Lucky Pigeon Brewing, founded by Kathleen Pigeon and three other owners in August 2021, is a brewery that specializes in gluten-free beer. They developed gluten-free beer as Kathleen became gluten intolerant and wanted to find a way to continue to enjoy good beer. What was out there was boring, not very good, and offered few options.
“We settled in Biddeford because we kept hearing about the revitalization of the downtown area,” says Kathleen. “The energy here is tangible. You can tell there is something special happening in this town.”
“We had a business plan developed and went to a couple of different banks and felt going to community banks made great sense for us,” adds Kathleen. “Gorham Savings Bank had read our outline and felt we had something viable. Going into this, we were unsure if we would get bank financing. Without the banking financing help, we most likely would have started in a garage making one or two barrels of beer, and it would have been a 10-year process instead of starting in this space generating 7 barrels of beer.”
“As we were building the business plan, I connected with SBDC, and they helped direct us to Southern Maine Finance Agency to help fill any gaps we had with funding. SMFA is the perfect midpoint in bridging that funding gap, and the experience of working and connecting with people that are focused directly on the community is the best way to go,“ says Kathleen. “We secured a loan with Gorham Savings but still needed more. SMFA was there to cover the difference.”
“SMFA appreciated our story and vision,” continues Kathleen. “They were excited and confirmed this was a viable business plan. The actual process of getting funding was incredibly smooth. It was weeks, not months. We received SMFA funding before the bank’s approval. It was fantastic! Everyone we dealt with at SMFA made it quick and easy. So wonderful.”
“If the need arises, we will return to Southern Maine Finance Agency,” concludes Kathleen.
Thanks to its partnership with SMFA, Lucky Pigeon Brewing has made its dream of providing high-quality gluten-free beer a reality. The company’s success is a testament to its strong business plan and SMFA’s support in providing the necessary financing to realize its dreams.