Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. is the first recipient of the city’s “Grow Olympia Fund,” a small business loan program that provides loans at low interest rates for several business needs, including expansion.
And that’s exactly what Olympia Coffee Roasting has been doing since the beginning of the year, expanding its downtown cafe and production facilities at Fourth Avenue and Cherry Street.
The work is expected to be complete in mid-September, Olympia Coffee Roasting co-owner Sam Schroeder said Thursday.
The city announced the loan Thursday, but Olympia Community Planning and Development officials Leonard Bauer and Keith Stahley could not be reached for comment.
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Schroeder said the business received $320,000, which will cover a significant portion of the expansion costs. The loan has to be repaid, but the interest rate is lower than 4 percent, he said.
The business also had to demonstrate that it will add jobs as a result of the expansion. Schroeder expects to hire 11, but he’s not worried about hitting that mark because in the past 2 1/2 years the business has grown from 12 employees to 33, he said. Eleven more employees will make it 44, Schroeder said.
The city announced the Grow Olympia Fund earlier this year. Loans are available for businesses that have been open at least three years. The city is partnering with the nonprofit National Development Council’s Grow America Fund, which will administer loans to local businesses from a total available pool of about $1 million, The Olympian reported in February.
Olympia Coffee needs to expand because it has run out of space, Schroeder said. It has squeezed a cafe, roasting facility and offices into 2,000 square feet. It will now have 6,400 square feet, he said, filling in the space all the way to Fourth Avenue.
Olympia Coffee Roasting was formed in 2005 and sold to Schroeder and Oliver Stormshak in 2010. In addition to the cafe downtown, they also operate one in west Olympia and on Capitol Boulevard in the Wildwood Building.
The business also has expanded into cold brew coffee, bottling products that can be found locally at the Olympia Food Co-op stores, the Little General Food Shop downtown and Spud’s Produce Market, which also is in the Wildwood Building.