Since its founding in 2014 by Jake Reisdorf at age 11 (98% owner) with his mother Becky (2% owner), Carmel Honey Company, a manufacturer and retailer of artisan-crafted gourmet honey products, has expanded to three retail locations, established a production facility, successfully navigated the pandemic recession, and emerged with sales and profits intact. Carmel Honey Company has been an SBDC client since 2016, seeking assistance as new challenges have arisen. During the pandemic, they came to us for help with COVID financial relief and survival plans.
When the pandemic shut down all retail, CHC turned to the SBDC for help applying for any available business loans or grants – and initially ran into a brick wall. Because Jake was under 18, CHC was automatically declined for the PPP loan. Determined to find a workaround, with SBDC assistance, Jake found a solution and ultimately received a PPP and EIDL loan. Further, Covid-19 postponed the company’s San Francisco expansion plans but with SBDC training, they analyzed the opportunity and took a leap of faith and invested $3500 to open in November 2020. To further help navigate the pandemic, and with SBDC guidance, they developed creative promotions, added curbside pickup, and amplified social media efforts – all with the goal of surviving.
Working with the SBDC, CHC emerged from the pandemic with a PPP forgivable loan, an EIDL loan, an additional location in San Francisco, and a new 3-year ‘focus forward’ business strategy aimed at supporting ongoing sales growth, product introductions, and retail expansion.