We want to invest in food and farm businesses that improve people’s access to culturally relevant food, creates jobs, and strengthen local economies.
As we work toward a more resilient, inclusive food industry, we’ve evolved our definition of “good” beyond food that meets certain nutritional criteria. Today, we define “good food” as food that serves communities and strengthens the economy. We focus on supporting food and farm entrepreneurs who represent communities that have been marginalized due to race, ethnicity, and/or gender.
Want to know if your food or farm business is a good fit? Read on to learn about the types of businesses we invest in. Dig in here to learn about our financing options.
We finance food and farm businesses looking to grow and expand who meet the following criteria:
- Increasing access to affordable, healthy food in communities with low income in Michigan. Preference given to food and farm businesses which are improving people’s access to culturally relevant food, creates jobs, and strengthens local economies.
- Incorporated in the U.S.
- While most of the entrepreneurs we support have been operating for at least one year, we do sometimes work with earlier-stage businesses run by business owners with industry experience or who have contributed their own funds to their startup budget.
- Profitable or can demonstrate a path to profitability within 12 months.
- Financing needs are from $2,500 to $6,000,000.
- Collateral in the form of business and/or personal assets, corporate and/or personal guarantees.
- Strong, committed management team
- Able to provide financial projections for two years including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
Food and farm business qualifications are reviewed based on mission alignment, management strength, business model, and growth potential.
To get a closer look at what’s involved in getting a loan, download our Application Process + Checklist.
Food and Farm Businesses We Support
We are committed to working with the range of businesses that grow, process, distribute, and sell food that reaches communities that have been marginalized due to race, ethnicity, and/or gender. This includes the following types of food and farm businesses.
Retailers who are expanding fresh food offerings in communities with low income:
- Single or multi-site grocery stores
- Cooperative grocers
- Corner stores
- Mobile markets
Growers / Packers / Distributors
A range of businesses—from a farmers market vendor, to a small butcher shop, large tomato processor, or last mile distributor—who are bringing fresh, healthy food to communities, schools, and institutions.
- Farmers market / Farm stand
- Farmers market vendor
- Processing facility
- Food hub or aggregator
- Food incubator
- Producer or processor
- Food distributor
Entrepreneurs that are transforming raw produce and ingredients into products that are available in communities with low income.
- Value added producers.
- Food service businesses that support resident access to healthy, fresh, and affordable food.
Our Mission-Driven Lens
We’re on the lookout for Michigan-based food and farm businesses positive change-makers in their communities. We review businesses based on the following goals and priorities:
- Economic Development: Create quality jobs with benefits, a living wage, healthy, safe, and fair working conditions, and opportunities for training, growth, and advancement, particularly for low-income residents.
- Racial and Social Equity: Owned and operated by or employ women, people of color, or low-income residents, and/or feature products or services that are culturally appropriate.
- Local Sourcing: Source, sell, or make products from Michigan grown produce; support local vendors for other business requirements.
- Environmental Stewardship: Sell or use produce or ingredients that are organic, sustainably-grown, and/or chemical-free, employ waste reduction strategies, and practice sustainable management of farm resources (if a grower).