Client: B'more Organic
Client Location: Baltimore, MD
CDFI: ECDC-Enterprise Development Group (EDG)
CDFI Service Area: National
For many growing businesses, raising capital to meet growth needs is demanding. When there is a negative cash flow, traditional banks are often not willing to lend, even when the cash flow is due to rapid sales growth. So it was fortuitous for Andrew Buerger, founder of B’more Organic when, in 2014, ECDC-Enterprise Development Group (EDG) reached out to see if the certified B-corporation was looking for funding.
Andrew and his wife Jennifer founded B’more Organic, a skyr-like organic, no sugar added, strained yoghurt smoothie, after a life-changing moment in Andrew’s life. His father died of heart disease at only 58, and it caused him to examine his own lifestyle. “I was 31 years old. At that time, I was about 20 pounds overweight—already taking statin drugs at age 25. I just kind of thought that was my fate as well.” He decided to overhaul his diet and in the process discovered skyr, an Icelandic style of yogurt.
From there, B’more Organic was born, with Andrew and Jennifer developing a healthy and sustainable yogurt by partnering with locally sourced dairy, ensuring their product is sustainable as well as great-tasting and organic. And as a B-corporation, they also donate one percent of their sales to Jodi’s Climb for Hope, which funds MS and breast cancer research. This mission-driven approach was a perfect fit for EDG’s goal to not only help businesses move toward self-sufficiency and have a positive impact on their communities along the way.
The initial outreach to B’more Organic in 2014 enabled the small company to grow, so that when they were ready to expand in 2016, their trusted partner EDG was right there with them to provide the necessary microloan. This capital has allowed B’more Organic to expand their geographic reach into more retail outlets.
As a Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital (DCC) recipient, EDG is poised to make a greater impact on impactful small businesses like B’more in Baltimore, “DCC funding has enabled us to open and staff an office in Baltimore and also share an office space in Baltimore. Both offices have significant traffic from small business owners. Although EDG began serious outreach in the Baltimore-metro area in 2010, we were not able to make a significant impact on the small business market until we acquired this award,” said Eric Loewe, loan and technical assistance manager at EDG.