The JP UP Date: JP Client Celebrates Grand Opening in Carr Square

Andrew BarnesThe JP UP date

Number 220                           April 28, 2023                                   St. Louis

Freddie Lee’s Gourmet Sauces Expands in Carr Square
Contributed by Chief Partnerships Officer, Shawna Collier

  Freddie Lee and Deborah James came to Justine PETERSEN after being referred by a local bank for a startup business loan. Named Freddie Lee’s Ghetto Sauce from Freddie Lee sharing it around his neighborhood, the James’ were looking to start growing their business that was started right out of their own kitchen. Like so many other small business owners, Ghetto Sauces was a side hustle while Freddie Lee maintained his W-2, 9-to-5 in order to support his 5-to-9. Eventually, Freddie Lee took the leap of faith to leave his construction job so he could focus on the business and better make his family’s dreams a reality, while Deborah ensured security was in place for them by keeping her W-2 employment.

Freddie Lee was indeed able to grow the business by becoming a founding tenant of JP’s second office space in Downtown St. Louis, known as The Greencubator. Here they were better able to scale their sauce production and bottling. That growth enabled Freddie Lee and Deborah to graduate into mainstream banking, which JP considers the ultimate success for any client. Now Freddie Lee and Deborah can add another title to their growing list of credentials: commercial property owners and landlords. Several months ago the James’ moved Freddie Lee’s Gourmet Sauces (as the overall brand is now known) into a beautiful multi-unit building in Carr Square, adjacent to Downtown. This move was celebrated last Friday, April 21st for their official Grand Opening that included a ribbon cutting attended by City of St. Louis Mayor, Tishaura Jones (pictured with Freddie Lee and Deborah James). With several members of JP on hand

(pictured is JP Director – Quality, Policy, & Advocacy, Suzanne Iovaldi),

being able to witness such a wonderful moment for Freddie Lee and Deborah was akin to seeing your own family graduate. We are so proud of Freddie Lee and Deborah, and St. Louis is lucky to have Freddie Lee’s Gourmet Sauces anchored here!

Freddie Lee’s Gourmet Sauces has seen so much success for a reason: their sauces are incredible. Try some for yourself by purchasing at Dierbergs, Schnucks, local small businesses, and online.

JP Team Member Speaks at Empowerment Event for Girls

  Justine PETERSEN Asset Building Counselor, Barbara Ewing (pictured second from left), is known around the office for her words of encouragement to colleagues and clients. On Saturday April 22nd, she got to bring that to a wider audience by speaking at the Safe Connections Sixteenth Annual Together! Engaging Women, Empower Girls event at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton, MO. The event included a delicious vegetarian breakfast and a silent auction, complete with glamorous items, such as Tory Burch jewelry. Barbara was honored to be invited as a participant on the alumni panel. As a member of the Spring 2019 Girl Group during her sophomore year of high school, she and her fellow members received education and programming around self awareness and care, conflict resolution, and healthy relationships. Sitting on the panel, Barbara spoke to women across Missouri about how she’s leveraging those lessons in her personal and professional life, while answering questions about how to create safe relationships, and advice for parents on how to engage with their teen daughters. “I really enjoyed speaking to the audience most about consent, as I’ve learned a lot in the program and since about the difference between coercion and consent. It’s really mind opening to know the language and signs – the setting, the verbiage, how you feel in the moment, and how they feel – of consent versus coercion.” We imagine this will be the first speaking event of many for Barbara as her passion for helping others through financial wellness and self-care always comes through in her interactions with others.

Join JP for Small Business Week Event, May 4th

  On May 4th, members of Justine PETERSEN’s Credit Building team will be partnering with Delmar Main Street and St. Louis Community Credit Union for a Small Business Week Event. Hosted at JP client Vail’s Brothers’ Delmar location, the presentation will be geared towards how to grow your side hustle and the importance of building and leveraging credit. All are encouraged to attend! The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National Small Business Week is April 30 – May 6; the SBA will be offering virtual programming that can be registered for here.

Happy Birthday, Matt and Sonia!

  The past week we got to recognize the birthdays for two of JP’s most exacting members: Director of Finance Sonia Smith, and Senior Compliance Associate Matt Hingle! They both ensure our work is always looking crisp, so we hope they’re able to take some time to relax and be celebrated.

Mortgage Assistance for Illinois Homeowners

  As a HUD certified counseling agency, Justine PETERSEN is here to support. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about mortgage assistance and the application process to contact us by emailing More information can also be found here.

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Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation · 1023 N Grand Blvd · Saint Louis, MO 63106-1641 · USA