Business Owner: Anne and Dan Krug
Business Name: Krug Creamery
Location: Louisburg, NC
How did you hear about Slow Money NC?: We have talked with Carol Hewitt regarding our goals and farm search a few times in the past.
Tell us your story. What is your business idea? Tell us your plan.
My husband, Dan, is a 5th generation dairy farmer. In 2012, we started our own farm in Upstate NY. We became certified organic grass fed in 2012 and since then have continued to build our herd and our farm. We currently milk about 20 registered jersey cows. We are passionate about our animals and the work that we do. We began searching for a farm to relocate to in North Carolina about 2 years ago. We wanted to relocate for many reasons, but just a few are – 1. to take advantage of the longer growing season and climate. Our cows are inside from November – April and they (and we) are much happier outside 2. to provide our children with access to the opportunities that North Carolina will bring, 3. to be part of a community that embraces agriculture and understands the importance of farms like us for our future.
We were selling our milk to a co-op and we slowly watched that decline as our friends were losing their milk markets. For a while we have been wanting to bottle our own milk and the threat of losing our market made us take the leap. We purchased the equipment to bottle/pasteurize our milk. However, we still needed a place to call home and raise our family. We found that at last and made the move to North Carolina in the March 2018. We will be leasing a farm to begin the next journey. We would love to work with Slow Money to make some modifications to the existing barn as well as set up a mobile creamery. There is a company, Don’s Dairy, that sets up these types of things.
We are in a great position. We own our cows 100%. We own the equipment 100%. We know this will be successful, we just need a good partnership to make it happen.
Please briefly describe your commitment to sustainable food systems in North Carolina.: We have been embraced by everyone we have talked to in North Carolina. We are committed to contributing to the sustainable food system because not only are we passionate about it for us, but also for our children. If we continue to shut farms down and watch them go vacant, where will our food come from? Where will children go to learn all the life lessons that would be learned on a farm? We are committed to this because our future is going to need kids like ours. Kids that care where their food comes from.
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?: We would like to sell in a few ways –
1. At farmer’s markets – getting out in the community and meeting people is our #1 goal. We want to go to farmer’s markets to meet others as well as support other farmers.
2. We’ve talked about working with local stores to see about getting shelf space.
3. We would potentially open a farm store which will not only sell our milk, but provide an avenue for other local farmers to market their products.
4. Start a CSA
Some of these ideas are down the road, but our #1 plan would be to sell at the farmer’s markets.
Additionally, I have off farm income with GE that supports us and would be able to pay the loan back.
Have you borrowed money before? How much did you borrow? From where? How long was the term? Is there a balance still due on that loan?: Yes, we did a Kiva loan for $7,000 to help purchase the pasteurizer. Yes, there is still a balance on that loan.
Do you have people who would vouch for your credit worthiness? Who are they?: Yes, we could provide you with personal and professional references.
Tell us about your business background. Have you been in business before?: Anne went to college and earned a degree in business administration. Most of her experience with running a business comes from being Vice President of a small company where she worked extremely close with the owners and gained experience on profit/loss, HR related topics, drafting proposals, business plans, marketing plans, etc.
Are there other lenders involved in your project or business?: No
What is your timeline for this project? Would you like it to start in a month? 6 months? A year?: We would like to start this in a month.
Is there anything else we forgot to ask you?: We also want to be a farm where people can visit and tour. We want to work with schools to have our milk there and have the children come for field trips and summer “camps”. This is important to us as we need to educate our children to be able to see our future.
I’m hopeful we would be considered for one of your projects. We love our farm and believe our bottled milk would be an asset to the community. We feel strongly in providing people with local products as an alternative to the big labels. We need to continue to support our small farms because we need them now, and in the future. We look forward to being a part of your project and being a part of the community.