The story of Brewer Coffee and Custard began with a family recipe. Owner Elijah Brewer III started experimenting with his mother’s custard recipe at home and had a dream of one day owning his own custard shop.

He comes by his love of custard and entrepreneurial spirit naturally, as both his parents were business owners. In fact, they owned the property where Brewer Coffee and Custard now operates on 79th street in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

After inheriting the property, Brewer saw the new business as a way to honor his parents as entrepreneurs. He used the SBIF grant for an interior build-out, creating customer space and a kitchen, as well as exterior improvements.

In addition to serving delicious frozen custard, sandwiches and espresso beverages, Brewer Coffee and Custard seeks to be a place for members of the community to congregate, converse and appreciate each other.

The City of Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) promotes economic development by providing small businesses with financial assistance for building-improvement costs. SomerCor is the program administrator contracted by the City’s Department of Planning and Development for the SBIF program. SBIF grants use local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenue to reimburse you for the pre-approved repair or rehab of your business facilities or adjacent land acquisition. You must be located within a SBIF eligible TIF district. The maximum grant assistance for an industrial property is $150K; for a single-tenant commercial property the maximum is $100K; and for multi-tenant commercial property, it is $50K. Click to learn more about this program.