In 2014, the P6 Microlending Committee decided to fund two projects from local producers. We are pleased to announce that Wisco Pop! of Viroqua, Wisconsin is the second of two 2014 VFC P6 Microlending recipients. The VFC Microlending Committee is happy to fulfill their request of $1,500 to help get their craft brewed soda into bottles.
Wisco Pop! is owned and operated by Austin and Hallie Ashley, and Zac Mathes. Their craft brewed soda company started in July 2012 and they currently produce three delicious flavors at the Food Enterprise Center in Viroqua. The owners draw upon an epicurean enthusiasm for local foods to create refreshing, non-alcoholic beverages using local honey, maple syrup and fruit juices paired with fresh herbs and spices.
Since beginning their business, they’ve grown significantly. Their soda is currently on tap and sold at over 40 different restaurants and retail locations, from La Crosse to Milwaukee, including the VFC Deli Coffee Bar! To scale up their business, they started pursuing bottling their soda so that it would be available for customers to enjoy anywhere at anytime. In January, they successfully raised $24,000 through a Kickstarter campaign and received a $15,000 Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant to help pay for equipment and marketing costs associated with bottling. With the microloan Wisco Pop! received from the P6 Microlending Initiative, they plan to purchase packaging inventory needed for bottling. Bottles, caps, labels and boxes are all much cheaper when bought in larger quantities. The $1,500 microloan will allow them to purchase bottles in bulk, lowering their cost of goods—and as a result, helping them achieve a sustainable and profitable business sooner.
We want to congratulate Wisco Pop! and look forward to carrying their delicious soda in bottles in our beverage cooler in the very near future! Learn more about Wisco Pop! on their website:
In the fall of 2012, the VFC Board of Directors started the P6 Microlending Initiative. Through this program, an individual or farm that is currently selling their product to the VFC is eligible for a one year interest-free loan of up to $3,000 for a new project or infrastructure. Through the P6 Microlending Initiative, VFC strengthens small, local farms and producers that supply the Co-op and creates opportunities to improve their operations.
P6 Microlending Committee