households living paycheck-to-paycheck or living without a paycheck at all. You don’t need a big budget to make a meaningful impact. In lieu of a lavish meal, donate to your local food bank in your area and encourage others to join you.  

Free Financial Counseling

If holiday spending has you feeling stressed, reach out! Our nonprofit partner, GreenPath Financial Wellness, can help you pay down debt, create a sustainable budget, and connect to free financial courses designed to build a healthy financial foundation year-round. They will help you navigate how to maintain and grow the balance in your personal savings accounts while taking care of daily expenses. 

Learn more about our partnership with nonprofit GreenPath Financial Wellness and how you can access free financial counseling. 

This article is shared by our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness, a trusted national non-profit.

Wheated Brooklyn — 10 Years of Pizza & Bagels in Ditmas Park

A Spring Bank Small Business Feature 

The best bagels at a Brooklyn pizza shop, anyone? If you’re a bagel lover like so many New Yorkers, you know the bagel shop options are abundant, and the competition is fierce. But when you’re a pizza shop that’s won “Best of the Boroughs” and third place for “Overall Best of the Fest” at New York Bagel Fest 2023, you know you’ve got both New York staples covered in one location.

Meet Wheated, a neighborhood pizzeria in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, making big waves in the New York pizza scene, and one of our small business clients. Founder and owner David Sheridan grew up cooking and feasting with his Italian family over Sunday dinner. 

“My parents are foodies. I was seven or eight years old the first time I ate sushi. As a teenager, I sought out new foods all the time. My parents exposed me to new foods often; I need to thank them more for that,” says David. 

An avid baker, David and his wife hosted pizza-tasting gatherings in their backyard in Queens a few years before opening Wheated. They experimented with dough, sauces, style, and brand identity.  Ten years later, Wheated celebrates its anniversary this year with expansion. We are so proud to be part of their story.

After searching for the right location for two years, David called us about our commercial real estate lending options. Wood-fired pizza was making a comeback in NYC, and our Chief Lending Officer, Akbar Rizvi, knew it was a great opportunity. 

“2023 has been our busiest year yet. We have grown slowly and steadily, quality over quantity. Now, I’m proud to say we are a New York City destination pizzeria,” says David. 

With three distinct styles of dough — roll out, hand pressed, and New Haven—Wheated creates pizzas named after Brooklyn neighborhoods, including the Bay Ridge, Cobble Hill, Borough Park, and, of course, the Ditmas Park pizza.  Their award-winning bagels and breakfast sandwiches on homemade biscuits are available most mornings, and at night, their handcrafted cocktail list is, too.

“We’ve been lucky. Except for pandemic years, we’ve always made a profit. Our earnings would be more of an issue if we did not own the building. But by owning the space, we know the investment offsets other costs,” says David. 

To David, the “recipe for a great restaurant location” meant there was no pizzeria or bagel shop competition in the immediate vicinity and close enough to public transportation and his family’s home since the 1920s.

“The biggest advice I have for small business owners is to think wisely about and negotiate a buying price before you sign the papers. It was a big deal for us to buy the property, and the SBA loan from Spring Bank made it happen,” says David. 

Wheated was David’s first entrepreneurial endeavor, but not the last.  David and his business partners are working on the build-out for their next pizzeria in Kentucky and plan to open a bagel shop in Brooklyn next year.

“It has been fantastic to work with a community bank. Spring Bank cares. You can talk to them on the phone when needed; they have your back. They will give you a call, for example, to avoid overdraft fees when you forget to move money around,” says David. “We are also very grateful to Spring Bank for helping us navigate and take advantage of both rounds of PPP lending.” 

Follow Wheated on Instagram @wheatedbrooklyn. Visit them on Church Ave, just off the B/Q, F/G. Check out their award-winning bagel feature @bagelfest. And if you’re still wondering how to get to Ditmas Park, read a 2012 feature on Wheated after they first opened in the neighborhood. 

Are you a small business owner looking for a commercial real estate loan? Learn more and read how we also helped Empire Tools expand. You can also check out the benefits of our business checking accounts and small business accounts. Our team can help you open a new business checking account