Founder of buzzworthy, natural frozen-food line fuels rapid rise with SBA small business loan
The terms all-natural, paleo and frozen-food aisle aren’t normally found together. But whole-foods evangelist Angela Bicos Mavridis has set out to make that the norm at major retailers that you may regularly frequent.
Mavridis is the owner of Tribalí Foods — a new product line that offers the convenience of frozen meals without the synthetic binders and antibiotics you may find with the major brands. The basis for her flavorful, globally inspired dishes are sustainably raised proteins. They include grass-fed beef and free-range chicken.
Since founding the company in 2016, she has managed to catapult the brand toward mainstream success with appearances on The Today Show and retail agreements with Target Stores and Bristol Farms markets, among others.
With the explosive growth, came the need to find affordable business capital to fuel her success. That’s when she came to leading SBA small business loan provider CDC Small Business Finance earlier this year for help.
“The reason behind needing financing was to enable the business to get to the next stage of growth,” Mavridis said. “We had great momentum, brand recognition and growth, we just needed a way to finance that growth.”
Flexibility, freedom of owning your business
The San Marino, Calif. resident comes from an entrepreneurial family. Her father owned a drive-thru that served up burgers, fries and shakes. This, she later realized, was a far cry from the way her grandmother cooked and ate in their homeland of Greece.
Mavridis spent childhood summers there, enjoying scratch-made Paleo cuisine, comprising organic, local foods.
Later, she become an entrepreneur in her own right. A graduate of USC and Pepperdine University, Mavridis would go on to own and operate her own shoe and clothing stores.
“I love the flexibility, freedom and responsibility of owning your own business,” she said.
As she got older, Mavridis became the definition of fit. She became an avid runner, cyclist and CrossFitter. But something felt amiss. She suspected her diet choices — from protein shakes and bars — were triggering bloating, fatigue and taking a toll on her body.
That was the point she decided to take control of her health and become a holistic nutritionist.
It dawned on her that eating “clean” proteins paired with ancestral ingredients — akin to her grandmother’s Greek fare — made her feel better physically and emotionally. Within days, her gut and digestive issues subsided and her body began to heal itself, she said.
Starting a natural frozen-food line from scratch
As she saw her lifestyle improving, the single mother of three wanted to explore whether she could bring her nutrient-dense, high-quality food to the masses.
In October 2016, she created Tribalí Foods, a distributor specializing in quality, meat-based food products that are actually good for you.
In less than a year, the company launched its products at Los Angeles area natural grocers and certain Whole Foods locations. She’s also reached agreements with Target and Bristol Farms.
The retail and consumer demand were clearly there. But Mavridis needed funding to keep the momentum going, from funding more production to buying raw materials.
That funding came in the form of an affordable SBA small business loan through CDC Small Business Finance.
“The SBA and CDC were very easy to deal with,” she said. “I had lots of confidence in the CDC soon after I met some of the representatives and didn’t feel the need to look elsewhere.
She recalls the day she got the call informing her she had been approved for financing.
“It was a very exciting day,” she added. “The call came in right at the perfect time, because I literally didn’t know how we we’re going to fulfill the orders we received.”
How far Tribalí Foods has already come
In the short period of time Tribalí Foods has been around, Mavridis has already amassed a number of honors. They include:
- Becoming a certified-owned business through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, or WBENC.
- Winning the Nexty Award at EXPO West for Best New Frozen Food Product.
- Taking home the Project Nosh Pitch Slam victory in November 2017, and
- Receiving the “Delicious Living Best Bite” award for their Umami Patty.
If you’re thinking about starting your own business, Mavridis has some timeless, expert advice for you.
“You have to have passion, you have to be persistent, and you have to persevere,” she said. “There will undoubtedly be hurdles and obstacles, but the 3 Ps will get your through to the other side.”
Whether you’re looking to launch or grow a business, CDC Small Business Finance offers several affordable loan options for business owners in all stages.
Tell our loan experts about your goals, and they’ll work to match you with a financing plan that best suits you. Let’s talk! Reach us at email@example.com or (619) 243-8667.
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