Special financing helps Jamaican restaurateur open new location in Minneapolis

June 20, 2024
Tomme Beevas, center, in the kitchen at his Pimento on the Lake restaurant.

U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance and local CDFI collaborate to help Pimento restaurant owner expand

Tomme Beevas’ story starts in Kingston, Jamaica, where he soaked up inspiration from his grandmother, who loved to cook.

“My grandmother was a gregarious woman who built her own empire from scratch from the 1960s to 1980s,” Beevas said. “Growing up in her house, I had the opportunity to experience the greatest, freshest seafood one can imagine.”

Men in a food truck
The Pimento food truck is used for catering and other events.

In addition to teaching him how to cook, his grandmother, an entrepreneur, taught him about running a business, Beevas said.

Beevas earned an MBA and his career path took him various places, including several years in Washington, D.C., before he landed in Minneapolis in 2006.

Beevas has opened Pimento, a Jamaican food pop-up in 2012, opened his first brick-and-mortar Pimento location in 2013 and has since grown to five locations, most recently with the launch in 2023 of Pimento on the Lake, located on lake Bde Maka Ska.

“What it means for me to be a small business owner is to be an instrument of economic liberation to provide job opportunities for our community,” Beevas said. “What made me become a small business owner was the need to represent my culture and bring my food to the market.”


Pimento on the Lake

In order to create Pimento on the Lake, Beevas needed affordable capital, he said.

He had long been a U.S. Bank customer, working in recent years with Business Access Advisor Tim Farrow, and reached out for assistance as he sought affordable capital.

Challenges with Beevas’ relatively small business coupled with the affordability of the capital he would need prompted U.S. Bank subsidiary U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance to collaborate with a local Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), on a patient capital investment. This enabled Beevas to receive capital in a financing structure that benefits both him and his newly created entity.

“Impact Finance is a strong supporter of CDFIs because we recognize the critical role they play in bringing investment to underserved communities, especially those that may not be eligible for traditional business financing,” said Jimmie Howlett, Impact Finance impact capital manager. “We are pleased that we could work with both MEDA and Tomme to help him achieve his business goals.”

In August 2023, Impact Finance closed on the investment with MEDA to successfully expand Pimento on the Lake. Beevas opened two months later.

“Access to capital can be challenging for small and minority owned businesses,” Beevas said. “If U.S. Bank hadn’t stepped up, this wouldn’t have been a reality.”

Adrian Ruddock, vice president of lending and business consulting services at MEDA, said U.S. Bank has been a major participant in this deal.

“I tell our clients all the time that banks, CDFIs and small business owners must figure out collaborative, alternative ways to work together and provide a holistic approach to the entrepreneur so they can walk through the life of a loan,” Ruddock said.

Eight months after opening, Pimento on the Lake is beginning to see a greater uptick in customers, Beevas said, especially as the Minnesota summer weather kicks in.

“I believe my experiences are an opportunity and seed to ensure other businesses like Pimento can have access and resources,” he said.

For more about Beevas' story, watch the video below.

More stories

LA affordable housing developments receive support from Impact Finance

Adams Terrace and Jordan Downs, located in historical neighborhoods, are closing the wealth gap and creating homes for hundreds of residents

Impact Finance furthers renewable energy efforts through tax credit transfers

Syndications and environmental finance teams closed 10 transfer deals in 2023

Introducing U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance

New name but same commitment from U.S. Bank subsidiary delivering impact-focused financial solutions

Media center

Press contact information, latest news and more

Learn more

Company facts, history, leadership and more

Work for U.S. Bank

Explore job opportunities based on your skills and location