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Pivot Produce is a produce distribution company active in the farm-to-table movement and a member of CIC’s Food Entrepreneur Loan Program with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Founder and chef, Erik Stanford, has built a consortium of restaurants and farms which allows Tucson chefs access to the highest quality produce in the region and gives farmers access to Tucson’s top restaurants.

Organizational Mission:

The goal of Pivot Produce is twofold. The first is to provide access to wholesale markets for small scale farmers in Southern Arizona. The second is to provide local chefs with access to locally grown, organic produce.  Founder Erik Stanford bridges the gap between farmers and restaurants by purchasing local produce and delivering it directly to restaurants.

Use of Loan Funds:

Stanford was able to expand his cold storage from a two-door 90-square foot refrigerator to a 900-square foo walk-in refrigerator.  The remaining loan funds are being used to expand transportation capacity by purchasing a company vehicle.  He is also looking to hire his first part-time employee in the near future.

Impact:

Stanford’s mental perception of Pivot Produce has changed as the loan helped him legitimize the business. “The loan took me from doing this as a hobby to a real business”, says Stanford.  Moreover, as a result of the loan, Pivot Produce has taken on six new farms, increased buying capacity, and has grown revenues.

For more information about Pivot Produce, visit http://www.pivotproduce.com/

Photo credit: Athene Kline