Anthony and Cynthia started their business to share a taste of home with their new community in Orlando. They converted their West African restaurant into a food truck with the help of a loan from Opportunity Fund. Now with two food trucks in Orlando, African Soul Market is thriving as they share more of the food they love.

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Anthony and Cynthia started their business to share a taste of home with their new community in Orlando. They converted their West African restaurant into a food truck with the help of a loan from Opportunity Fund. Now with two food trucks in Orlando, African Soul Market is thriving as they share more of the food they love.

The Taste of Success

Anthony and Cynthia Imana started African Soul Market in 2013 in Orlando. After they moved to Florida from the Bronx in New York, they wanted to start an African market to share Anthony’s taste of home.

“We moved to Florida for a better life for the kids and when we got here, we realized there weren’t many African options for my husband to eat,” Cynthia said. “I thought that he can’t be the only one who wants that food, so let’s do something about it.”

They started out in a brick and mortar location selling dry African goods. They changed their focus to prepared food on the weekends, which quickly sold out each day. “Then we started selling our prepared foods every day,” Cynthia said.

Their food was a huge hit, but the increasing rent for their restaurant space made it hard to stay in business. After two years as a restaurant, African Soul Market started over as a food truck.

African Soul Market

Anthony and Cynthia built their business together and watch it grow every day (photo courtesy of Jack Edwards)

They needed a small business loan to help finance their truck, so they reached out to One Fat Frog, a food truck manufacturer located in their hometown of Orlando. As one of Opportunity Fund’s key mobile food vehicle manufacturer and dealer partners, One Fat Frog connected the Imanas to us.

“One Fat Frog told us that Opportunity Fund does food truck loans,” Cynthia said. “We didn’t have the total amount to pay for the truck. We were relieved to know that funding was available.”

Starting Off Right

Opportunity Fund loan consultant Gerardo Campos helped close a $30,000 loan for the Imanas to complete the purchase of their truck. They were set up for immediate success.

“We’re the first food truck in the state of Florida serving authentic West African cuisine,” Cynthia said. They set up their truck in Pointe Orlando, a prime spot with a constant flow of foot traffic. Business grew so quickly that they returned to One Fat Frog for a second truck in March 2018. Gerardo was there again to help secure the $71,000 loan for the new truck.

Gerardo’s quick and personalized service helped the Imanas get their second truck going without missing a beat. “Gerardo was amazing,” Cynthia said. “He was straightforward and told us what we needed to provide for the loan. Everyone we worked with at Opportunity Fund is great and professional.”

The second African Soul Market truck travels to events around the Orlando area, as well as private catering engagements. Cynthia and Anthony go to work every day with their family members and cook their favorites while providing for the family’s needs.

We’re proud to watch African Soul Market expand and we’re thankful for our mobile food vehicle partners like One Fat Frog for helping us reach new clients outside of California!

We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.


Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.

Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

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Opportunity Fund. Working Capital for Working People. opportunityfund.org