USA Today Profiles 504 Borrower, Chobani Yogurt
Chobani Yogurt creator Hamdi Ulukaya, began his business with the help of an SBA 504 Loan funded by The 504 Company.
In 2005, Ulukaya was operating a feta cheese company and was seeking funding to purchase the manufacturing plant he was leasing. It was then that The 504 Company was approached by a bank partner about providing a 504 loan for that company and senior vice president at The 504 Company, Tom McHale, got involved.
While discussing the application for the feta cheese plant, Ulukaya expressed his interest in purchasing Kraft’s recently closed yogurt plant. The bank partner asked if The 504 Company would be interested in processing two 504 loan applications; one for the feta cheese plant and the other for the yogurt plant. Although the yogurt plant purchase was more of a challenge to fund considering it was new and Ulukaya had limited funds to inject, he recognized that he could harness his existing cheese customers who had showed interest in distributing yogurt. The bank partner completely supported the project and together with financing from The 504 Company, the Chobani brand began.
Today, Chobani is the leading yogurt brand in the world, employing close to 3,000 people. Click here to read the full USA Today interview with Chobani creator, Hamdi Ulukaya.