Nourishing People and Building Community in Southern Idaho
Oakley, Idaho is cattle ranching country, but locally produced beef was almost impossible to find, which gave Rogelio Magana the idea of starting a meat processing business. He knew his neighbors would buy locally produced meat if they could get it, and he had the skills he needed to make it happen, having worked in a meat processing facility in Colorado when he first moved to the United States from Michoacan, Mexico decades earlier.
He also knew of a defunct butchering facility attached to a local grocery store that would be a perfect location. Although he and his wife, Maria, already owned their own small trucking company, they were looking for a change. They were consistently having trouble hiring enough drivers, and Rogelio was eager to find work that kept him off the road and closer to home. The entrepreneurial couple decided to go for it. When their offer on the old facility was accepted, they sold their fleet of trucks and invested the proceeds into renovations, and they took out a home equity loan to cover the remaining start-up costs. But those costs added up more quickly than expected, and the Maganas found themselves without enough capital to finish the job. They went to multiple banks for help, but were consistently denied funding, and they feared they might lose everything they’d invested, which was their entire life savings.
Fortunately, one of the bankers who couldn’t help them was a long-time MoFi partner and suggested they give us a call. We were able to provide them with $50,000 SBA Micro Loan to complete their renovations and purchase the equipment they needed to get started. In the beginning, it was just Rogelio and Maria doing everything, but with the growth and success of their business, they’ve been able to hire 5 full-time and 1 part-time employees. They’re thrilled to be serving their community by providing high quality, locally sourced meat, all while building connections between consumers and ranchers, and a greater appreciation for the land that sustains and nourishes them all. Rogelio was effusive about the funding he received from MoFi and what the Financial Justice Fund has done for him, his family, and his community: “I’d give MoFI 100 out of 100 and something higher if I could. Banks won’t lend money to an idea, but you did. You’re the only reason we’re here. You saved us.”
Learn more about MoFi
MoFi provides financing and consulting that transforms lives and communities.