October 2015 ALAP Meeting Recap

The ALAP gang met up 10/8 for our monthly potluck at the Groundwork Center.  This month we revisited with Sarah Landry Ryder, President of The Redheads (www.redheadsinc.com).  Sarah gave us an update on her expansion strategy, which includes opening a new production kitchen at the Grand Traverse Food Innovation Hub.  Coming off a year where sales doubled, Sarah sees significant advantages to building out a kitchen in TC, including logistical efficiencies that will help get her products distributed more quickly to stores around the state.  She is now in the process of finalizing her business plan (including estimating capital costs for the build-out) and has been meeting with a variety of traditional and alternative lenders.

After the discussion with Sara, we also briefly discussed Oryana’s new local funding campaign.  Michigan’s largest community food coop recently announced that it is moving forward with plans to open a second store in Williamsburg.  Oryana aims to raise $1m by November 14 from its member-owners via a Member Loan Campaign featuring promissory notes with maturities of 4-7 years.  Interest rates will range from 2.5-3.25%, and the minimum investment is $1,000.  Staff from Oryana will provide an update on the campaign at ALAP’s next meeting (Nov 12), although for those interested in learning more before then, please visit www.oryana.coop/Capital-Campaign.