School Foodies used an SBA loan and a Line of Credit to green their business as they cornered a growing niche market.
Eating Healthy, Going Green
School Foodies owner Dennis King talks about finding the right banking partner in CBB after being rejected by the major banks.
SchoolFoodies is a family-owned and operated catering business since 1946, when they bought their first delivery truck. What started out as Upton’s Restaurant in San Francisco’s Financial District, evolved into a green commissary serving private schools in the Bay Area.
In 2006, when Dennis King took over the family business, he embraced changes necessary for the business to succeed. Although they saw an immense opportunity in providing healthy school lunches, the growth and profitability of the business was a challenge. Year after year, SchoolFoodies applied to the major banks for help, only to be rejected. After contacting Community Bank of the Bay, they found the right banking partner and assessed the ability to make the changes that the business needed to grow, evolve and succeed.
Community Bank of the Bay recommended the 7a (Advantage) SBA Loan to consolidate their multiple, small high-interest loans and upgrade their production line. SchoolFoodies was assembling and packaging meals manually, but an SBA loan for Capital Equipment enabled production line automation and the development of innovative, environmentally-friendly meal trays.
CBB also provided a Line of Credit to cover the seasonal gap between June and September. This allowed the business to retain staff in lean months and pay off their loans in high season. The Line of Credit improved cash flow, which freed up capital to grow the business further. It gave them the opportunity to service their debts and pay vendors promptly, improving their chances of securing financing for further growth.
As an SBA Direct Lender, Community Bank of the Bay approved and processed the SBA loan and Line of Credit for SchoolFoodies in just 45 days. With our preferred status as an SBA lender, and our quick in-house decision-making process, we delivered an effective financing solution when it was needed most.
Beyond our considerable lending capacity, which SchoolFoodies can continue to use as they grow, we found food industry experts and business consultants to advise and assist them. We found local experts who could help because of our deep local ties across all sectors of the local business community.
Working with SchoolFoodies gave CBB the opportunity to use a full range of tools and experience to help meet the challenges facing a small business trying to expand. We pride ourselves in maintaining long-term relationships with clients like SchoolFoodies and support them as they continue to grow.