RSF Makes a Loan to Regional Access
May 6, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO RSF Social Finance (RSF) is pleased to announce a new loan to Regional Access Inc., a wholesale food distributor focused on creating a sustainable regional food system. RSF financing will support the growth of Regional Access, including its expanding marketing and sales efforts, and the establishment of a new satellite facility closer to key markets.
Based in Ithaca, NY, Regional Access was founded in 1989 by Gary Redmond, a Cornell graduate, organic farmer and entrepreneur with a passion for nutrition, food, and all things gourmet. The organization began as a homegrown effort. With a vision to distribute ecologically responsible and locally grown food in New York, Gary and his wife converted their spare bedroom into an office, their garage into a warehouse, then bought a computer and a small refrigerated truck.
Today, Regional Access is one of New York’s largest proponents of values-based distribution and a leader in the state-wide local food movement, with a reputation for advancing the efforts of local farms while building incredible customer loyalty.
Regional Access believes in environmentally sound agriculture, humanely raised animals, nutritionally optimal foods, and economically viable farming communities. They have established transparent value chains so that products get to market at a price which is fair to everyone involved.
“Regional Access exemplifies RSF’s commitment to sustainable food and agriculture,” says Scott Hackenberg, RSF Lending Manager. “What makes them so unique is their demonstrated success in creating a sustainable business model focused on regional farmers, customers, employees, and the development of local economies all over New York State.”
Regional Access’ customers range from regional and national grocers such as Whole Foods and Wegman’s, to restaurants, buying clubs, institutions, and smaller “mom & pop” natural food stores.
During a typical week, Regional Access helps bring to market anywhere from 8-10,000 lbs. of natural and grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, chicken and rabbit; 10,000+ gallons of farm fresh dairy; thousands of organic and free-range eggs; 5-10 tons of locally grown and processed grain; 8-10,000 lbs. of regional produce and hundreds of cases of local wine.
“When we learned about the work and mission of RSF Social Finance, we knew that this was a connection that we needed to make,” says Dana Stafford, Regional Access President. “It has truly been a revolutionary experience for us to encounter a lending entity that places value in the core tenets of our business—sustainable agriculture, ecological stewardship, and positive social impact. We feel heard and supported by RSF in a way that we are excited to be able to pay forward in the communities we work in. This is the way lending should be.”
About Regional Access, Inc.
A community-oriented, grassroots company, Regional Access was built on a vision of providing ecologically responsible, locally grown food in Upstate New York. From humble beginnings in our founder’s garage to our current spacious modern warehouse, we have flourished over the last 20 years, creating a sustainable state-wide distribution system. Today we are a leading purveyor of specialty and natural foods, offering a catalog of more than 3,400 products, and distribution to every corner of the Empire State. www.regionalaccess.net