June 28, 2016

FAME Supports Maine Food Businesses

The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) has approved financing for three growing Maine businesses engaged in food and beverage manufacturing, processing, and wholesale retail: Gelato FiascoOtto Pizza; and Bigelow Brewing Company. FAME has provided a direct loan of $200,000 and loan insurance on two loans totaling $1,272,000 through Camden National Bank to Gelato Fiasco Castle Holdings, LLC and The Gelato Fiasco, Inc., d/b/a Gelato Fiasco. The company, which opened in 2007, produces and sells gelato at its stores in Portland and Brunswick, and in more than 4,000 grocery stores across 47 U.S. states. Gelato flavors are made with milk from Maine family farms, cane sugar, and genuine fruits, nuts, chocolates, and confections. The company’s founders are Joshua Davis and Bruno Tropeano. Additionally, the company benefited in its early stages from the FAME-administered Seed Capital Tax Credit, which encouraged equity and near-equity investments in the business, directly and through private venture capital funds. FAME’s assistance helped the company create and retain approximately eighty jobs. “Gelato Fiasco is grateful to have enjoyed FAME’s support along the way as our business grows and succeeds,” stated Joshua Davis, co-founder and CEO. “FAME’s financing has allowed us to lower our costs of borrowing and expand operations and fund necessary equipment purchases.” FAME also has provided a $490,000 direct loan to Oscar Pizza, LLC & Mashed, LLC, d/b/a Otto Pizza. Otto Pizza has been serving pizza to customers since 2009. Owned and operated by chefs and business partners Anthony Allen and Mike Keon, the company originally operated in Portland but has since expanded, now operating at five locations in Maine—in Portland (2), South Portland (2), and Yarmouth (1)–and five locations in Massachusetts. The financing was used to provide working capital and fund expansion of the business. FAME’s assistance helped to create and retain eighty-eight jobs. Bigelow Brewing Company operates out of Skowhegan and employs seven individuals. FAME partnered with Franklin Savings Bank to insure the $490,000 loan. Funds allowed the company to purchase additional equipment and grow the existing business, adding five additional full-time employees. Seven Maine jobs were created and retained as a result of the financing. The company’s owners are Jeffrey Powers and Pamela James-Powers. All three businesses partner when possible with Maine farmers to provide fresh, quality, locally-sourced ingredients for their products. “FAME has been proud to support these companies’ growth and success,” stated FAME Board Chair Raymond Nowak. “Whether the capital was needed for start-up, expanded locations, or additional manufacturing capacity, FAME has been there to provide access to capital to help grow Maine’s economy. We are especially pleased that these businesses partner with Maine farmers to provide quality, locally-sourced products.” FAME’s direct loan program, now referred to as the FAME Direct Loan (formerly known as the Economic Recovery Loan), provides new or existing businesses with flexible gap financing up to $1 million. FAME’s Commercial Loan Insurance Program insures a portion of a loan to a business made by a participating financial institution. For a business, it may mean the difference between obtaining a loan or never getting the opportunity to start a business. FAME is a quasi-independent state agency that provides innovative financial solutions to help Maine people and businesses pursue educational and business opportunities.