Business at the Meat Hook increased 20 percent during each of its first three years in operation, and its four partners envisioned another outlet from which they could market the products that were being sold at their Brooklyn butcher shop.
They wanted to open a sandwich shop nearby, but had been turned down by traditional lenders. That's when EWVIDCO, an economic development group in Brooklyn that links small businesses with potential resources, connected them with NYBDC and its NYC Food Manufacturers Growth Fund.
Funded jointly by the New York City Economic Development Corp. and Goldman Sachs' Urban Investment Group, the newly established Food Manufacturers Growth Fund will provide up to $10 million in affordable growth financing for the small food-manufacturing sector that is a critical piece of New York City's economy.
Businesses that qualify for the Food Manufacturers Growth Fund may use their loans for such purposes as buying equipment to improve efficiency and increase profits, purchasing inventory to fulfill an increase in business, or hiring workers to grow revenue. Loan amounts range from $50,000 to $750,000.
NYBDC deemed the Meat Hook Sandwich Shop a good fit for the program because its operations will support the food-manufacturing operations at the butcher shop.
The Meat Hook Sandwich Shop is using the $100,000 loan it received through the fund to renovate and open a former 1,500-square-foot restaurant on Lorimer Street, six blocks from its sister Meat Hook butcher shop. Both are located in Brooklyn’s upscale Williamsburg neighborhood.
"We needed a loan, but we but did not have sufficient history to get private funding. We had good business standing, and NYBDC knew who we were because of our reputation," said Brent Young, a partner in the Meat Hook butcher shop along with Thomas Mylan, Benjamin Turley and Harry Rosenblum. The same four will partner in the sandwich shop.
The loan will help pay remodeling costs; buy furniture, equipment, machinery and fixtures; and provide working capital for the sandwich shop.
The Meat Hook, a whole-animal butcher, sells beef, lamb, pork and poultry raised on small family farms in New York State. Those suppliers include: Kinderhook Farm, Gibson Family Farms, Sir William Berkshire Farm, Fingerlakes Family Farms, SIF Foods and Dairyland.
The butcher shop will access those same suppliers to provide the meats for the new deli.
"This is a logical next step for our business. We're making a lot of these products already," Young said.
After incurring a three-month construction delay, the Meat Hook Sandwich Shop plans a mid-April opening. It will offer eat-in service, but because it is located in a mixed-use neighborhood of residences, offices and retail outlets, the majority of revenue is expected to come from take-out lunches.
"We’ll be able to offer really high-quality ingredients through a small niche environment because there aren't a lot of lunch options in the neighborhood," Young said. The shop initially will create three new jobs.
Young says the NYC Food Manufacturers Growth Fund made the project possible. "NYBDC got involved, even before we signed the lease," he said. "I don't think we could have done this without lending through them."
Pictured Below: Meat Hook Owners Benjamin Turley, Thomas Mylan, Harry Rosenblum, and Brent Young