The Buttered Tin

Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota

Story Overview

Alicia Hinze had worked in many well-known Twin Cities bakeries and wanted to open one of her own. She sought out CRF when she first opened The Buttered Tin in St. Paul, Minnesota back in 2013. During the past nine years, a lot has changed, Alicia said. “We thought we were going to be a small crew but immediately from the get-go, we had a line out the door.” What started out as a small team of ten quickly grew into a team of thirty people working at The Buttered Tin.

The immediate success of the restaurant was very exciting for Alicia; apart from the growing restaurant, they created a frozen line of pastries for guests to bake at home called The Buttered Tin Freshly Frozen. “I had the opportunity to test out frozen baked goods in house and by wholesale. It’s pretty exciting that we were able to pivot during the pandemic and create a product to go into groceries. By November we’ll have 10 different products available for purchase at Kowalski’s grocery stores.” With the success of her current location, Alicia found the opportunity to open another location of The Buttered Tin.

Initially, Alicia had always wanted to open up another location, but she couldn’t find the right time to do so. “I had always hoped that we would open more than one location. For me, life had gotten in the way. I started looking for a new location just prior to the pandemic.” The thought of expanding can be risky for some businesses, but Alicia always had faith that her restaurant would pull through.

She found the perfect opportunity to open her second location in Northeast Minneapolis right before the pandemic. “I loved the corner space right away when I first saw it. It’s so similar to the first location in Lowertown St. Paul, they both have the arts district and businesses nearby. It’s the perfect location to have breakfast or meet someone for lunch. You’re not in the thick of downtown and it’s located in a residential area.”

Alicia sought out a loan from CRF to help her open the new location. However, after securing the loan and getting started on the buildout for the new location, prices for materials skyrocketed. “The price of everything had increased since we’d received the loan. Initially we thought the build-out was going to be a certain amount, but by the time we were ready to build, everything had doubled in price.” Plans for expansion got delayed and things got back ordered because of the pandemic. Once again, she needed a loan to cover the costs, so she applied for a patient capital loan from CRF.

CRF provided her with an SBA 7(a) loan and a patient capital loan – in partnership with the City of Minneapolis – in 2021. The SBA loan proceeds helped Alicia get started on construction for the new space as well as staff, working capital, equipment, inventory, and debt.

Alicia was able to hire thirty new positions for the new location of The Buttered Tin, which opened in October 2021. Apart from the expansion with the second location, ten new products will be on the line up of The Buttered Tin Freshly Frozen and will be available for purchase at all 11 locations of Kowalski’s grocery stores.

I thought the dream was dead. It would not have happened without CRF.

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