A loan of $10,000 helped buy 10 truckloads of organic soil and two vans so that we may further develop our farms, grow our business, and further our reach in the city of Chicago.

Isabel's story

I come from a long line of gardeners and cooks. One of my earliest memories is visiting my great grandfather, a first generation Italian immigrant, and exploring his beautiful garden in Marin, California. He grew fresh tomatoes, award-winning giant sunflowers, and the sweetest plums I've ever tasted. I spent many afternoons in the garden or in the kitchen with my grandmother (who didn't try her first store bought tomato until she was 30), learning the basics that would form the foundation of my passion for good food.

It wasn't until I entered college at Northwestern University and moved into a housing co-op that I was able to apply those values to a larger community. As food coordinator of the 20 member house, I had to make sure the house’s food needs were met while honoring our commitment to sustainability. I looked for better ways our house could source its food, establishing relationships with local farms from whom we could buy organic produce directly.

In my final year of college, I began working with The Urban Canopy as an intern. After graduating I joined as a full-time crew member. One of The Urban Canopy’s core values is commitment to internal collaboration and collective decision making, so this story would be incomplete without mention of the other members our team.

Alex Poltorak started The Urban Canopy after working in the Chicago Public School system and realizing the strong correlation between academic success and access to nutritious food.

Eric Rodriguez, who manages our indoor farm and compost club, got involved with The Urban Canopy while studying mechanical engineering at UIC, desiring to help create an environmentally and socially sustainable business.

Much of Alberto Rincon’s current work with The Urban Canopy involves market management, administrative work, engineering/design, and special projects management in order to help develop and implement a model for human-centered ecological sustainability.

Inspired by his education to ditch the unsustainable “old-school” culture of industrial Midwest farms, Matthew Phillips helps coordinate our CSA program, primarily working in the transport sector.

Kathleen Mueller, one of our market managers, helped establish a school garden at her community college and became interested in working with people in low access communities after studying abroad.

Loan details

About The Urban Canopy

Industry: Agriculture
Years in operation: 3 years - 5 years
Website: theurbancanopy.org


Lenders and lending teams

Loan details