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Elizabeth

Jersey City Veggie Burgers

Jersey City, NJ

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2nd loan
Personal Story

I’ve enjoyed cooking for as long as I can remember. As a kid growing up in Central NJ, I’d hover around my parents as they cooked, wanting to help stir, flip, chop or grate whatever was being made. I learned about challenges and rewards of running a business at a young age from my mom. Twenty years ago she started her own photography business, which she has built into successful, ever-evolving enterprise. When my brother and I were kids we were happily employed hauling lighting equipment and helping package photos for delivery. At the time, I never would have dreamed that years later my mom would be the one helping me peel sweet potatoes and measure ingredients for my business.

Once I started moving in the direction of starting a business, it seemed like my destiny to become an entrepreneur in Jersey City. Nearly 100 years ago my great-grandfather operated a butcher shop near the corner of 1st St and Monmouth St in downtown Jersey City. Decades later, my grandfather continued the family tradition by owning a butcher shop in the Marion section of Jersey City. My dad, who’s recipes and cooking prowess have been a major source of inspiration, has also made a career as a butcher. One might be surprised that the daughter of butchers would start a veggie burger business, but I see my business as a 21st century continuation of our family’s proud tradition of bringing quality food to the Jersey City community.

Personal Update - Jan 13, 2014

My last loan was vital for my business. I was able to purchase major pieces of equipment that helped make my operations easier and more efficient. The loan helped me gain momentum and has made me feel more confident about my business

Business Description

Jersey City Veggie Burgers sells handmade veggie burgers to food co-ops, independent grocery stores and at farmer’s markets in NJ. The burgers are unique recipes and all are vegan, soy free and gluten free. I began making veggie burgers for my vegetarian husband after seeing him eat one too many bland soy burgers. I tinkered with recipes for over a year and after many taste tests by friends and family, in 2011 I decided to make veggie burger production a business.

In addition to being healthy and wholesome, my burgers taste really good! I can confidently say that most people have not eaten a veggie burger quite like mine. I have been fortunate to travel the world quite a bit and each of my recipes draws from memorable food experiences I’ve had while traveling. The Sweet Potato Collard Green Burger was inspired by a trip to Mali where I saw the strong connection southern American culinary traditions share with West African foods. After traveling to my family’s ancestral hometown in the mountains of Abruzzo in Italy, I began to think more about the foods and flavors that appeared on my family’s dinner table. My dad’s recipe for a family comfort food favorite became the inspiration for the White Bean Broccoli Rabe Burger. Veggie Burger fans can look forward to more internationally inspired recipes in the near future.

I am most proud of how well received my burgers have been by customers. People already familiar with veggie burgers are happy to have a tasty alternative to grocery store brands, and people who are not regular veggie burger eaters are surprised to find themselves liking a food that they’d previously written off as “not for them”. Jersey City Veggie Burgers brings a fresh take on global flavors!

Business Update - Jan 13, 2014

Business has been great!! In the past year, I have made vast improvements to my packaging and developed a new veggie burger recipe, The Three Sisters. The 2013 farmers market season was very successful. This fall, I also began making the veggie burger at The Left Bank Burger Bar in Jersey City.

What did you use your last loan for?

I used my last loan to purchase a commercial grade food processor, a portable freezer and battery pack, as well as a lot of smaller kitchen supplies.

The food processor helped my production process become more efficient. I also invested in more baking sheets, utensils and small tools.

The portable freezer and battery pack were instrumental in making my farmers market season run smoothly. I no longer had to buy, store and handle dry ice. It saved me a lot of time, and in the long run, a decent amount of money.

What is the purpose of this loan?

This loan will help me get established in a new kitchen. This spring I plan to rent a larger kitchen. This will allow me to produce more burgers and expand my wholesale business.

A loan will help me invest in some major pieces of kitchen equipment, including a floor-standing mixer, pan racks, larger pots, and storage bins, all of which I expect to cost around $8000.

The additional $2000 will help me with cash flow while I get the kitchen outfitted, inspected and running smoothly.

Elizabeth's loan is endorsed by Rising Tide Capital. The information below explains why her trustee thinks Elizabeth is a great candidate for a Kiva Zip loan.

Endorsement for this loan

How has the borrower's personal life and business changed since receiving a Kiva Zip loan?

Receiving a Kiva Zip loan enabled Jersey City Veggie Burgers to purchase additional equipment that proved critical in meeting growing customer demand by helping to increase production capacity.

Why are you recommending this borrower for another loan?

Rising Tide Capital is fully vested in helping Elizabeth build on her current success with Kiva Zip funding, in order to further encourage the growth and expansion of Jersey City Veggie Burgers. An ever-growing customer base has required Jersey City Veggie Burgers to expand into a larger commercial kitchen. This expansion will necessitate the purchase of additional kitchen equipment, ingredients, and the subsidizing of higher fixed costs. Although revenues from increased customer demand is safely projected to meet these costs, an additional influx of capital will be needed temporarily until the business is able to collect on their expected receivables. Rising Tide Capital has witnessed its steady growth over the past 3 years and believes that Jersey City Veggie Burgers is safely poised for expansion and is confident in its ability to repay the additional Kiva Zip loan.

Original endorsement - Sep 11, 2012

How long have you known this person?

1 year - 3 years

Tell us about your relationship with this borrower.

Elizabeth Migliore graduated from Rising Tide Capital's Community Business Academy, a 12-week, intensive, small business training program. Elizabeth was an active participant in Rising Tide Capital's Business Acceleration Services alumni program by working 1-1 with a food industry expert to help launch her business.

Rising Tide Capital is a 501-c3 non-profit organization based in Jersey City, NJ that assists women, minorities, and other traditionally marginalized populations to start and grow successful busineses in low-income communities.

Tell us about this borrower's personality and character, and why you are endorsing him or her for a Kiva Zip loan.

Elizabeth is a dedicated, highly motivated and intelligent individual with a passion for success and for providing healthy, wholesome, delicious food in an urban environment.

Rising Tide Capital fully endorses Elizabeth as a client and a fellow social entrepreneur. Our mission is vested in her success and future capacity as a small business to promote healthy eating and to create jobs in an urban environment.

Tell us about this borrower's business, and why you believe a Kiva Zip loan will contribute to his or her success.

Jersey City Veggie Burgers makes and sells vegan, dairy, soy, and gluten-free veggie burgers. Her burgers can be found in stock at local grocery stores. In addition, Elizabeth can be found every Wednesday and Monday at local farmer's markets satisying the high demand for her product. A Kiva Zip loan would allow Elizabeth to fulfill this demand, increase her sales, and scale her business by allowing her to purchase equipment that will allow her to produce more units at a much quicker and more efficient pace.

280 Total , 22 invited by Elizabeth
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PAYING BACK

A loan of $10,000 helps me to outfit my new kitchen so that I can expand my production capabilities.

Disbursed Feb 20, 2014
Repayment Term:
36 monthly payments
Grace Period:
N/A
Listed:
Jan 15, 2014
Disbursed:
Feb 20, 2014
Paying Back:
Feb 20, 2014

About Jersey City Veggie Burgers

Industry:
Food production
Years in Operation:
1 year - 3 years
Follow:
Facebook Twitter
Badges:
Badge_repayment_gold_smallBadge_connectedness_gold_small

Previous Loans

[Image]
Amount
$4,000
Paid Back
Oct 6, 2013

What are Borrower Badges?

Borrower Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward borrowers’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

This loan is endorsed by

Trustee Type:
Microenterprise Development Organization
Location:
Jersey City, NJ
Badges:
Badge_repayment_gold_small
On Zip Since:
Sep 11, 2012
(19 months)
Loans Endorsed:
6
Total Value:
$32,000
Fundraising/Raised:
1
Paying on Time:
3
Paying Back Late:
0
Repaid in Full:
2
Defaulted:
0
Repayment Rate:
100%
Why are you endorsing Elizabeth?

Rising Tide Capital is fully vested in helping Elizabeth build on her current success with Kiva Zip funding, in order to further encourage the growth and expansion of Jersey City Veggie Burgers. An ever-growing customer base has required Jersey City Veggie Burgers to expand into a larger commerc...

What are Trustee Badges?

Trustee Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward trustees’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.
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