Driscoll & Sons Cafe
It was like any other loan process. There was a lot of leg work involved. But the representative of The Progress Fund helped me every step of the way.
The Yough Twister ice cream shop in Elizabeth Township got a boost in 1995 when the Great Allegheny Passage trail opened 100 yards away. “It bumped our business up about 20 percent,” says owner Raymond Driscoll. Trail use has grown since, and Raymond and his wife, Cynthia, decided to add a restaurant. They surveyed 400 Yough Twister customers to find out what they’d like to order. “I can tell you this,” says Raymond. “People like chicken.”
Looking for financing to build a new structure, the Driscolls tried four banks. “They weren’t excited about getting into the restaurant business,” Raymond says. The University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center told them about The Progress Fund, which loaned $289,500 and helped to arrange a $200,000 First Industries Tourism Program loan. Raymond later came back to The Progress Fund for an additional $55,000 when he needed funds for a generator, heat pump, asphalt parking lot and digital sign.
Driscoll & Sons Café offers what Raymond calls “American contemporary classic food” and drinks available indoors or on a creekside deck. It caters to trail users and locals alike, with around a dozen full-time and part-time employees. Among the participants are the Driscolls’ three sons, Jason, Justin and Josh. “We’ve always raised our sons to work hard and play hard,” Raymond says. “We just don’t like sitting idle, and we see a lot of opportunity there.”
This project was financed in part using Pennsylvania Small Business Credit Initiative (PSBCI) funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development.
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