Red Gingham Gourmet, LLC

Huntsville, Alabama – November 7, 2013

Red Gingham Gourmet, a Florence‐based producer of fully cooked, frozen cornbread muffins, recently received financing from the North Alabama Revolving Loan Fund (NARLF) that will allow the company to increase production and expand into new markets. NARLF is providing Red Gingham with approximately $22,000 to purchase a depositer, a specialized piece of equipment that will deposit the appropriate amount of batter into each pan thereby ensuring accuracy, minimizing waste and creating greater efficiency on the production line. NARLF is also providing a line of credit to Red Gingham Gourmet to assist with working capital needs.

Red Gingham Gourmet was founded by Laura Hester in 2004 in response to the increasing demand for the baked goods that she had been selling at the local farmer’s market. With the help of the Entrepreneurial Center at the Shoals Culinary Center in Florence, Laura began producing plain and jalapeno cornbread muffins for institutional buyers in 2009. Her products are sold fully cooked and can be found in the freezer section in grocery stores in five states. “It has been such a great business opportunity for me to work with the North Alabama Revolving Loan Fund”, says Hester, “the new equipment will greatly increase daily production and the working capital line of credit will greatly reduce my stress between production time and receipt of payment from my customers.”

The North Alabama Revolving Loan Fund is a subsidiary of Neighborhood Concepts, Inc. (NCI), a Huntsville‐based non‐profit committed to strengthening communities through the creation of affordable housing and the promotion of economic opportunities for underserved people and communities. NCI formed NARLF to provide
greater access to capital for small businesses and local entrepreneurs who create or retain jobs or locate in underserved communities. “The North Alabama Revolving Loan Fund is very pleased to provide financing to Red Gingham Gourmet” stated John Cook, Chairman of NARLF’s loan committee. “We believe that businesses and their employees, as well as consumers and communities will benefit from the effective partnering represented by these loan transactions and the many more we hope to fund.”

Funding for Red Gingham’s financing was provided through the Hiatt Fund, a NARLF fund that was seeded by the Food Bank of North Alabama (FBNA). Named in honor of Dick Hiatt, past executive director of the FBNA, the Hiatt Fund provides financing to local farmers and food‐based businesses such as Red Gingham Gourmet that promote greater access to healthy foods while nurturing a locally‐based food system. “We are thrilled by Ms. Hester’s success,” says Kathryn Strickland, Executive Director of the Food Bank of North Alabama. “We hope the Hiatt Fund will support more entrepreneurs like Laura who wish to build their business, create jobs and retain wealth in our region. It is part of the Food Bank’s strategy to address root causes of hunger and poverty by focusing on local foods as a catalyst for economic development in underserved communities.” For further information or to inquire about NARLF’s loan products, please contact Neighborhood Concepts at (256) 534‐0075.