Virginia Food Hub Brings Healthy Produce to Local Schools with CDFI Financing
Client: Breon Clemons, owner of GoGreen Farms
Client Location: Suffolk, VA
CDFI: Foodshed Capital
CDFI Service Area: VA
Financing and technical assistance
In 2019, GoGreen Farms was a startup food aggregator with a mission to purchase produce from Virginia farms and distribute it to restaurants and retail outlets around the Hampton Roads region. Although GoGreen Farms achieved early success with this model, founder Breon Clemons was most interested in developing a farm-to-school business but needed capital to bring the vision to life. While Breon was negotiating a contract with Chesapeake Public Schools, he approached Foodshed Capital for financing.
Foodshed Capital was able to provide a small, 0% interest working capital loan to help GoGreen Farms purchase produce from a nearby farm for a Thanksgiving meal program. GoGreen Farms’ ability to execute this program helped them secure a longer term contract with the school system. Since then, GoGreen Farms has entered into contracts with five other school systems — offering buyers a simple, straightforward purchasing and delivery process, traceability and liability insurance, an inspected warehouse and refrigerated delivery, and educational and marketing materials.
Meanwhile, GoGreen Farms remains dedicated to ensuring producers a fair price for their product and on-time payment. “We offer preseason production planning, technical assistance, educational workshops, and networking opportunities,” Breon says.