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Unique financing strategy helps Burdock and Co. put affordability on the menu

Burdock & Co.

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"I wanted to create something that was accessible to everybody, because not everybody can go out to eat in the top-tier, $40 main course restaurant. It's not very sustainable for people to do that." -- Andrea Carlson, chef and owner of Burdock & Co.

Opening a new restaurant is always a challenging proposition, so when Andrea Carlson, chef and owner of Burdock & Co., came to Vancity with a plan to bring affordable, local and organic food to Vancouver diners, Vancity wanted to help.

In addition to providing the new Main St. eatery with start-up loans and an operating line of credit for day-to-day operations, Vancity also took the unique step of partnering Burdock with Your Local Farmers Market Society (known as Vancouver Farmers Markets), a not-for-profit society focused on creating a resilient local food system through community-based farmer's markets.

Using a unique financing strategy, Vancity supplied the not-for-profit society with a grant for it to then invest in Burdock. Through the deal, Burdock secured additional financing for its start-up costs, while Vancouver Farmers Markets gained an equity investment in the restaurant. With this type of investment, Vancity aims to create greater community impact by supporting two local organizations and enabling community ownership.