May 14, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
HSBC has profiled an Astoria business, the first to be featured in its nationwide campaign to showcase how its retail banking customers contribute to local communities and benefit from its lending programs.
Château Le Woof, an Astoria pet market and dog friendly cafe located at 31-01 Vernon Blvd, is the bank’s first customer to be profiled in its “Small Business Spotlight Series,” which looks at small businesses and how they have grown as a result of the HSBC Fusion program.
The program provides loans, a personal contact for business and personal banking needs, and aims to help owners manage their business and personal finances.
Chateau Le Woof owner, Natassa Contini, said that the Fusion program is what allowed her to expand her business as a solo business owner and fulfill her business dreams.
The business, which originally started out as Astoria’s first pet friendly cafe that served mostly coffee in a smaller space on 30th Avenue and 14th Street, now resides in a location almost quadruple the size and today offers grooming services, dog sitting, and a kitchen that serves brunch on the weekends and grab-and-go items during the week.
“I didn’t think that I could take it to the next level,” Contini said. “I’m a single female operator so a lot of people said it couldn’t be done. With HSBC’s help, it eliminates the financial fear. It’s nice to see that it’s possible.”
Contini opened the bigger space, located across the street from Socrates Sculpture Park, June 15 of last year allowing the business to thrive.
The HSBC video, which profiles Château Le Woof, was recorded at the Astoria shop location on May 8, where community members gathered to celebrate the launch of the HSBC series.
The launch party consisted of dog sketches by Andrea Caceres, chalkboard art by Nicholai Khan, a meet and greet with Louboutina, New York City’s famous hugging dog, latte art by Javier Alvarez and Walter Alcaron, and desserts from Astoria’s Single Girl Cookies.
Contini said the event, which took place from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., was more of a community give back where local businesses and residents socialized and celebrated her business.
With the event and the video about her business, Contini said she “hopes to inspire others’ dreams” after seeing how she got started.
“We’re incredibly proud of Natassa and the success she’s achieved with Chateau le Woof. Astoria is a special place and we’re excited to celebrate with this community,” said Shaun McDougall, Head of Retail Business Banking at HSBC, in a statement.
HSBC’s next video in its Small Business Spotlight Series will feature the BCD Company, a Los Angeles based media holding company which operates a number of media asset related companies including Fortune Films, Baron VR and Brawler LA.