This is a business owner who has reached out to Slow Money NC.
Business Owner: Michael Kirk
Cane Creek Farm, Efland, NC
Tell us your story. Who are you? What is your business idea?
Cane Creek Farms opened for business in 1986. We currently sell at several Farmers Markets, offer CSA memberships, and are happy for folks to come out to the farm.
Our farm is looking to expand the laying hen side of the business. We currently raise free range layers, broilers, hogs, beef cattle, hay, and produce. Farm gross sales currently are 60% produce, 30% eggs and 10% meat. The laying hens are the fastest-growing and most profitable side of the farm.
We want to put up a new 20’x42′ chicken house for 250 layers, with a large fenced in outdoor area. I recently purchased a bulk feed bin, and that decreased my feed costs by 75%.
Please briefly describe your commitment to sustainable food systems in North Carolina We raise produce,sell meat and eggs year round. We are not certified organic but we treat our farm as though we are. We have over 30 beehives to help pollinate the produce and they also make fantastic honey! Local honey is great for seasonal allergies! Our meat selection includes pork, beef, chicken and turkey.
What will your sales be? What do you anticipate your profits/your margins will look like? How will you make the money to pay this loan back? The new chicken house will produce 145 dozen eggs per week. If they are all sold wholesale through Weaver Street Market and all of my restaurant accounts, net sales after feed costs will be around $22000, and at retail $33000.
Do you have people who would vouch for your credit worthiness?
I borrowed $2000 from a Slow Money lender to add strawberries to our production last year. I am current on those payments, and she would vouch for me.
Tell us about your business background. Cane Creek is a family farm. Started by my father, Bobby Kirk and I in the 1980’s, I currently run the day to day operations of the farm. The Kirk Family has been involved in farming for over 100 years. There is actually a Revolutionary war battle nearby called “The Battle of Kirk’s Farm”.
Bobby’s parents, Bob and Martha, were both raised on farms. Bob was a dairy farmer all his life and Martha was raised on a tobacco farm in Caswell county.
I learned the love of growing, harvesting, preserving and hard work was at a very early age. Dad loves to tell the story of how I was already selling produce in their yard out of his red wagon when I was just 8 years old.
How much money do you need to borrow to make your project work?
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Are there other lenders involved in your project or business? No.
What is your timeline for this project? I would like to start as soon as possible.