A joining of forces. A combining of passions. No matter what you call it, this business has just the right mix of ingredients to make it a success.
When J’aime and Christian Sparrow decided to return to Cape Cod five years ago, they had a plan in mind – a well-devised plan. They wanted to create a business that would engage its customers in an experience - fresh, quality, local food served by a friendly, competent and enthusiastic staff in a visually appealing surrounding that creates a warm, engaging community atmosphere. Their respective talents fed this plan naturally – she with a background in the food and hospitality industries and he as a visual design and branding expert. The missing piece—start-up funds.
They had a food truck and a location in Wellfleet, but they needed financing to build out the site and open their doors. Limited space within the truck meant they would need a storage container on the property. That container needed some retrofitting—including insulation and a double-door fridge. To prepare the site, they would have to dig a trench to bring in electricity and a line for fresh water. After all these upgrades, then there was the start-up food expense. The CDP’s Micro Loan program was just the right fit for these needs. A $6,000 loan early in the summer of 2012 enabled them to open for business and enjoy part of the high season—most significantly establishing a loyal customer base.
J’aime recalled some of the initial operational challenges. "Getting all our systems in place and experimenting with the menu and food amounts took some time,” she said. Yet with their focused vision, strong staff, valuable network of local business owners, and some tweaks along the way the business has taken off. So much so that they opened the doors to Sunbird Kitchen with business partner Karen Densmore in January 2015—a place for their ‘flock’ to gather throughout the year. Another small loan from the CDP rounded out local bank financing to make this - their initial dream - a reality. J’aime said, “We have always said that 'it takes a village' to help us grow our business. The CDP is a very special local organization whose help and support has provided us with funding and advice that allowed us to realize our business goals. They are an integral part of our local network and we feel so fortunate to have them in our village here on the Lower Cape. Thank you!!"