Tea cakes meant summer and freedom and love to the little girl in glasses and pigtails. They also meant a 17-hour car ride from the crisp mountain air of her hometown of Denver to Simmesport, Louisiana, where the hot summer breeze packed a wet wallop. Grandma Helen grew up in Simmesport, and Grandma Helen made tea cakes. In Simmesport, a little girl with tea cakes in her pocket could spend an entire summer day exploring the fields and bayous around the town on Louisiana Highway 1, close by the Atchafalaya River in Avoyelles Parish.

“Tea cakes were a big part of my childhood. They were how my family showed me love,” Pamela Richard said. Today, Richard is owner of External LinkMiss Peabody’s Southern Tea Cakes. She found her pathway to entrepreneurial freedom when she connected midcareer with the Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute (External LinkRMMFI).

Find out how a unique program from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City called Investment Connection helped RMMFI raise the funds needed to help Richard and other entrepreneurs in External LinkGetting to “We Have a Deal”: Fed program offers bridge to connect nonprofits seeking investment with banks seeking CRA credit.

Investment Connection, now offered by eight of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, has led to more than $60 million in investments and ongoing working relationships between banks and nonprofits. Stories from the Federal Reserve Banks of Kansas City, External LinkMinneapolis and External LinkSt. Louis show what’s possible and what’s at stake as banks step in to support their communities.


Jennifer Wilding

Community Development Specialist

Jennifer Wilding, a community development specialist for the Kansas City Fed, provides communications, engagement, and research for the community development department.

Wilding e…