Regenerative Capital

Restaurant Construction Bridge Loan

by Old Salt Co-op
Restaurant Construction Bridge Loan

Old Salt is bringing an Old-World butcher shop and wood-fired restaurant to Helena, MT to showcase Montana-born, raised, and processed meat.

Project Summary
  • Location: Helena, MT
  • Products: Events Livestock Value added/CPG
  • Loan Amount: $1,822,743.23
  • Loan Term: 9 months
  • Net Interest Rate: 7.50% APR
  • Repayments Begin: 1 month after disbursement


Guided by Cole Mannix’s vision, Old Salt Co-op is a collaboration among Montana ranches that are committed to prioritizing connection to agricultural landscapes and quality food. Cole’s ranching expertise is bolstered by a talented staff, including Andrew Mace—chef, former consultant, and current culinary marketing director—whose extensive restaurant background is shaping the co-op’s wholly-owned dining experiences. The Old Salt brand markets meat direct-to-consumer through their fast-casual burger restaurant, Old Salt Outpost, and coming soon, an in-house meat processing facility and a second restaurant, which will serve as a flagship butcher shop, culinary, and retail space. 

Use of Funds

The restaurant and butcher shop will open in the spring of 2024. This Steward loan will be used for the renovation of the facility. The building design aims to create a community gathering space centered around the abundance of the Montana landscape. Construction is expected to take 6-9 months to complete. This bridge loan will allow the Old Salt team to begin construction on the restaurant and butcher shop while they finalize construction plans for their processing sites. 

Old Salt was founded to increase community connections to quality, local food. Old Salt Outpost and their new flagship restaurant represent key community spaces where Montanans gather around a shared table and celebrate the bounty of their land and the people who care for it every day. While these restaurants provide valuable sales outlets for the co-op’s products, for many diners, they represent an even more valuable point of connection to the regional foodshed. 

Regenerative & Sustainable Practices

Old Salt’s model is built on the idea that when producers have an alternative to a commodity system that makes their decisions for them and reduces their profits to razor-thin margins, then producers will also have more resources and capacity to invest in the ecological stewardship of their lands. The co-op intentionally steers away from buzzword branding, which is constantly shifting and can cause division in agricultural communities, in an effort to build connection and investment in sustainable regional food systems. 

“Obviously salt fits with meat pretty well,” Cole Mannix says of the Old Salt brand name. “But another reason for the name is the idea of, when customers and producers engage more thoughtfully in the food system together, then we can enhance lands like salt enhances a recipe—like salt of the earth. It’s really about people participating in enhancing land and community rather than being extractive.” 

Producers participating in the Old Salt Co-op: 

  • Restore degraded soils to develop a more resilient landscape with higher forage productivity, greater nutrient density, deeper root systems, and healthier animals.
  • Treat animals with the respect and care they deserve, raise them naturally without the use of hormones, and allow them to roam and graze on pasture. All three founding ranches participate in smaller IMI Global certifications such as NHTC (non-hormone treated cattle).
  • Protect species across the larger ecosystem through third-party certification programs and ecological monitoring systems. Old Salt is currently evaluating Savory Institute's Ecological Outcomes Verified Program as well as Audubon's Conservation Ranching Initiative for "Bird Friendly Beef."
  • Increase employment in the local and regional economy by providing high-quality sustainable jobs. All three founding ranches have participated in Western Sustainability Exchange’s certification program, which evaluates sustainability through the lens of both environmental stewardship and economic prosperity.
  • Capture a higher margin through direct-to-consumer sales, which improves producers’ quality of life and ability to invest in land stewardship.

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