Slow Money NYC is thrilled to report that last week we officially obtained our 1,000th member on Meetup.com.
A big thanks to John Wiseman for being our 1000th member (and alerting us to this momentous occasion!). John is a marketing and partnerships maven, who invests in local bars and restaurants and advises on the marketing council for the Food Bank for NYC. Thanks again, John!
Mr. John Wiseman, 1000th Member!
This milestone is a moment of pride, excitement, and reflection as we look back at the hard, fun work that got us to this point. It’s a moment to look around from the top of this significant numeric peak and think about what’s next for us. New leadership. New organizational rigor. New ideas. New blood. New Year.
Some questions that will help us form our agenda for the new year:
How do we want to honor these 1000 members and continue to earn their loyalty?
How do we want to call upon these 1000 members to help us build the network to 10,000?
How will we articulate the importance of this work that requires us to grow this movement?
What programs will we devise to deliver value to ourselves and our members that makes this network worth maintaining?
What do you think? Please let us know your reaction to these pivotal questions.
Our challenge is to become activists and to embrace this Network as our own — worthy of our nurture, our admiration and our ongoing commitment.
Building a network (and a movement) requires all of us — its members — to be actively engaged and connected, making opportunities to meet and to discuss what’s important.
To that end, please make sure that you join us at our next Meetup on February 10th, 2015 about crowd-funding strategies from the pros.
And, do not miss your opportunity to register for the Food + Enterprise Summit 2015. This gathering defines our community and makes our ties stronger every year. Register hereand do so soon! We sold out two weeks early last year.
Thank you so much for all of your commitment to building Slow Money NYC as a home for us all to dream about a better food system and its financing.
This network is ours. This network is us. Let’s keep it fresh and relevant together.
Greetings! We’re proud to announce that our website has officially launched for Food and Enterprise 2015! CLICK HERE to find out more about our bigger and better event at Industry City this coming February! Be sure to get your tickets soon before they sell out!
After two years of sold-out programming as part of FBF, we’re spinning off our event series devoted to small food business into its own three-day event, February 27 – March 1, 2015 at Industry City in Brooklyn, New York. To get a flavor for the event, please check out our previous years’ photo of Entrepreneur Clinic, Anatomy of a Deal Panel, and Pitch Competition and for a live feel, view Videos of Pitch Competition.We just launched tickets and our website! Be sure to check it out and get your tickets before they sell out.Food + Enterprise 2015 thrives on developing dynamic partnership relationships, planning the details collaboratively with over 80 organizations that form North East Foodshed Finance Alliance. To get involved, email us here!Have a great holiday!Elizabeth T. Jones and Derek DencklaCo-Founders, Food + Enterprise
NOTE: Slow Food Show cancelled and postponed TBD in 2015.
Anatomy of a Sale Workshop
Erica Dorn presents “Anatomy of a Sale”
12:30 – 2:00 p.m: Slow Money NYC will present The Anatomy of a Sale Workshop. This workshop focuses on tips and tools that can help the small food business increase sales and create long-term business relationships. Buy Tickets.
Have you developed a sales strategy for your Slow Food Business? Learn from Slow Money NYC and Erica Dorn, a business development consultant, about some tips and tools that can help to increase sales for your business and create long-term business relationships. Through an interactive format Erica will cover:
(i) Empathy, Solution, Sale;
(ii) Dash-boarding/creating metrics;
(iii) Client retention (80/20 rule) and other best practices.
TIME: 12:30 – 2:00 PM on Monday, December 15, 2014 LOCATION: Neighborhood Preservation Center
232 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003, Ph: 212-228-2781
We will present a Foodstand Spotlight from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Buy Tickets.
Join Foodstand, the hub of good food pioneers and Slow Money NYC, a network dedicated to collaborating to finance a sustainable local food system, for an evening of drinks and collaborative thinking. We have invited entrepreneurs, creators and innovators in the food space for an opportunity to showcase their product or business to a diverse panel of experts and audience collaborators (YOU!) who’ve all shown up with one mission:
To help good food ventures be the best they can be.
6:00PM: Keynote and Expert Intros
6:30PM: Each presenter gets 5 minutes to showcase their product. Experts deliberate in the next 5. Audience watches and votes on questions the entrepreneur wants feedback on.
7:30-800PM: Networking with good food pioneers.
To apply as an expert or showcase your product, check full event details here.
Have questions about Foodstand Spotlight Series: Drinks w/ the Best + Brightest in Good Food? Contact Foodstand and please take a moment to join our partner organization via Slow Money NYC Meetup.
Note: Slow Money and Foodstand Spotlight events are not an offer to sell securities nor a solicitation of an offer to buy securities.
TIME: 6:00 – 8:00 PM on Monday, December 15, 2014 LOCATION: Purpose (Office of Foodstand Project)
115 5th Ave, New York, NY 10011
DUMBO Spot 160 Water Street Brooklyn, New York 11201
About Slow Money NYC
Slow Money NYC is a chapter of Slow Money, a national non-profit organization catalyzing investment in sustainable food and farms.
A project of Purpose, Foodstand is an online platform to create community around sharing food experiences that may aggregate into a social movement to impact positive change in the food system.
Slow Money NYC was well-represented at the recent Slow Money National Gathering in Louisville, KY from November 10-12, 2014, helping to extend the reach of our network.
Advisory Board Members Derek Denckla and Claude Arpels along with Amanda Fuller, a member of Foodshed Investor NY, were invited to attend the first-ever Master Class for leaders of local networks from around the US and the world (France was represented!).
Derek gave a Workshop “What are we doing to engage people and get more money to flow” describing the work that Slow Money NYC has been doing for the last four years. If you are interested, here is a link to Slides from Slow Money Master Class 2014-11-10. The Master Class was the first attempt to provide a formal program to help train, educate and network among local leaders of Slow Money networks. We made great connections to many new activists from around the Country and reconnoitered with old friends and allies.
We learned some good new organizing strategies, such as becoming a Trustee on Kiva Zip (application just completed!) so that our network can support startup entrepreneurs who are too early for funding from Foodshed Investors NY. Also, Kiva Zip can help democratize the investing approach of Slow Money NYC, giving the broader network of unaccredited investors the opportunity to provide a zero-interest loan alongside a capital raise for an enterprise that may be slated to receive financing from Foodshed Investors NY.
We all came away intrigued again by the possibility of starting a Investment Club for making small loans, like No Small Potatoes, in Maine or personal loans with a common structure, like Slow Money North Carolina. Someone from our network would have to step up to organize one of these efforts.
Christy Brown celebrates Mary Berry, Vandana Shiva and Wendell Berry (left to right)
Louisville is an interesting town with lots of lively spots and good food. Thanks to the organizing energy of Nicole Shore, Zero to Sixty Commnunications, we got to see a lot of the City by coordinating two hugely successful Slow Money NYC networking events during the Gathering. On Monday, December 10, we had a dinner and drinks Mixer at the Garage Bar, attended by almost 35 people, where much “Bourbonizing” was accomplished thanks to several full-bottle donations made by Claude and Amanda. The next day we had a networking lunch attended by about 20 at the DISH on Market, where we sampled the local classic “Hot Brown” and shared intentions for working together in the North East. Advisory Board Member Jennifer Grossman attended the Gathering and rallied us all for a very fun, more intimate group dinner on Tuesday night. We spent a lot of time hanging out with John Friedman, attorney from Hudson NY, who helped us organized Local Farms Fund.
Tour of Fox Hollow Farm, Biodynamic Beef Operation.
Fun fact about Kentucky: The state has more farms than any other state other than Iowa. However, when I was asked by our guest from France, Aymeric Jung, what food was associated with the Bluegrass State, I had to say it wasn’t food at all. It’s Bourbon. And it seems to be the social and economic fuel for the town of Louisville. To be fair, we did visit an amazing biodynamic farm as part of the Master Class, Fox Hollow Farm.
Highlights of the gathering were the opening talk by Douglas Payeton, the maestro and motive force behind the Lexicon of Sustainability, and closing remarks by Vandana Shiva, who set the context on Veteran’s Day for the militaristic and violent takeover of the world food system by Western Industry trained on war-like product design and strategems. Frightening and eye-opening at once. Derek came face to face with food movement heroes Wendell Berry and Vandana Shiva at a party at Christy Brown’s estate, where the owner enlisted him to play spoons (along with Amy Domini of Domini Funds) to some live Bluegrass Music.
The trip was long and exhausting but well worth the time and effort to connect with others and build this activist community intent on bringing money down to earth.
including the launch of the International Alliance for Localization (IAL)
10am to 6pm (doors open at 9:15 am)
November 8, 2014
The Great Hall, The Cooper Union
New York, New York
Climate chaos, world conflict, species extinction, income inequality, financial insecurity…
All our most pressing crises are connected. And they have their roots in an economy dominated by global corporations.
In our film, The Economics of Happiness, we documented how the global economy is destroying ecosystems, cultures and any prospect of financial security. The economy also deeply affects our personal wellbeing, with rates of depression, alienation, suicide and violence on the rise. We need structural change.
Rebuilding local economies is a solution-multiplier, reducing our ecological footprint while simultaneously increasing our social and economic well-being. Want to help build the movement? Join us for a day of cutting-edge discussion, debate and cultural exchange with inspirational speakers from around the world. Be part of the launch of the International Alliance for Localization, a new forum for global collaboration to support place-based solutions on a planetary scale.
The Coming Local Capital Revolution and the End of Wall Street: Michael Shuman
Localization and Business: Awakening the Heart of the Entrepreneur: Judy Wicks
Driving American Politics Underground: Chris Hedges
Keeping Local Culture Alive in the South: Adebayo Akomolafe
Reimagining Education for Life-based Economies: Manish Jain
Keeping your Cool in a World on Fire: Catherine Ingram
Local Food, Local Economies: Scott Chaskey
Connecting with People, Connecting with the Earth: Charles Eisenstein
Commonomics: Building Strong Local Economies (A project of YES Magazine and GRITtv): Laura Flanders
Trade Treaties and Food Sovereignty: Camila Moreno
The Economics of Happiness: Helena Norberg-Hodge
Climate Justice and Place-based Resilience: Elizabeth Yeampierre
With an introductory talk by Peter Buffet
Adebayo Clement-Akomolafe is a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Covenant University in Nigeria. He helped create the reality television programme “Kalengo” based on community activity. He and his wife Ijeoma were initiating co-founders of Koru, a trans-local network of cultural creatives who believe another world is possible and he is also a member of the Global Cooperative Forum in Switzerland.
Peter Buffett is an Emmy Award winning musician and philanthropist. He composed the score for 500 Nations, CBS miniseries produced by Kevin Costner and his piece, Spirit: The Seventh Fire, premiered as part of the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. Together with his wife, Jennifer, he is co-chair and co-president of the NoVo Foundation. He is the author of Life Is What You Make It. www.peterbuffett.com
Scott Chaskey, author, poet, philanthropist and farmer, runs Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett, New York, one of the first CSA farms in the country. He is the author of Seedtime: On the History, Husbandry, Politics and Promise of Seeds and This Common Ground: Seasons on an Organic Farm. http://www.peconiclandtrust.org/quail_hill_farm.html
Charles Eisenstein is a speaker and writer focusing on themes of human culture and identity. He is the author of several books, most recently Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible. His background includes a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Yale, a decade in Taiwan as a translator, and stints as a college instructor, a yoga teacher, and a construction worker. He currently writes and speaks full-time. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and four children. http://charleseisenstein.net
Laura Flanders is a broadcast journalist and author. She hosts GRITtv with Laura Flanders, and is a regular contributor to Yes! Magazine (“Commonomics”), The Nation and MSNBC. Her books include, Blue Grit: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians and Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species, a study of the women in George W. Bush’s cabinet. www.grittv.org Follow her on twitter at @GRITlaura
Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and foreign correspondent who writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. His books include, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (with Joe Sacco), Death of the Liberal Class, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. http://www.truthdig.com/staff/chris_hedges
Catherine Ingram is the author of Passionate Presence, In the Footsteps of Gandhi, and A Crack in Everything. A former journalist specializing in issues of consciousness and activism, she has internationally led retreats and public sessions of Dharma Dialogues since 1993 and is founder and president of Living Dharma, an educational nonprofit organization. http://www.dialogueswithcatherine.com/
Manish Jain is founder and coordinator of Shikshantar: The People’s Institute for Rethinking Education and Development and Swaraj University. He has worked with UNESCO Learning Without Frontiers transnational initiative, UNICEF, USAID, and Morgan Stanley investment bank. He has been trying to unlearn what he studied at Harvard Graduate School of Education. www.swaraj.org/shikshantar
Camila Moreno works with social movements in Brazil and Latin America on social and environmental dimensions of biotechnology and agribusiness expansion in the region. Her main areas of study, writing and activism in recent years has been on the territorial impacts of development policies and emerging schemes associated to the green economy.
Helena Norberg-Hodge is the founder and director of Local Futures – International Society for Ecology and Culture. She is the author of the bestselling Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh and producer of the film, The Economics of Happiness. She is a pioneer of the worldwide localisation movement and a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award and the 2012 Goi Peace Award. www.localfutures.org
Michael Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and Director of Community Portals for Mission Markets in New York City. He’s a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and a fellow of Cutting Edge Capital, and Post-Carbon Institute. He has authored, coauthored, or edited eight books, including Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Move Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity and The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition, which received as bronze prize from the Independent Publishers Association for best business book of 2006. https://bealocalist.org/michael-schuman
Judy Wicks is founder of White Dog Café and an international leader and speaker in the local living economies movement. She is co-founder of the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and founder of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and Fair Food. She is the author of Good Morning, Beautiful Business. www.bealocalist.org/Judy-Wicks
Elizabeth Yeampierre is a nationally recognized Puerto Rican attorney and environmental justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry born and raised in New York City. She is Executive Director of UPROSE and a long-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around sustainable development, environmental justice and community-led climate adaptation and community resiliency. Her work is featured in several books and a variety of media outlets throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. Elizabeth was recently named one of the top 100 Green Leaders by Poder Hispanic Magazine. http://uprose.org
If you are not able to afford any of the ticket prices, we are offering full and partial scholarships. We also offer group discounts. For more information and to apply, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Partner networking evening schedule
7:30 Introduction by Helena Norberg-Hodge (Local Futures)
7:40 Charles Eisenstein
7:45 Rob Kall (Oped News)
7:50 David Levine (American Sustainable Business Council)
7:55 Giovanni Ciarlo (Gaia Education)
8:00 Grace Gershuny (Institute for Social Ecology)
8:05 Colin Beavan (No Impact Project)
8:10 Sane Energy Project
8:15 Isabel Luciano (Participatory Budgeting Project)
8:20 Erik Lehmann (Gamechangers)
8:25 Leah Barber (350NYC)
8:30 Ethany Uttech (ioby)
8:35 Asoka Banderage (author, Sustainability and Wellbeing)
8:50 Moderated discussion
Call for volunteers
If you would like to contribute your time to help make this event a success, please contact us about volunteering opportunities. We need help with postering before the event and many other tasks during it, including checking tickets, A/V set up, selling books and so on. To be a volunteer at the event itself, you will need to be available from 8:30am until 7pm on Saturday, the 8th and also able to attend a volunteer meeting the evening of November 7th. All volunteers receive free entry. Please contact: email@example.com
Accommodation is not included in the ticket price and, unfortunately, we cannot assist with arrangements. However, there are a number of hotels nearby, some of which offer a discount in association with The Cooper Union. See the full list HERE. The closest hostel is Bowery’s Whitehouse Hotel of NYC. Several nearby options are also offered on AirBnB.
American Sustainable Business Council
Beloved Earth Community of Riverside Church
Beyond Oil NYC
Brooklyn Food Coalition
Canadian Community Economic Development Network
Care About Climate
Center For The Advancement Of The Steady State Economy (CASSE)
Citizen Awareness Network
Citizens’ Committee for NYC
Cooperative Development Institute
Eat Local NY
GRACE Communications Foundation
Green Me Locally
Indigenous Environmental Network
Institute for Social Ecology
Interfaith Moral Action on Climate
Jamaica Plain Forum
Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub
Missourians Organizing for Reform & Empowerment (MORE)
New York Passive House (NYPH)
No Impact Project
NY Sun Works
Over Grow the System
Participatory Budgeting Project
Peace Development Fund
Post Growth Institute
RSF Social Finance
Sane Energy Project
Schumacher Center for a New Economics
SFU Community Economic Development
Slow Money NYC
Small Planet Institute
System Change, Not Climate Change
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network
After 4 years as Director of Slow Money NYC, Derek Denckla is stepping down as the leader of the network. He will remain on the Board of Advisors and an active member of Foodshed Investors NY, the related angel investor group which he also helped to launch.
Denckla will be taking a full time position as Investments and Partnerships Director at National Young Farmers Coalition, a role in which he will be staying in close contact with all of his Slow Money contacts locally and nationally.
“Investing in the future viability of Young Farmers is at the core of what we have worked to emphasize at Slow Money NYC,” explains Denckla, “This new work allows me to focus more directly on a key investment that I have promoted so vocally for so long. ”
“Over the last 4 years, I coordinated Slow Money NYC as a volunteer director in balance with my consulting work. With a full-time gig, that would be too hard to accomplish. However, Slow Money NYC is mature enough now to evolve under new and different leadership.” Denckla advised.
Anyone who would like to step up as **Volunteer Director** should firstname.lastname@example.org. With the support of the Board, we will be exploring several possible ways to pay the next Director a stipend as a consultant. Also, Slow Money NYC is seeking 2-3 new Board Members to expand its Board of Advisors as a working group. Please contact the same email address with an expression of interest for Board participation.
“We should all be proud of what we have built together,” adds Denckla, “Since 2010, we have grown from a private dinner party of aligned friends to a public network of 900 members on Meetup.com.
Denckla provided some context for this moment: “In that short time, we have hosted more than a hundred events. We have led the creation of many impactful groups and programs including:
“We have raised mission-aligned money, increased awareness of the need to bring money down to earth and maintained our focus on the small, the local and the sustainable. This is a record of which we can all be proud.”
Denckla will be gradually transitioning to full-time work with National Young Farmers Coalition between now and November 17, 2014. Fittingly, the Slow Money National Gathering on November 11-12, 2014 will be the occasion during which Denckla will make the transition official.
“In thinking through this work we have done (and will continue to do) together,” Denckla reflects, “I want to express my sincerest thanks to many folks.
“To Woody Tasch for giving me the seed of an idea and nurturing our local work.”
“To Brian Kaminer for working so closely with me for many years to define and create Slow Money NYC.”
“To all of our amazing Board Members, past and present, who gave so much integrity and time to build a new vision together.”
“To all of the Foodshed Investors for putting their money where their mission is!”
“To all of our volunteers who helped us breathe life into this work.”
“To all of our partners who brought us into collaboration when we were just a wee disruptive notion.”
“To all our funders who had faith that we could make change in a finance system that controls our very sense of safety and reality.”
“And, chiefly, to all the Members who have given us your time and attention. We are the network that is Slow Money NYC.”
“Let’s keep building the relationships of this movement together!”
Ticket Price of $10.00/per person helps defray the admin costs of maintaining our network!
The average age of Farmers in the United States is about 58 years old.
Many young people want to farm but face serious challenges to raise capital. Unless we resolve this capital crisis, we face uncertainty whether our Country can feed itself in the future. No Finance, No Farms, No Food.
To help frame this important issue, we have drawn upon a wide group of experts in the “field,” including:
Slow Money NYC is delighted to host this dialogue and announce the launch of its latest solution to this serious problem facing our agricultural future: Local Farms Fund, a joint venture with Working Farms Capital.
Local Farms Fund will launch later this Fall and purchase small farms, making them available to starting farmers with a lease-to-own relationship. We hope to create a model for increasing capital to local farms and young farmers.
Food + Enterprise – February 27- March 1 – Planning for Slow Money NYC’s amazing annual event is heating up! Slow Money NYC will give a brief update on our community-building work along with a heartfelt solicitation for panelists, volunteers, mentors, coaches and SPONSORS!
Local Entrepreneur Pitches (To Be Announced) will make presentations about their Business Models at the end of the Meetup. We also provide plenty of networking time before and after the formal program.
BeetCoin! As part of the gathering Slow Money has created the ‘beet coin’ as a way of funding a couple of the local food presenters at the Gathering in an immediate way. Go to http://beetcoin.org to learn more.
About our Monthly Slow Gatherings:
Every month, we get together to network and share information about a topic, issue or idea that furthers the growth of investment in the local food system. Suggest an idea! Enterprises at all stages of growth can apply to present their business ideas at the Gathering seeking consultants, mentors and investors.
Slow Money NYC started with a few of us locals straggling up to Vermont in 2010 for the National Gathering. We did not know what to expect. And we found like-minded people searching for solutions to the problems of the food system and the finance system.
About twenty of us coming from New York so far. Join us in meeting folks from around the country and the globe for two and a half days of brilliant speakers, presentations and conversations over local food and beverage.
This year Wendell Barry is the opening Plenary Speaker. As well Vandana Shiva and Joel Salatin are also on the roster. Plus, Woody Tasch — the visionary who started this movement — will be kicking things off. And, one of our local heroes, Fig Foods will be pitching their company!
As part of the gathering Slow Money has created the ‘beet coin’ as a way of funding a couple of the local food presenters at the Gathering in an immediate way. Go to http://beetcoin.org to learn more.
A WORD FROM WOODY
Woody Tasch has written a brilliant piece on the state of money, finance, and healthy soil. It’s well worth your time – it will give you plenty to think about and act on. He’s a pretty darn good writer
The 300+ acre Brooklyn Navy Yard is mostly known for its military past. But over the last 15 years, the yard has reinvented itself as a host for new and innovative companies, including agricultural and culinary endeavors.
Such companies include Brooklyn Grange (urban farming) and Kings County Distillery (you know what that means). Most recently, Rooftop Reds and Drive Change have joined the community. Heard of them? Rooftop Reds has established a nursery vineyard on top of an old warehouse building on the Navy Yard’s northernmost pier, with the goal of creating the first true Brooklyn vintage. Drive Change is a non-profit social enterprise that hires formerly incarcerated youth, teaches them transferable culinary skills and then employs them on a food truck that serves fantastic meals all over the city, including the Navy Yard itself.
All of these businesses have garnered press attention, launched successful Kickstarter and fundraising campaigns, and raised some curious eyebrows along the way. On September 19th Rooftop Reds and Drive Change will host an event showcasing all of these efforts in the “Building 92 Museum” at the Navy Yard. If attending, you will experience a collaboration of ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit focused on separate factions of food production. See first hand what a farm distillery can produce with corn grown in an urban setting, taste food creations crafted by a culinary team using ingredients from an urban rooftop farm, and wash it all down with hand-selected wine pairings. Then stroll out to the wrap- around balcony to enjoy a panoramic view of the Navy Yard complex. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Brooklyn’s innovative future while tipping your hat to its industrial past, this is the place you need to be.
Several years ago, Blue Marble Ice Cream opened its first retail store in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn, near to the home of Derek Denckla, founder and director of Foodshed Investors NY, an angel investors network dedicated to placing funds aligned with Slow Money Principles.
At the time, Denckla had small children who screamed for ice cream. As an environmental activist and green real estate developer, Denckla was immediately impressed with Blue Marble’s sustainable interior design, using recycled and repurposed materials and designating separate waste bins for recyclables — becoming more standard in NYC now, but highly unusual five years ago. Also unusual at the time was the provision of a special play area for toddlers – a godsend for parents with young children — and utensils and bowls made from compostable materials. Then, to top things off, Blue Marble made a big deal about sourcing its cream locally from organic farmers, a commitment not made by any other brand in NY. Denckla wondered: “Who are these amazing people behind this place?”
He would soon find out. Denckla was introduced to CEO Jennie Dundas in Fall of 2011 by a mutual friend. However, he was disappointed to hear that just closed its first round of capital raising from Friends and Family. Denckla and Dundas stayed in touch through an investor who participated in that first funding round, Elizabeth Crowell, who is also a member of Foodshed Investors NY (formerly NYC LION until 2014), a project of Slow Money NYC (managed by Denckla Projects).
In the interim, Dundas moved from Brooklyn upstate to enroll her son in the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, bringing her in daily contact with Hawthorne Valley Executive Director, Martin Ping, whose granddaughter attended the same school. Ping has been an important supporter of Slow Money and a major force in the local, sustainable food movement in NY. Ping spoke very highly of Dundas to Denckla as well.
So, when Dundas approached Denckla in the Fall of 2013 with a possible fundraising round, he jumped at the opportunity to explore possible investment in Blue Marble Ice Cream by Foodshed Investors NY. Denckla invited Dundas to apply to be screened by investors by first presenting her business model before the Slow Money NYC community at our October 2013 Meetup hosted by The Moderns, where she gave a great slide show about her sustainable approach to food business and scooped some delicious ice cream for a crowd of 60 or so. She was a big hit with the Screening Committee of Foodshed Investors NY. Blue Marble Ice Cream was invited to pitch on February 26, 2013 to our angel network of Accredited Investors.
At the Foodshed Investors NY meeting, Dundas presented with Billy Barlow, Director of Culinary and Production, and Acting Chief Financial Officer, John D’Aquila. Investors had an immediate and intense interest and a Deal Committee was formed, led by Amanda L. Fuller, whom Denckla had met and at Slow Money National Gathering in Boulder, CO and who was invited to join Foodshed Investors NY . Fuller scheduled a very well-attended site visit to Blue Marble’s local production facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Investors were delighted with the alignment of the business with Slow Money Principles, something hard to find. For instance, until recently, Blue Marble bought almost all its cream from MOOMilk, a company featured at a previous Slow Money Gathering.
Even more salient for investment, Blue Marble Ice Cream was that rare company that had well-organized financials, clear use and modest amount capital sought, reasonable valuation. This was an easy deal for investors to love — highly unusual for most enterprises seen by Foodshed Investors NY. Also unusual was how quickly investors moved, Deal Champion Fuller expressed interest in obtaining terms immediately. Shortly after receiving the Term Sheet and Subscription Agreement, however, Foodshed Investors NY was informed that existing investors had committed to fund more than 3/4 of the capital sought — leaving too little for the number of interested investors drawn from Foodshed Investors NY to participate.
Foodshed Investors NY had never experienced any competing demand on a deal like this before. Fuller asked Blue Marble’s principals if they would be willing to oversubscribe the funding round. Two weeks later, one of the founding partners, Alexis Miesen, agreed to sell a portion of her interest in the company to make it possible for five of the most interested investors (who committed first) to participate in the round: Denckla and Fuller were joined by Claude Arpels, Steve Fondiller and Aileen Gribben,
However, there were several other members of Foodshed Investors NY who were disappointed that they missed the window to place funds in this round. Dundas assured us that she would return to the group with a Series A Offering in the next two years, which helped settle the matter.
The five committed investors then engaged an attorney from the law firm Seward and Kissel to review the deal documents, sharing the legal costs up to an agreed upon capped amount. Investors commenced to negotiate terms and reached a mutual understanding about a month afterwards. The Closing was settled this week on July 16 and July 25, 2014 with all five investors in two tranches.
Foodshed Investors NY closed the funding of Blue Marble Ice Cream four months after its investor presentation, nine months from its slide show at Slow Money NYC Meetup and three years after Denckla first wanted to explore investing. Now, we believe this is the sort of slow, steady development of relationships that pays off for all sides to a transaction required to support sustainable local food business who helps restore our local food system.