Athens lunch hotspot finds new owners with help of business acquisition loan

Success Story: Maddi MasDelanie and Joe Domzalski had always dreamed of moving to east Tennessee, finding some land, and owning their own business. When they moved to Athens, not only did they buy their dream house from Vickie and Jim Carr, but they also bought the Carr’s delicatessen, Maddi Mas. “We have to be the luckiest people in the world because everything fell into place,” says Delanie as she cuts a massive tray of the café’s famous brownies.

Maddi Mas is a lunchtime hotspot and local favorite in downtown Athens, renowned for its chicken salad and pimento cheese, and named for the original owners’ children, Madison and Mason. Before moving in, Vickie brought the Domzalski family chicken salad from the deli, and mentioned they were selling the restaurant. That’s when Delanie knew they’d found their business. “I cannot believe my luck. This opportunity just fell in our laps and my husband and I told ourselves we have to go for this. We have to try.”

Despite being financially healthy, Delanie had never owned a business, making a traditional loan difficult to secure. Instead, a local bank partner referred her to Pathway Lending, knowing that we were willing to look at the story beyond the numbers. One meeting with Delanie revealed a highly coachable entrepreneur who wanted to buy a performing business with a large, existing client base. Pathway was able to offer Delanie a business acquisition loan, allowing the Domzalski’s to buy the delicatessen.

Pathway Lending and the Carr’s have coached the new entrepreneurs through a lot of firsts, and we are proud to have played a part in helping an entrepreneur realize her dream and to keep a thriving business in this rural, East Tennessee community. “The scariest part is being responsible for the people who work for me, three people’s livelihood depends on me,” said Delanie. “At the same time though, it’s so freeing to have my own business. And it’s fun – I get up every morning excited to come to work. It’s amazing.”

Collage of restaurant loan client photos

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If you’re uncertain about your readiness to buy a business, register for our new 4-week workshop: How To Buy A Business, starting July 13, 2021. Or, try SBA’s free 30-minute course: Buying a Business. Both offer great resources for getting started.