The Covid-19 has caused many people to rethink their careers. As a result, the number of new commercial applications in the United States is up 38% from the year before the pandemic. Unfortunately, only 25% of new businesses survive 15 years or more. In other words, most founders could benefit from additional help.
This is where Samuel Adams’ Brewing the American Dream (BTAD) philanthropic program comes in. Since 2008, it has provided more than 3,200 loans to local food and beverage entrepreneurs for a total of nearly $ 64 million in 39 states. Of these, 80% identify as BIPOC or as female business owners. Companies supported by the program have created or retained more than 9,000 jobs in their local communities. In addition, BTAD has advised over 12,000 people in total. It regularly hosts âshowroomsâ across the country, where local businesses have the opportunity to win grants and attend quick business coaching sessions.
Jim Koch first brewed Samuel Adams in his kitchen in 1984, sparking the craft beer movement. He quickly launched the Brewing the American Dream philanthropic program to give back to the community and help small business owners pursue their passions and achieve their dreams.
Jennifer Glanville, who was recognized by Fast business as one of its “most creative people in business,” oversees Brewing the American Dream, its affiliates and participating companies. âIt was a pleasure to see so many businesses flourish,â she says. âOur entrepreneurs have faced tough challenges due to the Covid pandemic, but their resilience and positive attitude has driven them and helped their businesses succeed. More than ever, it is important that the program offers support.
Here are six of the many entrepreneurs who have benefited from the support of Brewing the American Dream.
1. Melissa Garcia Villanueva, CEO and Founder, Brewpoint Coffee
Brewpoint Coffee is a coffee shop that started in Elmhurst, Ill., And expanded to three other locations over the next seven years. Recently, they have also started producing Brewpoint craft beer. âWe live in a scary world,â says CEO and founder Melissa Garcia Villanueva. âThere are a lot of things that seem totally out of our control. But when you’re an entrepreneur, you get a little piece of the world that you can shape. It’s something really special.
Villanueva believes BTAD has been incredibly helpful in growing his business, from financial support to mentorship and a community of other entrepreneurs. âBrewing the American Dream is the complete package for small business owners,â she says.
2. Pamela A. Jones, President and CEO, Charboy’s
Charboy’s brand sauces are sold in more than 450 stores in the United States, at Whole Foods and on Amazon. It is a women, minorities and veterans owned company founded in 2008 by Pamela A. Jones. During her 15 years of active military service, she felt inspired by the cuisines of Austria, Germany, London, Italy and Panama. She later found her passion developing a variety of all-natural products representing different cultures, all of which are lower in sodium and sugar than traditional sauces.
âAs an entrepreneur, it takes hard work and strong determination to make your dreams come true. You have to be self-sufficient, âJones says. BTAD has provided her with “a significant amount of assistance and support” including coaching, mentoring, networking opportunities and brand exposure in articles from major publications such as Entreprenuer.com, Black corporate magazine, and Crain’s Business in Chicago.
3. Heather Yunger, Founder and Owner, Top Shelf Cookies
Top Shelf Cookies offers a wide selection of unique cookies using high quality, often unexpected ingredients. âI never wanted to be a baker, but I always enjoyed baking and eating cookies,â says founder and owner Heather Yunger. âI had a crazy superstition that if I brought my Black & Gold cookies to the bar before every Boston Bruins home game, they would win. When the Bruins won the Stanley Cup at the end of the season and my cookies were a huge hit, I decided maybe I should give it a shot.
Yunger says she was encouraged by Brewing the American Dream since Top Shelf Cookies was just an idea. One of the regulars at her favorite pre-game bar was none other than BTAD manager Jennifer Glanville herself. Yunger received four loans through the program’s financial partner, Accion. She also feels that “real business advice is gold.”
4. Isis Arrieta-Dennis, Founder and Owner, The Arepa Place
The Arepa Place operates a brick and mortar restaurant in Cincinnati, Ohio that specializes in a Colombian and Venezuelan dish known as arepas. Founder and owner Isis Arrieta-Dennis is from Colombia. As an immigrant, she enjoys sharing her culture through food.
The funds Arrieta-Dennis received from Brewing the American Dream were used to purchase an expensive skillet. In addition to the financial support provided, she says, the BTAD proved to be âa great source of motivation and confidence right before my restaurant opened, and very good publicity! Also, it put me in touch with local entrepreneurs and community members, which was very helpful. “
5. Kate russell, Co-owner, Hopkinsville Brewing Company
Hopkinsville Brewing Company is a local, community-based, local, community-driven, craft beer nano-brewery, owned and operated by women and veterans. In addition to brewing craft beer, he aims to provide his community of Hopkinsville and Christian County, Kentucky, with a destination, a space to relax and interact with friends. âIt’s important that independent small business owners pursue their dreams, because that’s what keeps communities like Hopkinsville from succumbing to the sprawl of Super Walmart and Dollar General,â says co-owner Kate Russell.
In 2021, Hopkinsville Brewing Company was selected for the BTAD Experienceship program. They were able to grow, speak with electricians, brewers, accountants, valve room managers and human resources specialists at Samuel Adams, and get the advice needed to build and complete equipment purchases. of production. âOn top of all the business advice, it’s amazing how many people have heard of us or seen us in the media since we were announced as this year’s recipients,â said Russell.
6. Maya Madsen, Founder and Owner, Maya’s Cookies
Founded in 2015 by Maya Madsen, Maya’s Cookies is America’s first black-owned vegan cookie company. As a vegan with a sweet tooth, Madsen has spent years crafting her award-winning recipes. Raised in a foster family, she had a difficult childhood. But his hard work, persistence and natural competitive spirit paid off.
In 2017, Maya’s Cookies received a $ 5,000 micro loan through BTAD, which they have since repaid. It helped the small business source, hire staff, and grow the business. For aspiring entrepreneurs, Madsen offers this advice. âFind people in your life who uplift you. Hire professionals around you in fields that are not within your area of ââexpertise, but which also correspond to your sensitivity. Good chemistry is so important.