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Sharon

Hobby Hill Farm Fresh

Powhatan, VA

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Personal Story

I had the good fortune to be able to work in our family's computer business for 20+ years where I had excellent role models for operating a business. The business grew to 10 employees and and we eventually sold it. My family moved from the city to the country. We have 10 acres where we raise our horses and tend to a "cat colony". We started a small equine-based online business based on our love of working with horses.

I started Hobby Hill Farm Fresh based on our dream of growing another cottage-industry business from the ground up, but this time I wanted to market food products. I have always been good at finding niche markets and growing an interest in them by using my strong entrepreneurial and marketing skills.

I really want to leave a legacy for my nephews and nieces. I was able to take a small inheritance from my father and grow it into a million dollar company. Now I want to do the same thing over again so that I can give the company to my heirs. I believe in hard work and working hard, but I also believe in having a good life. Hobby Hill Farm Fresh will help me leave a good life for my family.

Business Description

Hobby Hill Farm Fresh started in 2012 with the launch of two very delicious jams - our 14 Carat/Carrot Cake Jam and our Sweet & Heat Tomato Jam. I started off with an online, equine-based retail business, but decided to move from retail merchandise to a Food based business because I loved creating interesting niche food products. That was the best decision I could have made!

Hobby Hill Farm Fresh started small by attending local farmer's markets and then offering our products to online Food Co-ops. By the end of 2012, we had launched our line of Candy and our Gourmet Pretzels. Gourmet Pretzels come in eight different flavors. They are available for purchase at several local pubs, bars, and cafe's, but we are focusing our marketing efforts in the future on the growing micro-brewery sector.

Hobby Hill Farm Fresh is always coming up with new and innovative products based on consumer trends. We really believe the micro-breweries are here to stay, and that there is a need for quality food products that are available for purchase on-site at these businesses.

Our biggest challenge right now is having enough staff for production to fulfill our orders. In addition, the Virginia Department of Health is making a policy change soon that will require us to vend out of a VDH inspected mobile food unit. Our business is not generating enough income yet to purchase this unit outright, but we will be forced to purchase one or we may not be able to participate in this year's "market season" (May-October) when "the fire is hot"! People live beer and pretzels!!!

I'm proud of the accomplishments we have made in such a short time. Our products are really unique and we need to hit while the fire's hot, or someone else will! We're going to keep expanding our product line with quality, unique niche food products that we will offer both wholesale and retail that keep up with growing trends in the food industry.

What is the purpose of this loan?

A Kiva Zip loan will allow our company to expand operations and add additional employees to meet an ever increasing demand. We are starting our busiest season and would like to offer our products to additional markets, including vending with a new mobile food unit at local breweries.

Funding would allow us to purchase a custom built mobile food unit. The unit needs to be compliant with requirements from the Virginia Department of Health, and would include a three-compartment sink for washing, rinsing and sanitizing, a hand-washing sink, two convection ovens, a small freezer and refrigerator, a water tank and a generator. This would allow us to vend "on-the-go", and would cut a lot of paperwork down for us, as it would only entail one permit per year, instead of one per event. It would also allow us to vend much more frequently, as it would be much easier to set-up. so instead of carting everything in a car or truck, it could stay in the mobile unit and be towed.

Our business is a long term commitment. The future is NOW, not next week, next month, or next year. It is the optimal time to build.

Sharon's loan is endorsed by ChiknEGG Productions, LLC. The information below explains why her trustee thinks Sharon is a great candidate for a Kiva Zip loan.
How long have you known this person?

3 years - 5 years

Tell us about your relationship with this borrower.

I have known Sharon through my association with managing farmers markets over the years. Her company, Hobby Hill Farms, has been a vendor at my farmers markets, and she also operates as a tenant at the community kitchen that ChiknEGG owns and operates. I have known of her work as a cheese-making instructor in our community for a number of years, as well, and now she is also conducting workshops for ChiknEGG at our community kitchen.

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

Sharon is a smart business woman. She is very driven and is goal-oriented. Once she sets her mind on something, she doesn't let anything get in her way! She's good with details and works really hard at establishing relationships with others where both parties come out as winners.

I have seen Sharon grow her business methodically and with purpose. She is doing all the right things, as a food producer, to launch her business to a new level, where she can work smarter and make more money.

In my association with Sharon, I have always been impressed with her follow-up, her quick responses, and her ability to see the big picture. I have seen her business grow by leaps and bounds from where it was even six months ago.

With a zero interest Kiva Zip loan, I know that Sharon will work really, really hard to use the money in the best way possible to take her business to where it needs to go. She has unique and in-demand products, and with the right backing from the Kiva Zip community, she won't go broke making it happen.

ChiknEGG Productions is proud of our association with Sharon, and Hobby Hill Farms. She has done everything right, and a zero interest Kiva Zip loan is just what she needs to move forward into wholesale food distribution.

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

Hobby Hill Farm is an innovative cottage-industry business. While she markets many different types of products on the Hobby Hill Farms website, ChiknEGG has mainly been associated with her in her capacity to product homemade jams & jellies, pretzels and toffee. These are the products that she is producing in ChiknEGG's Cook 'N Nook community kitchen, and the products that will make her business a success in the wholesale food industry.

Sharon is an inspiration to me. As the owner of an ag-based business myself, I can see how hard it is to make a go of a business like Hobby Hill. She has done all the right things to set the foundation for success. Finding a niche product (or products) in the food industry is not always easy, and comes with many challenges. Sharon has tirelessly plugged away at finding that niche, and then worked very hard at marketing and promoting her products through all the right channels.

All of us in the ag-based cottage industry sector face challenges when it comes to cash flow. I've seen Sharon take calculated risks and throw herself and her staff at numerous challenges in the past. With the support of her family, her staff, the ChiknEGG team, our community and the Kiva Zip community, too, I know Sharon will be successful in repaying her Kiva Zip loan in a timely manner.

272 Total , 16 invited by Sharon , 1 invited by Trustee
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PAYING BACK

A loan of $5,000 helps me to propel Hobby Hill Farm Fresh into a new and exciting direction, using our mobile food unit to take our products into the micro-brewery sector and other attractive venues.

Disbursed Jul 10, 2014
Repayment Term:
24 monthly payments
Grace Period:
N/A
Listed:
May 15, 2014
Disbursed:
Jul 10, 2014
Paying Back:
Jul 11, 2014

About Hobby Hill Farm Fresh

Industry:
Food production
Years in Operation:
1 year - 3 years
Website:
hobbyhillfarmfresh.com
Follow:
Facebook Twitter
Badges:
Badge_connectedness_gold_small

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:
Single Owner LLC
Location:
Sandy Hook, VA
Badges:
None
On Zip Since:
May 8, 2014
(10 months)
Loans Endorsed:
2
Total Value:
$15,000
Fundraising/Raised:
0
Paying on Time:
Not enough data
Paying Back Late:
Not enough data
Repaid in Full:
0
Defaulted:
0
Repayment Rate:
76%
Why are you endorsing Sharon?

Sharon is a smart business woman. She is very driven and is goal-oriented. Once she sets her mind on something, she doesn't let anything get in her way! She's good with details and works really hard at establishing relationships with others where both parties come out as winners.

I have s...

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.