100%

funded

Total loan: $15,000

Benjamin

North Little Rock, AR, United States / Retail

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A loan helped me hire, purchase inventory, and scale my local foods e-grocery company.


Benjamin's story

I grew up in a small town between the flat Kansas Plains and the rocky Ozark hills. My father worked a 320-acre centennial family farm, split down the middle by a worn-out state highway, cattle on one side, soy and corn on the other. When I was 3, my parents divorced, and my mother, my siblings, and I moved to town, where I stayed until earning a bachelor's in English. I’ve always felt divided between my rural roots and my urban upbringing, so it makes sense that I was drawn to urban farming. In 2017, I fundraised $5,000 on Kiva (thank you!), which made it possible to farm at a large enough scale for the chefs I supply in Little Rock. But this loan is for a new company: FareMarket. In December 2018, I completed a second degree in Information Science and combined my skills in farming and writing with new skills in programming and data analysis. Partnering with other farmers, I began work to build a business around selling fresh produce and other local foods online with same-day delivery. Local food is important for many reasons: preserving ecosystems and sequestering carbon, creating more local jobs, improving public health, building urban and rural communities, and more. That’s why I continue to farm and support the creation of small farms and businesses. And I believe FareMarket holds the seed for creating this kind of economy, and I am thankful to the friends, family, and Kiva lenders who have supported me in the past.