Community Bank of the Bay: SchoolFoodies
In 2006, San Francisco resident Dennis King became the third generation owner of SchoolFoodies, a certified Bay Area green business that provides fresh, healthy meals to local schoolchildren. Soon thereafter, America's technology boom brought an influx of new residents to the area, and Dennis realized that the demand for fresh lunches was quickly outstripping supply. In 2015, SchoolFoodies reached $2 million in sales, and he started to look for a larger location to meet the needs of his customers.
"As we grew, we would check in with big-name banks asking for a consolidation loan and a credit line," Dennis remembered. "My personal credit and the business' credit were great, but we were always denied for a variety of rather vague reasons."
In 2016, Dennis was referred to Community Bank of the Bay (CBB), a CDFI-certified community development bank headquartered in Oakland. Wil Hobbs, Chief Lending Officer at CBB, took an immediate interest in SchoolFoodies. "Wil visited us, listened, and learned about our business. He took the time to understand our needs," said Dennis. "He was then able to successfully secure a term loan to consolidate debt, including funds for much-needed production and delivery equipment, which has made our operation much more efficient. He was also able to secure our first line of credit to help with our cash flow issues, which has been a tremendous relief."
Today, SchoolFoodies has reached over $3 million in sales to 55 local schools and 30 summer camp locations. Nearly 3,000 meals are enjoyed by children across the Bay Area every day. SchoolFoodies offers 8 to 14 meal choices daily, and over 30 snack and drink options.
"I could not be happier with CBB and the help they provided," said Dennis. "I talk to Wil each quarter and keep him updated on the business. He is always very interested in how we are doing. He and CBB will be assisting with additional financing this year to continue our rapid growth."