Ripple Effect Helps Expand Country Maid's Impact in Northwest Iowa
Founded in 1991 out of the basement of Ken and Marlene Banwart’s farm home in West Bend, Iowa, Country Maid quickly grew. By 2009, it was clear the100-percent employee-owned company, famous for manufacturing the Butter Braid brand pastry, needed a new facility after three previous expansions.
Northwest Communications, of Havelock, Iowa, and Ripple Effect were instrumental in securing a USDA $500,000 pass-through loan for the manufacturer and helped identify other resources to help complete a $4.5 million building project in February 2011. The 42,000 square-foot facility was added on to an existing 13,000-square-foot building, consolidating Country Maid’s production facilities and offices into one site in the new industrial park in West Bend.
Additional funding was provided through revolving loan funds from Humboldt County REC, Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative and Corn Belt Power.
Not only has the new production facility allowed Country Maid to accommodate increased capacity demands, it provided the opportunity to completely re-design food safety practices and procedures from beginning to end.
“Sue Cosner and Ripple Effect were instrumental in helping Country Maid identify programs to help us lower the risk of our project and to help our dollars go further,” says Darin Massner, Country Maid Chief Executive Officer. “They also assisted with the development of the applications and business plans to ensure they were going to be useful to the entities from which we were applying assistance.”
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