A taco joint in Brooklyn, NY where amazing ingredients, fresh tortillas and delicious tacos are just the beginning.


Occupy Main Street

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We've yearned to head down to the 'Occupy Wall Street' events and show our support over the past month, for we are just as outraged and dissatisfied as many out there. We have spent many hours discussing how we can integrate new models of financing into our our venture. Our absence is not a sign that we don't care or want to support those efforts, quite the opposite, we feel our time is better spent on a protest closer to home.

Time marches on.  With the change in light and temperature outdoors and with the uptick in wind and leaves out our windows it seems that winter is steadily approaching. There is a slim window of opportunity in taking advantage of the weather and getting ourselves out there in order to build community awareness, support, inspire hope, and invigorate our own main streets. We've put our heads down over the last few months and we think we're building something important here.

We spend the past two weeks in our home of the past five years, Bedford Stuyvesant, Occupying Main Street, so to speak. Our fifth wedding anniversary passed while we were gearing up for Bed Stuy Alive and then a stoop sale and neighborhood tour this past weekend. We think it was worth it. We know we made the right decision by missing the protest in Manhattan for our own community celebrations.

We have been blessed with a group of people that have popped up, seeming out of the woodwork, to jump at getting the word out on our business.  We love that, because we believe that starting a business that is not just community centered but community supported is a requirement in making this world and community a better place to live and thrive. It is that thrive part that we really want to see happen. And we think its the community part that many of our financial institutions have forgotten, that is why we have arrived at the dire straights the world faces today. 

So, with every decision around money, we've set a goal to tie the investment back into the community as much as possible. That is why we chose Brooklyn Cooperative Credit Union as our Business Banking partner and why we pursued a micro-loan from Accion, because in doing so we are investing in the kinds of businesses that express the social entrepreneurial values that reflect and inspire our own.

Sure, we want our business to be profitable and we want our investors to see returns unlike anything they might get from Wall Street. However, as our past few years of financial turmoil have shown us, we have to do more than build financial capital, we have to build social capital as well. The investors in our business will watch us and our staff (actual people) grow, our business ideas expand, and they will see first hand actual people being put back to work with their dollars. With our business, investment in the community, will be more than a banner thrown up by a bank on a building, more than a 5 second blurb in front of prime time TV, it'll be our staff and ourselves being secure in their health and livelihood because we love what we do and we know our community is that much better for our existence and perseverance.

For we aren't looking to create just "service" jobs at minimum wage, oft touted as 'wage-slavery', rather we are thinking bigger and looking to staff our business with owners, entrepreneurs and innovators who want a great place to work and have the support they need for their future innovations and ideas. Take ownership in what you do and you will be an owner some day. This is our protest. Making an investment directly in our community rather than waiting for Wall Street to gamble it all away while we are busy with our backs turned.

And we aren't trying to force our idea upon the neighborhood, we want it to want us here, and thus far, we have heard nothing but good things. Everyone wants to know when and where we're opening. It almost seems that everyone loves tacos and that everyone gets it. Looking at our twitter feed the past couple of months and turning the pages of the grey lady this weekend, we think it's working. The buzz of violence and crime is being diminished by the buzz of industry and vibrancy and excitement about new ventures. We are lucky to be a part of this community. We couldn't have found a better place to start a business and put up our own form of protest.

Photo by Donny Tsang