“ECCU is a refreshing change for any business looking for a place to bank. They make everything easy; they communicate openly and provide timely responses to critical questions. We also appreciate the banking relationship and friendships forged; they were willing to take a risk on our new business venture and have been extremely supportive along the way.”
Joe Rudnick, Tapistry Brewing
Tapistry Brewing co-owner Joe Rudnick has been a member of ECCU since he was a senior at Kalamazoo Central HS. Fast forward 25 years and he’s still reaping the benefits of membership. Tired of the corporate grind, Joe, his wife Lisa, and his business partner, Greg Korson, decided to pursue their passion for brewing beer and open a microbrewery. After spending months developing plans, they approached ECCU for a business loan to launch their business, Tapistry Brewing.
“We received approval from ECCU for an SBA (Small Business Administration) loan early in 2013, enabling us to purchase the necessary equipment and a building in Bridgman,” explains Joe. Opening in July of 2013, the brewery features up to 20 unique brews in their taproom and restaurant. They also distribute products to about half the state, covering Lower Michigan including Detroit and the Bay area. Joe reports sales are strong, up 40% percent from a year ago, with plans to expand.
“We teamed with ECCU at the start of our business. Now, they’re helping us to explore other growth options,” says Joe. The goal is to broaden distribution channels, add new fermenters plus an additional canning line in the future. “ECCU is more than a business partner,” he continues. “They attend charitable events we’re part of and support the organizations we support, which include Bridgman Schools and VanAndel Institute’s Purple Community.”
Whether it’s for personal or business needs, members always come first at ECCU. “Our goal is to make the process easy,” reiterates Kenny Leonard, VP/commercial loan services. “And for members like Joe and Greg, we want them to be able to focus on growing their business, rather than the paperwork.” ECCU’s experienced commercial lending professionals understand the stress of running a business. They’re happy to offer guidance on a variety of business concerns, including how to improve cash flow or finance equipment.
Adds Ryan Reffitt, Director Commercial Loan Services, “We view our relationship with Tapistry, not just as a banker, but trusted advisor. We work as a team to ask questions to help strengthen their business and add value to the services we provide.”
“Because everyone is so easy to work with, we never feel uncomfortable asking questions,” concludes Joe. “They truly care about us as a business and want to be there to help along the way.”
SEE IT: Tapistry Brewing was featured in a 2013 ECCUnomics newsletter.
ECCU Business Services
Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or an eager entrepreneur, ECCU’s Commercial Lending Team looks forward to supporting your growing business and providing solutions to your lending needs. No doubt you appreciate support from your local community, so you can feel good knowing that all of our business lending decisions are made locally. Local decisions mean quick answers, plus the extraordinary, member-focused experience one can expect from ECCU. Learn more.