Fair Food Fund

Fair Food Network’s impact investing arm.

As a national fund that works locally, we partner with communities to build solutions that catalyze not just entrepreneur success, but broader systems change.

This includes weaving together community voice, entrepreneur vision, local strengths, and national assets so that food entrepreneurs can be the engine of a more equitable future.

To complement the local ecosystem, we bring our own catalytic capital, business assistance, and networks with an eye toward realizing investments that might otherwise not be possible with a focus on BIPOC and women-led businesses.

Current places of work include Camden, New Jersey, Michigan through our leadership of the statewide Michigan Good Food Fund, and the Northeastern United States.

We’re not just investing in entrepreneurs, we’re growing healthier, wealthier, and more equitable communities.

Dig into the Fair Food Fund 2020 Impact Report for recent highlights and the Fair Food Fund Overview to learn more.

Opportunity

The health and wealth gaps in America are extreme and growing — disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

At Fair Food Network we believe that the food economy — fundamental in every community — has outsized power to create greater health, wealth, and environmental equity and resilience.

That’s why we invest in food entrepreneurs — with a focus on BIPOC and women-led businesses — as they work to harness the power of food to transform their communities for good.

Dig into this quarterly report to hear about the reimagined healthy food financing helping bring a community-owned grocery store to Flint, learn about our Collateral Initiative investment in Detroit Soul in partnership with Michigan Good Food Fund lender Detroit Development Fund, and more.

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Approach

No two places are the same. Neither are the solutions.

As a national fund that works locally, we partner with communities to build solutions that catalyze not just entrepreneur success, but broader systems change. Core principles of our approach include:

  • Holistic & Relational Investments: Our focus is on the relationship, not the transaction. We meet entrepreneurs where they are with integrated support that weaves together all forms of capital so they can reach their full potential. 
  • Impact First: We seek out entrepreneurs that are making a difference in their communities: Increasing healthy food access, supporting family farms, and sparking local and equitable economic development.
  • Catalytic: We aim to use our resources to bring other investors off the sidelines.
  • Community Engagement: We integrate community voice and accountability as a core component of our work.
  • Racial & Social Equity: We ensure 50% of our own Fund investments go to women and BIPOC-led businesses.

Our Offerings

To complement the local ecosystem, we bring our own catalytic capital, business assistance, and networks with an eye toward realizing investments that might otherwise not be possible with a focus on BIPOC and women-led businesses.


Wrap-Around Business Assistance
We bring more than money.  Business assistance includes 1:1 consulting, group workshops, and curated support to accompany financing.

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Capital
Catalytic Capital
We know entrepreneurs don’t just need capital, but the right capital. We blend debt, equity, and grants to deliver customized capital solutions designed to meet entrepreneurs’ needs.

Fair Food Network Resources
We open access to additional resources and networks built over decades of work in food and agriculture, community-based impact investing, and entrepreneurship.

Results

Outsized social impact.

Through this work, we’re not just investing in entrepreneurs, we’re growing healthier, wealthier, and more equitable communities

As a mission-driven effort, our portfolio is delivering outsized social impact: Increased healthy food access, better business for American farmers, and stronger, more inclusive local economies.

Fair Food Fund’s first five years of work in the Northeast demonstrate its potential: For every $1 Fair Food Fund invested, it helped generate nearly $9 in community benefits including jobs, business growth, and local purchasing. 

Dig into our most recent Quarterly Update for the latest investments and stories of impact from the field or check out our interactive 2020 Annual Impact Report. 

Dig into our 2020 interactive Fair Food Fund Impact Report to see how our food financing work continued to meet entrepreneurs where they are with holistic, integrated support as the COVID crisis exploded.

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Want to grow your business?

Learn how we can support your business including what we offer and eligibility.

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Investments

From farm-to-table community caterers working to increase healthy food access to enterprises on the frontier of sustainable aquaculture, meet a few of the enterprises we’ve invested in that are transforming the business of food for healthier, wealthier, more equitable communities.

SEE FEATURED INVESTMENTS

Since 2010, Detroit Soul’s Jerome Brown & Samuel Van Buren have grown their healthful, homestyle cooking business from catering to carryout. See how we teamed up with Michigan Good Food Fund partner Detroit Development Fund to de-risk this investment and help this business grow.

DIG DEEPER.

Invest

This work offers a powerful opportunity for investors looking to make a difference whether your focus is economic resilience, healthy food access, or racial equity and inclusion.

From social impact notes to co-investments or grants, there are many ways to get involved.

  • Social Impact Notes: Invest in a diverse portfolio of enterprises generating a 10-year term at 2% or 5-year term at 1.5%.
  • Co-Invest: Support innovative food enterprises leveraging Fair Food Fund’s due diligence.
  • Grants: Provide grants to support equity financing, our innovative Collateral Initiative, business assistance, or expanded fund operations.

Contact our Investor Relations lead Lolita Nunn to learn more at lnunn@fairfoodnetwork.org

Our Team

Mark Watson

Senior Investment Strategist
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Jean Chorazyczewski

Program Director
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Joel Moyer

Portfolio Manager
Fair Food Fund
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Lolita Nunn

Investor Relations Officer
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Xana Williams

Business Assistance Manager
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Kyama Kitavi

Investment Manager
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Lisa Sebesta

Senior Investment Strategist
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Daniel Tellalian

Michigan Good Food Fund Consultant
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