Expanding Hot Winter's Market Reach

Bringing Hot Winter to more customers; preserving rare seeds and working directly with regional farmers

About the campaign

Hot Winter is growing fast: our quarterly sales are 150% what they were last time this year. We are available in new markets every month, and are now selling to 26 stores in 52 retail locations. I am held back from expanding though, by the debt load of my start-up expenses. Back in 2013 I was unable to get a business loan, and launched Hot Winter primarily with my own consumer credit. The interest on this debt is prohibitively expensive, and traditional banks have refused to refinance. A new loan would allow me to get ahead on my payments, AND to support a smaller production run this season. I can do this because of the efficiency of scale achieved in my 2014 production. By running a slightly limited bottling this year, I'll be able to divert more of my revenue to debt obligations, putting the business on sound financial footing for increased production in 2016, to be paid for with a seasonal line of credit from a traditional bank.

This loan will help my sustainable company grow to new stores around Oregon, Washington and northern California.

Hot Winter is uniquely committed to sustainable agriculture. I created this business after working on a farm, with the intent of offering the kinds of small scale wholesaling opportunities I had wanted to see when I was farmer. Hot Winter contracts with growers in the Willamette Valley to grow heirloom varieties not available in most markets. By offering a high-end product to consumers that takes advantage of heirloom flavors, I am creating a new market for these chiles, which are currently available in most stores. This specialization allows me to offer better prices to farmers. Moreover, the distinct tastes I am able to share with Hot Winter provide consumers with an opportunity to learn about what differentiates organic agriculture, and to become excited about its possibility.

Hot Winter works directly with regional farmers to create a one of a kind fermented hot sauce, that features heirloom peppers and my very own new variety: the Hot Winter Pepper.

Updates and payments

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About Hot Winter Hot Sauce

First, I buy Organic peppers from farmers in Oregon and northern California. Then, I make a delicious, fermented hot sauce.

I work directly with small scale farmers, primarily in Oregon. By purchasing directly from farmers I am able to offer equitable growing contracts, while securing the best quality ingredients. Fully 1/3 of my expenses go directly to farmers. This amounts to 10-15% of the retail cost.

Hot Winter Hot Sauce was established in 2012, and is located in Portland, OR.

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Providing affordable capital to community businesses is vital to our economy

Small businesses are the key generators of jobs in our economy and character in our communities. Everyone seems to know that. What most people don't know is how important funding is to the success of a business.

Even in this day and age, most small businesses simply cannot access the funding they need to succeed. New lenders have emerged to serve this need, but many of them charge equivalent interest rates upwards of 20 or 50 percent. These rates can compromise the stability of the businesses that ultimately provide stability to our communities.

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