Brooklyn’s first Spanish-Asian fusion restaurant was selected as one of the crowdfunding website’s winners earlier this month, after applying in August. Nina Madera, the owner of Mamacita Comida, was awarded the $2,000 grant because her application reflected “how her business is impacting the community,” according to GoFundMe spokesperson Madison Jones.
“I opened Mamacita Comida to, not only be a restaurant, but a platform for many different things, for our youth, elders, our communities,” Madera said.
“I have so many things that I have to do with my community, in my community for the community and I’m just starting. I am born and raised in the community that I have my restaurant in and it’s even encouraging to our patrons when they see me one of there own people having a beautiful restaurant. They get inspired and it means a lot to me.”
Madera has had experience at several high-profile restaurants in New York City and has been a professional chef for more than 15 years. Now, she shares her restaurant and skills with her daughter and two sons.
The restaurant has collaborated with local organizations to provide free food and allows local artists space in the restaurant to exhibit artwork.
The Black Business Month grant is crucial for Mamacita Comida, as the restaurant industry continues to recover from the blows dealt to business during the pandemic.
The family continues to seek assistance from the same community they’ve poured so much into. So far, they have raised $2,925 toward a goal of $10,000 to help keep the restaurant open.
“When I found out that we were chosen to receive this grant it was so encouraging. Many times as business owners we get discouraged and thoughts of giving up and just turning it all in and saying ‘forget it’ comes in our head, but that’s the easy part: to give up,” Madera said.
“This grant was a reminder of the reason why I opened this restaurant and my dream is here.”
Mamacita Comida represents the many small Brooklyn businesses in need of financial support — and while 13 other businesses received Black Business Month grants from GoFundMe, many more restaurants are in need of support across NYC and beyond.
Jones told Brooklyn Paper one of GoFundMe’s goals for grant programs like this is to “further unlock this power of community by helping people help each other and to remind us all that there’s power and strength in asking for help.”