2 women crowdfund historic renovation for a cafe to revitalize downtown

Two women in Warren, Maine have successfully crowdfunded a $10,000 interest-free loan from Kiva.org.

Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, California. It has a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. They celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition. 100% of every dollar people lend on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors.

Here’s how Ann described the purpose of the loan during her Kiva campaign:

My partner, in life and business, and I decided to up and move from Seattle, WA to Warren, ME. We’d grown tired of the speed and pace of life in Seattle, and wanted a quieter more rural homestead. I sold my 650 sq ft condo, and with that we had enough money to purchase a 2200 sq ft colonial home on an acre of land in historic Warren, Maine. Neither of us had been to Warren before; my partner Fanny Faye is a native Seattle-ite and I, originally from Hyannis, MA had spent the past 30 years living on the West Coast. We were ready for a change and grace seemed to be leading us to this small town in mid-coast Maine. And, here we are. We both grew up in difficult situations — families suffering with mental illness, and alcohol and drug addiction.

A life of recovery is built on service, and our greatest hope is to be able to serve the community of Warren and contribute to the revitalization of this small town.


Building before renovation

We are renovating the first floor of a 1796 Mansard to bring to downtown historic Warren a cafe and bookstore. Our primary purpose is to provide a center to the town, a place to gather for good food and drink and to meet with friends and family. Warren hasn’t had a place like this for many, many years and the downtown area has struggled since the downtown mill closed over 15 years ago.

Moving to the town of Warren, we were struck by how beautiful it was located as it is right on the Saint George River. We noticed people coming into the town to go to the library, church or park, however they had to leave right away because there was no other place to go. We ourselves would have loved a cup of coffee and a chance to watch the eagles down on the river. Then as grace or fate would have it we realized this building that my partner Fanny Faye had admired was for sale. That was the beginning of Saint George River Cafe.

See Ann’s Kiva page.

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