Jen and Deb rebuilt their lives together after rough financial times and a move to a new state. Their entrepreneurial dreams are helping support a new dream: make a living for their family. We partnered with One Fat Frog to help Jen and Deb purchase their food trailer with our small business loans.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.

Jen and Deb rebuilt their lives together after rough financial times and a move to a new state. Their entrepreneurial dreams are helping support a new dream: make a living for their family. We partnered with One Fat Frog to help Jen and Deb purchase their food trailer with our small business loans.

Starting Over Together

Jen Blake and Deb Richard started Nana Nif’s Home Cooking in Bradenton, Fla. in January 2018. They restarted their life together in Florida after Deb’s job was transferred from Massachusetts and Jen took an early retirement due to a physical disability. Family connections steered them down the Atlantic coast.

Jen had to leave her job as a high school biology teacher when she became disabled. “We lost my income,” she said. “It was substantial financial loss. My parents live in Bradenton and they were needing more and more physical help.”

Jen needed a way to help support her family—four generations all living in the same house, including Jen and Deb’s daughter and their two young grandchildren.

“I can only work for two or three hours at a time, and then I have to rest,” Jen said. “I’ve always been a good cook. At holidays and parties, everybody asks me to cook. It was a hobby before I became disabled.”

All the signs pointed to starting a food-based business, but their dreams of entrepreneurship almost never happened. The family faced financial difficulties before they left New England, which resulted in Deb filing for bankruptcy and them selling their house on a short sale. In their new hometown, they had a shot at something better with Deb working full time again and some assets they could put toward starting their own business.

Rebuilding For the Future

Jen and Deb reached out to Florida-based mobile food vehicle manufacturer One Fat Frog in January 2018. “As the trailer build went on, the project got bigger while our funds ran low,” Deb said. “We pulled money from other sources, like my retirement fund. In the end we were short $16,000. We didn’t know what to do. Because of my bankruptcy, no banks would give us a loan.”

Nana Nif's Serving it Up

Nana Nif’s brings a taste of New England to Florida through Jen’s home cooking (photo courtesy of Jack Edwards)

As one of our key mobile food vehicle manufacturing partners, One Fat Frog connected Jen and Deb to us. Our loan consultant Gerardo Campos worked with them to understand what Jen and Deb had to offer beyond just their financial capabilities.

“We completed our commitment to Chapter 11 bankruptcy,” Jen said. “We repaid what we could afford.”

“Gerardo was clear with us on what we needed to do to get the loan,” Deb said. “He worked with what we could do.”

Gerardo approved a $16,000 loan in April 2018 to help complete the food trailer purchase. Now that Nana Nif’s Home Cooking is officially on the road, Bradenton folks are falling in love with the unique New England comfort food like lobster macaroni and cheese, deep fried pizza rolls, and roast beef sandwiches.

Jen and Deb’s new business is for family and by family. The income makes a major difference in their household, and the whole family pitches in to work on the trailer. They’re working to pay off their loan and then invest in a brick and mortar restaurant location as a commissary location for an eventual fleet of food trucks.

We’re proud to support hard working women entrepreneurs like Jen and Deb, and we’re honored that we can help them make a better life for their family through entrepreneurship.

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.


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.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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