Craft3 borrower Face Rock Creamery graduates to local credit union

By: Jennifer Janda - Aug 26, 2015
Source: Bandon Western World

Loan originally made to bring cheese and jobs back to Bandon is refinanced by First Community Credit Union.

Craft3 announced the start-up loan it made to Face Rock Creamery in Bandon, Oregon has been paid off. First Community Credit Union refinanced Craft3’s loan and provided additional capital to purchase a city parcel. Craft3 considers it a win-win for everyone involved.

In 2012, City leaders backed local developer Greg Drobot’s idea to open a new cheese factory, Face Rock Creamery. But there were problems securing financing to make the project a reality. Start-up capital for rural businesses is hard to find.

“The banks are extremely difficult to deal with if you’re a startup, and unless you’re a business with a long track record of financials it is damn near impossible to get a loan,” Drobot said.

That is when he learned about Craft3, a nonprofit lender. Craft3 specializes in lending to businesses unable to access financing from traditional sources. Craft3 provided Drobot with loans for the construction of the cheese factory and retail store and to purchase production and retail equipment.

Since opening, Face Rock has been a huge success. Not only does it employ 20 people full-time, Face Rock Creamery cheese is available in almost 2,000 grocery stores across nine Pacific Northwest states, including Costco, Fred Meyer and New Seasons.

“After two years in operation, we were able to get conventional financing. But we would have never made it where we are today without Craft3,” he added.

“Craft3 is proud to have helped bring cheese back to Bandon,” shared Craft3 Senior Business Lender, Brad Hunter. “When a loan client like Face Rock Creamery qualifies for traditional financing, we consider it huge a success. Everyone wins.”

Craft3 considers itself to be a hands-on financial partner. It is an advocate for its clients, staying in close touch with the business owner and offering its expertise wherever possible.

“First Community Credit Union appreciates alternative lenders like Craft3 that can help start-up businesses in rural communities grow and thrive,” explained First Community Credit Union Vice President, Lucette Lovell. “We strive to build lasting partnerships and as a financial partner of choice in our communities, I would like to thank Greg Drobot for choosing First Community Credit Union. We are excited to be Face Rock Creamery’s local financial partner.”

Craft3 lends to businesses, government agencies and nonprofits that strengthen the region.

  • Business Loans are available for financing commercial real estate, energy efficiency upgrades, start-ups and expansion of businesses needing working capital, acquisitions, inventory, fixtures, equipment and related business property. 
  • Nonprofit Loans are available to finance community development projects, health care, childcare, environmental conservation and human services initiatives.
  • Conservation Loans are available to conservation organizations to acquire sensitive lands, restore habitat, and protect water quality.

Learn more about Craft3 and its loans at www.Craft3.org.

###

About Craft3

Craft3 is a nonprofit CDFI lender that invests in businesses that create jobs, strengthen the economy and reduce environmental impacts. Its mission is to strengthen economic, ecological and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities. Craft3 does this by providing loans to entrepreneurs, nonprofits, individuals and others who don’t normally have access to financing. It then complements these financial resources with expertise, personal connections and other advocacy for its clients. Learn more at www.Craft3.org and www.Craft3.org/Videos.

 

About First Community

First Community Credit Union has been serving Oregonians for nearly 60 years, and with more than $850 million in assets and 73,000 members, today we are among the strongest credit unions in the nation. As a federally insured, not-for-profit, full-service financial institution, we're dedicated to helping our members and our communities prosper through solutions that result in financial success, as well as personalized service that focuses on transparency, simplicity, and trust. We offer all the benefits of a big financial institution, but with personalized, cost-saving services that are in your best interest. Nearly anyone can join! With minimal membership eligibility requirements, it's easier than ever to discover the benefits of banking with First Community. Call us today, we are ready to help your business grow, 888-396-2145. Learn more at www.myfirstccu.org.