CLARENDON, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The idea to open a coffee shop came to Chris Childers several years ago on a trip to Seattle, Washington, where coffee shops grace most street corners. Java may be big business there, but the options were lacking in the Texas Panhandle, known more for big skies and cattle ranches than a cup of joe.
That was before Mr. Childers and his wife, Monica, opened The Buckin’ Bean in Clarendon, Texas, a town of about 2,000 people 60 miles southeast of Amarillo.
“We are the only coffee shop in town,” he said of the small business, which opened August 29. “Everybody who has tried our coffee likes it. We have already had many repeat customers. Some customers used to drive the hour to Amarillo for coffee, so this really helps them.”
The couple approached several banks over a two-year period before they found Senior Vice President Mark Marrs at Interstate Bank. Mr. Marrs helped them obtain financing for The Buckin’ Bean, whose business name gives a nod to Clarendon High School, home of the broncos.
“If it wasn’t for Mark Marrs at Interstate, we would not be open right now,” Mr. Childers said. “The grant money was essential to complete construction and finish-out, and we added four jobs to the local economy with the store.”
The Childers secured funding for The Buckin’ Bean through a loan from Interstate Bank that was funded by an Economic Development Program (EDP) advance from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas). In conjunction with the loan, they also received a $15,750 EDPPlus grant from FHLB Dallas.
EDPPlus grants are awarded in conjunction with EDP advances and are available on a first-come, first-served basis to promote and enhance small-business development and job creation.
Mr. Marrs said the Childers were excellent candidates because they had a viable business plan, lacking only sufficient capital to complete the project. They built their shop on the last prime real estate along U.S. Highway 287, a major trucking route between Dallas and Denver.
“The EDPPlus grant is an excellent way to expand the leverage available to our customers, providing them with an additional resource to accomplish their business plan goals and strengthen their loyalty to our bank,” Mr. Marrs said.
As part of the EDP program, the Childers received assistance from the West Texas A&M Small Business Development Center (West SBDC) on their business plan, financial projections, and industry research.
“Chris and Monica are models of determination in fighting through the inevitable adversities that arise when opening a business,” said David Dickerson, assistant director at West Texas A&M SBDC. “The EDPPlus equity match grant was instrumental in getting all of the financial pieces to fall into place. I love the program. Not only does it allow dreams to become a reality, it provides much-needed cash flow at the critical start of a business.”
In 2016, FHLB Dallas awarded $1 million in EDPPlus grants in conjunction with EDP advances to 48 businesses in FHLB Dallas’ five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. Of this amount, nine grants were awarded in Texas for a total of $178,007.
“The opportunities created by EDPPlus grants have contributed to community investment across our District in small businesses of all kinds,” said Gustavo Molina, senior vice president and chief Banking Operations officer at FHLB Dallas. “The Buckin’ Bean in Clarendon is a great example of what this program can help entrepreneurs accomplish.”
About Interstate Bank
Interstate Bank has been serving Texas Panhandle cities since 1958 when it set down roots in the community of Perryton, Texas. Since then, it has grown and expanded with a branch and loan production office in Amarillo. Interstate offers a wide range of personal and business banking products and services.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank system created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $54.4 billion as of June 30, 2016, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. Visit fhlb.com for more information.