American Mug & Stein Co.
The Progress Fund guys were very professional, came in and did their jobs. [The Progress Fund] said, ‘You know what you need, you know what it’s going to do,’ and they made the loan.
Who better to sell mugs than Starbucks? Clyde McClellan got that opportunity when the coffee giant went hunting for domestic vendors for its Create Jobs for USA campaign, and found American Mug & Stein Co. to fulfill Starbucks’ order, he would have to revamp the company, and that meant dealing with its debt. That debt “was like that monster in the back of the room,” says Clyde. “You knew it was there, but you didn’t want to open up that door.”
Looking to refinance, Clyde took his purchase order from Starbucks to his bank. “They said, ‘We can’t bank on the future,'” Clyde says. So he found someone who could. The Progress Fund loaned American Mug & Stein $165,000 to restructure its debt and ease the expansion.
Starbucks became a steady customer for American Mug & Stein, and the buzz from the deal “has given us a lot of exposure,” says Clyde, as he goes through dozens of emails from potential new customers. He’s doubled his workforce, is buying more local clay and sending decorating and packaging work to an area vendor. Business “looks a lot more positive than it did two years ago,” Clyde says, and he’s banking on the future that’s just grand.View Story as PDF