Observer staff report
November 21st, 2013
The Vermont Butcher Block & Board Company, which manufactures wood kitchen products, is expanding after a receiving financing from a socially responsible investment company.
After appearing on ABC show Shark Tank in May—and going home empty handed—Vermont Butcher Block received royalty financing via Flexible Capital Fund. The fund, managed by the nonprofit Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, provides flexible risk capital to Vermont food, forestry, renewable energy, waste management and environmental technology companies. The fund provides equity-like loans that can be repaid over a longer period of time than traditional loans through revenue share payments.
In October, the Flex Fund closed a $250,000 investment deal for the relocation and expansion of the business, and permanent working capital to grow—the fund’s sixth investment. Liz Lovely Cookie—which was also passed over on Shark Tank—was the fund’s fifth investment.
Expanding operations to a 6,000 square foot space on Boyer Circle—and out of owner David Glickman’s home—will allow Vermont Butcher Block to consolidate operations including shipping and receiving, as well as provide more functional office space.
“After 10 years, our proven home-based business, Vermont Butcher Block & Board, just outgrew its production capacity and we had to do something to keep up with demand,” Glickman said. “Several additional out-of-state funding options that involve giving up equity presented themselves, but as a Vermont-based business, it felt right to choose the Flex Fund. Not only do we keep 100 percent equity in our firm, but the ‘Vermont’ in our name has new meaning as we get to give back to the community in our own way.”