Slow Money NC, a project of The Abundance Foundation of Pittsboro, NC, has funded two new projects using local investors.
Stephanie Perry and Damita Hicks launched Sweeties Vegan Bakery in the Chapel Hill area and Patrick Walsh of Castle Rock Gardens in Pittsboro used slow money funds to grow the chicken operation.
Slow money investors, borrowers and interested community members met March 28 at Carolina Brewery to review loans to date and introduce new projects seeking funding.
Patrick of Castle Rock said that the farm plans to sell both meat and eggs from the chickens.
“It’s a rather expensive process, purchasing chickens up front before you even start to get the money back,” he said. The loan from slow money investors will help bring his flock up to 500 chickens.
Patrick says they use sustainable practices on the farm by growing vegetables and using land rotation to have chickens fertilize the soil for the next crop. “I can use the chickens to create manure, clear an area and work them into the rotation to make a pretty tasty chicken,” he said.
Abilicious Bakery in Pittsboro used a slow money loans to purchase a table-top mill to produce gluten-free flours. Abi Wilson says she tries to source as much of her products locally.
“I’m following Angelina’s Kitchen’s model of sourcing products locally,” Abi says of the restaurant that purchases some of her goods. Angelina’s Kitchen was also one of the first businesses to benefit from slow money investors.
Lyle Estill, one of the Slow Money project leaders says that seven loans have been made to date for a total of $25,500. The goal is for local investors to help grow local businesses focused on local food. Investors typically negotiate terms with borrowers, with interest rates around 1-3 percent.
“We’re not quite to the one year anniversary of the slow money project,” he said. “But loans to Angelina’s Kitchen have already been paid off.”