Hi, what are you looking for?

Prosper Blog

Oregon Woman Brings a Small Town Together with Cafe-Flower Shop

Last year Cynthia Hickman wanted to open a cafe and a flower shop in the small town of Silverton in northwest Oregon. What happened next became a story where a woman brings a small town together. The town is famous for a dog named “Bobbie, the Wonder Dog” that reportedly walked 2,550 miles back to its home after being lost on a family car trip in Indiana in 1923. Silverton has a population of about 9,000, with romantic views of Silver Creek — a perfect place for Cynthia to create a community around good food and beauty.

In order to realize her dream and move forward with her business, Cynthia needed funding. She heard about Prosper from a friend on Facebook and decided to apply for a loan. Within a few days, Cynthia had the $7,500 she needed to open Main St. Bistro & Coffee and Branches and Bloom. Since opening, they are “quickly becoming the heart of this community,” she says. Customers, some of whom come by daily, say the employees and other regulars are like family.

Woman Brings Small Town Together

In the cafe, visitors find a place to order hearty breakfasts, enjoy a warm cup of coffee or play chess. A place that really brings the small town together. Thursdays at noon, members of church groups hold their weekly meetings there. With brick walls, couches and communal tables, the cafe has a warm, inviting atmosphere that’s comfortable and feels like home. The adjacent flower shop is filled with lush flowers and plants, sweet floral smells mingling with the aroma of coffee.

Cynthia is grateful that Prosper enabled her to fulfill her ambitious dream of simultaneously opening two businesses, and thankful to friends who helped her build and open them. “There’s no way I could do that [start two businesses] without the loan, says Cynthia. “And then the community came together to help me!”

A year and a half after opening, Cynthia has six employees and business is booming. For Cynthia and many small business owners, marketplace lending is an easy and quick way to get access to a personal loan to start and grow a business, and in Cynthia’s case, create a place where customers want to come to every day to bring a small town together. Even Bobbie the Wonder Dog would approve.

Note: This post is based on a video submitted to our $2 Billion Strong Contest.

Read more

Join our mailing list

Blog Opt-In (General)

Latest

Investor Center

Today we are sharing performance data from the Prosper Portfolio for December 2021. Highlights from the report include: Performance Update In December, approximately 60%...

Prosper Blog

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Prosper® Card!  Now you can take control of your finances with access to affordable rates and...

Graphic showing dropping interest rates and mortgage rates Graphic showing dropping interest rates and mortgage rates

Financial Literacy

Best Ways to Use Low Interest Rates  Now is a great time to borrow money.  To continue to aid in the economic recovery from...

Person learning about financial management Person learning about financial management

Best Practices

Most people can’t help but let their emotions affect their financial management decisions, even if it’s subconscious. We learn many of our attitudes about...

Company News

We’re excited to announce the Prosper: Personal Loans App to improve borrower experience! Now you can explore new loan options or manage your existing...

Performance Updates

Today we are sharing performance data from the Prosper Portfolio for November 2021. Highlights from the report include: Performance Update • In November, approximately...

You May Also Like

Credit Management

Unemployed and looking for ways to borrow money? We’ll reveal what options you have when it comes to accessing emergency loans with no job.

Best Practices

Even before COVID, expensive healthcare costs had many Americans wondering what happens if you don’t pay medical bills. If you’re struggling with medical bill...

Finance for Homeowners

Taking out a HELOC to pay off your mortgage is a common practice among many homeowners today. Read more to find out the pros...

Financial Literacy

With the right interest rate and terms, a personal loan from a trusted lender can provide an avenue for getting out of debt, funding...