Lending Successful

Inventory Financing For Lil Bucks Expansion

by Lil Bucks
Inventory Financing For Lil Bucks Expansion

Lil Bucks is a soon-to-be national brand offering tasty sprouted buckwheat treats crafted from ingredients grown on certified regenerative family farms.

Project Summary
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Products: Value added/CPG
  • Loan Term: 9 months
  • Net Interest Rate: 9.00% APR
  • Repayments Begin: 1 month after disbursement
100% of $560,700

Funded on 02/15/2024



Since 2016, Lil Bucks—guided by CEO and Founder Emily Griffith—has been on a mission to make certified regenerative buckwheat a staple in homes and restaurants across the country. Much of the company’s growing lineup of tasty treats is crafted from ingredients—such as buckwheat, sunflower seeds, maple syrup, and coconut—grown on farms certified by the Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) program launched by the Rodale Institute, Dr. Bronner’s, and Patagonia.

Emily’s goal is to soon source ingredients for all their products exclusively from certified Regenerative Organic farms. Currently, their Lil Bucks Crunch line of treats is certified as Regenerative and Organic under the ROC program. This year, Lil Bucks will expand beyond their current 800-store regional distribution throughout the midwest to national distribution through Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Target.


Use of Funds

This Steward financing will be used to help Lil Bucks purchase the ingredients they need to boost production ahead of their national rollout in March of 2024. The bulk of this financing will purchase buckwheat and sunflower seeds from A Frame Farm, a Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) family farm in Minnesota. Lil Bucks will also purchase ROC maple syrup from New Leaf Tree Syrups in Vermont and New York and ROC coconut products from southeast Asia. This loan will also be used to refinance a number of high interest loans that Lil Bucks took on to get off the ground. 


Regenerative and Sustainable Practices

One of the goals of Lil Bucks is to create national market demand for regeneratively-grown buckwheat—a crop that is often grown in the U.S. as an off-season cover crop for little-to-no immediate economic return to the farmer. By creating this market demand, Lil Bucks can reliably deliver orders to farms that have achieved regenerative certification, which, in turn, creates both an incentive and a viable path for conventional farms to transition to regenerative management.

Currently, Lil Bucks is sourcing their buckwheat, sunflower seeds, maple syrup, and coconut products for their Lil Bucks crunch exclusively from ROC-certified producers. They are presently working with a network of Organic farmers to gain their Regenerative Organic certification so that Lil Bucks can secure a certified regenerative supply of ingredients for their much larger Clusterbucks line of products. Lil Bucks regenerative sourcing & sustainability practices include:

  • Regenerative Organic Certified Sourcing;

  • Supporting farmers transitioning to regenerative with Mad Agriculture;

  • Certified Plastic Neutral Product through rePurpose Global;

  • Production facility powered by 100% Renewable Energy;

  • Decreasing carbon footprint from ingredient transportation with most activities including, growing, harvesting, processing, and warehousing taking place in the upper midwest;

  • Lil Bucks Clusterbucks Product Line (65%+ ROC).

This loan will be made to Lil Bucks LLC, an Illinois State Limited Liability Company, which sells food products made out of regenerative, U.S. grown buckwheat. 

This loan will be used to purchase additional ingredients needed for Lil Bucks’ national expansion in the Spring of 2024. This loan will also refinance a number of high interest business loans to consolidate all of their debt with Steward. Throughout the 9 month loan term, they will pay down the balance of the loan from monthly product sales. The total loan amount is $560,700.00 which will assist Lil Bucks in growing and expanding their business. 

This is a secured loan with a first lien on all business assets. This includes the grain inventory they will purchase with this loan (both raw and finished), along with cash, accounts receivable, and other business assets. This loan is set at a 9.5% interest rate for the borrower, net interest rate 9% for lenders, with a 9 month term, and fully amortized monthly payments beginning 1 month after funds are disbursed.

Join the Steward Newsletter

Get project announcements, farmer introductions, company updates, and more by subscribing to the Steward newsletter. Join our growing community of people who are making regenerative agriculture the foundation of our future.

Become a Steward Lender

Join a growing community of sustainably-minded lenders reaping the rewards from responsible farming