Seven Hills Food Co.
Butchers can’t work from home. Especially when you’re on a 30-member team selling fresh, sustainable products to restaurants and college dining halls – with 90 percent of those closed due to the pandemic.
Lynchburg-based Seven Hills Food Co. is using its Paycheck Protection Program loan to pivot to retail demand. “This loan allows us time to start a new business under the same roof and have a chance to pull through a period of great uncertainty,” says owner Ryan Ford. “The value of our products is derived from our skilled labor all the way down to the Virginia farmers that raise the cattle. We faced a hard decision in possibly digging ourselves into a deeper hole if we cut back our workforce.”
VCC’s process was methodical, thorough, and done with “a personal touch, which we appreciated because of how fast information was being released and the timelines for submitting a complete and accurate submittal.” VCC supported Seven Hills in 2017 with a $2.25 loan to help it expand, too.
Ford has modified production and retrained his team to offer individually portioned and packaged items. “We’ve been fortunate to open up new partnerships and adopt new methods to get fresh local beef into the kitchens of families and individuals who previously had to patronize our dining partners,” he said.