Udofot Beer and Beverage Co

Richfield, MN

Story Overview

Udofot Beer and Beverage Co is a family-owned small business located in Richfield, MN. Their product, Udofot Global Premium Lager Beer, has a golden color with light aromas of malt and grain and pairs well with medium to sharp cheeses, steaks, spicy sausages, grilled vegetables, and robust pasta dishes. 

Michael Udofot is the founder and owner of the business. He immigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria in the 1970’s and successfully established several entrepreneurial ventures.  

In Nigeria, Udofot’s father crafted his own beer recipe. When his father passed away, Udofot traveled home to Nigeria and his mother gave him the special recipe. When Udofot returned to the U.S., he was determined to continue brewing his father’s beer and sharing it with others. 

Accessing capital through Minnesota loan program 

In 2019, he began producing Udofot Global Premium Lager Beer locally and exporting it overseas, primarily to African countries and New Zealand. The business was off to a good start, but the pandemic brought unforeseen challenges. Prices to export significantly increased, the cost of Udofot’s inventory went up, and shipments stopped due to an unstable economy. Udofot was forced to stop production for several months. 

When he resumed production, Udofot needed financing to purchase more inventory. He tried going through several lenders but had difficulty obtaining a loan. Eventually, he was referred to CRF and discovered that his business was eligible for a Minnesota Inclusive Growth Fund (MIGF) loan.  

MIGF, created by a group of five local mission-driven lenders, is designed to increase access to flexible and affordable capital and small business support services for underbanked businesses across Minnesota that have suffered a direct economic disruption as a result of COVID-19 or civil unrest.  

Financing fuels small business growth 

In working with CRF, Udofot secured an MIGF loan used for working capital to purchase inventory. 

“CRF knows how to help small businesses,” Udofot said. “They work with them, they help them, and they identify what’s needed during the loan process.” 

Now, Udofot is focused on expanding his business domestically. He is hard at work making sales trips to distribute Udofot Global Premium Lager Beer, which can be found in stores across Minnesota. 

Udofot hopes that someday his product will be in the same conversation as the top beer brands in the world. And he is grateful for the support he has received to continue his journey toward this goal. 

You may have a car, but you don’t have the gasoline to drive it. And [CRF] gave me the gasoline to drive my car,” Udofot said. “And I thank God, and I thank you guys for that.

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