- Project Sponsor: Black River Produce
- Investment: $9.5 million
- Location: North Springfield
- Meat and seafood processing and storage facility retrofit and fit up
Vermont Rural Ventures provided a key piece of financing for Black River Produce’s expansion into the distribution of locally raised meats. Financing from Vermont Rural Ventures supported the acquisition of a fully equipped meat slaughter, processing, and cold storage facility.
Tenant Vermont Packinghouse will slaughter and process animals from Vermont and neighboring areas into primal cuts, retail portioning, ground meat, and sausage. Seafood will also be processed and stored within the facility. The products will be marketed, sold, and distributed to area and metropolitan retailers, restaurants, and institutions by Black River Produce.
Gap and Investment
Financing from Vermont Rural Ventures enabled this project to occur after discovering that the costs to renovate and equip the facility far exceed the $2.5 million appraised value. Bank financing was restricted to lending at 60% of the value of the project, which left Black River Produce with an $8 million gap. VRV’s $9.5 million investment brought in over $2.9 million of equity to fill the gap along with the Vermont Economic Development Authority and owner capital.
The VRV financing safeguards Black River Produce’s on-going financial stability. By preserving critical working capital and financial ratios the company is well positioned to take on future developments and expansions.
This project brings up to 65 jobs into the low income community. Ancillary job creation, retention, and wealth generation on farms through increased local meat production is also anticipated.
As a further benefit to the community, Black River Produce will share a percentage of its net profits with producers for producer scale up or infrastructure improvement; scholarship awards for Vermont Technical College, Howard Dean Educational Center and Hannaford Career Center students; on-site internships; and the Vermont Food Bank and other community organizations.
Photo credit (lower right): Tom Farmer
Vermont Rural Ventures: Beth Boutin, Glenn Von Bernewitz, and Devin Fallon
Business: Black River Produce
Legal: Nolan Sheehan Patten LLP, Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC, Nixon Peabody LLP, & Dinse Knapp & McAndrew
Accounting: CohnReznick LLP
Contractor: All Seasons Construction Corporation
Architect: David Laurin, AIA
People’s United Bank
Vermont Economic Development Authority