The first CIC sponsored microloan recipient was Sue Ann Hockman, whose business, Snowbird Pasties, sells meat, vegetable, and vegan portable pot pies, known as pasties (PAST-eez).
The idea for her business came about while sitting around the kitchen table with family. Pasties were a tradition in Hockman’s home, as they are in many “Yooper” households. “Yoopers” are the nickname commonly given to those living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which is where this Tucson transplant was born and raised. Pasties were popular in this region because of the large population of miners that often took pasties down the mine shafts with them. Since the food was portable and could be reheated on their lanterns, pasties were a common mining treat!
Hockman’s mission with Snowbird Pasties is to spread the love of pasties throughout the Southwest and bring a taste of home to her fellow “Yoopers”.
Use of Loan Funds:
The loan capital allowed Snowbird Pasties to purchase an electric warmer, a display case, and a health department regulated hot water sink for hand washing, a requirement for selling hot food.
Without the loan from CIC, Hockman would have been unable to transition her business from frozen food sales to warmed, ready-to-eat meals. This has helped her branch out and begin selling her product at different events across Tucson.
In addition to growing her thriving business, Hockman lends a hand to her fellow food makers through her work at the commissary kitchen, Cook Tucson. She shares her learnings about health department regulations, licensing, permits, renting space, and getting into farmer’s markets, to give others a hand up as they embark down similar paths of starting food businesses.
For more information about Snowbird Pasties, or to place an order for food, visit
To read Sue Ann’s articles on Cook Tucson’s website, check out the following links.