Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food With Slow Money
Bringing money home – real people and their stories from the Slow Money movement
In towns and cities across North America, a quiet revolution is underway. Fed up with sending their money off to make a fast buck in faraway markets, people are putting their money to work where they live, in markets they trust and understand – starting with food.
Financing Our Foodshed is a collection of real life stories of these Slow Money pioneers and the local food entrepreneurs – sustainable farmers, bakers and restaurateurs – they have chosen to support.
Fueled by their desire to do more than just eat local food, lenders of “nurture capital” are making low-interest, peer-to-peer loans to the people who produce, process, distribute and sell local food. Meet these passionate food entreprenuers like:
- Abi, a talented artist-turned baker, who borrowed funds to start a gluten-free bakery.
- Angelina, owner of a Greek local foods restaurant, who refinanced exorbitant credit card debt incurred by renovations.“When we added the seating area to our restaurant we didn’t really have any choice. We put it on our credit card. It was about $6500 at 18% interest. We knew we could at least pay off the interest every month, and just hoped that making good, home-made food from scratch, using meat and produce from local farmers would bring us enough business to actually stay in business,” shared Angelina.
Slow Money NC found local individuals who refinanced that debt at a mere 2%, and it is now nearly paid off. Not so easy to do with credit card debt…..
- Chatham Marketplace, a much-loved grocery co-op was refinanced by local lenders and their monthly loan payments were reduced by a third, thanks to that ambitious collaboration between 16 investors.
Financing Our Foodshed tells the compelling stories of ordinary people doing something extraordinary, and will appeal to anyone who understands the critical importance of sustainably grown local food and resilient local economies, and wants a blueprint to get us there.
Carol Peppe Hewitt is a business owner, social entrepreneur and life-long activist. She is cofounder of Slow Money NC, and is consumed with helping finance North Carolina’s sustainable food and farming economy by guiding patient capital to small-scale farmers and businesses in North Carolina and beyond. Read more about Carol here.