Ternita Alston: Harvest Time Café and Catering

Ternita Alston

Ternita Alston, Owner of Harvest Time Cafe and Catering

Ternita Alston loves cooking. Her tandoori chicken and fried green tomatoes were standard mouthwatering meals for her family. When she decided she wanted to turn her hobby into a career, however, she faced some obstacles. Ternita struggled to draft a workable business plan for her new enterprise, Harvest Time Café and Catering. A past bankruptcy also presented a challenge in obtaining needed funding, until one bank that rejected her application suggested that she approach Accion Chicago.

Ternita calls the Accion loan process “intimate and detailed,” and says it helped her really get focused on her plan. She was then able to secure a $1,000 Credit Builder loan.  “Credit Builder loans range from $500 to $2,500 and are often the first step for an entrepreneur to establish a solid credit base,” explains Priscilla Cordero, Ternita’s Accion loan officer. “The loan also gives the small business owner an influx of some money to help the business get off the ground.”

“Priscilla was great to work with,” reports Ternita. “She was like a counselor trying to help me find solutions and pointing the way to more. With the $1,000 loan, I got some much-needed advertising for my new lunch truck.  Also, I purchased a professional uniform for me to wear to enhance the impression I was making on customers.  I’ve learned in my business that it is not just about great food.”

Harvest Time Café and Catering is located in Park Forest, Illinois, and Ternita has plans to expand her storefront seating and to add more lunch trucks to bring her nutritious meals to even more people. “The key to success is to just keep moving forward,” she says. “You can always learn something in everything you do, even if it’s what not to do. I’m glad I found Accion to help me get on the right track.”

Contact this small business:

Harvest Time Cafe and Catering


Park Forest, IL (New cafe location coming soon!)