Asha Waterstreet was a former airline executive who left the industry to raise her daughters. After being a stay-at-home mom for 15 years and armed with a love for cooking and flavorful food, Waterstreet was faced with a question, “What’s next?”
“I knew that I wanted to do something I loved,” she says.
The perky entrepreneur wasn’t sure what to pursue. She considered going back into the corporate world but then her life changed while on vacation in North Carolina. She visited a small store that sold exclusive oil & vinegar products and fell in love with the concept. She returned to Rochester, New York to open her own store.
Initially, Waterstreet used personal funds to start Tasteful Additions, a brick and mortar shop located in Rochester that sells oils, vinegars and salts. She did her own research to write a business plan and then her small business adventure, filled with challenges, began. Both of Asha’s parents had worked in retail but she didn’t have direct experience.
“It was definitely more work that I thought!” Asha says. “When you’re a small business owner, you’re everything from the CEO to the janitor. You reap all of the rewards, but also all of the headaches.”
Soon her store was flourishing and Asha was ready to take the next step to grow her business. She began looking into obtaining an SBA loan but was very wary.
“There seemed to be a lot of scams out there. And the paperwork required for a traditional bank loan was completely overwhelming.”
Asha came across an article that talked about the SmartBiz streamlined SBA loan process, easy repayment schedule and low rates. She was impressed with the fast pre-qualification and rapid funding that can arrive in as soon as 7 days. It wasn’t long before she contacted SmartBiz and easily obtained a loan to expand Tasteful Additions.
“Initially, we thought about opening another store”, she says. But soon she decided to grow the product lines, renovate her existing space and cut high interest debt. She was thrilled with the process and the high level of customer service offered by SmartBiz.
Thanks to her SBA loan from SmartBiz, business is booming even more. She now has three part time employees and has expanded her product lines to include tableware as well as hand-crafted body care enriched with olive oils and botanical extracts. She also has an online presence that accounts for 10% of purchases.
Many Google reviews, like the one below, give her 5 out of 5-stars.
Very unique store with a wonderful taste! Staff is extremely kind and helpful. The pairings and recipes I never would have guessed work together are amazing! Highly recommend!