How This Microgreens Farm Is Growing With Nav Prime

How This Microgreens Farm Is Growing With Nav Prime

How This Microgreens Farm Is Growing With Nav Prime

Husband and wife team Ryan and Taryn Lockwood launched Houston-based BCK Ranch — a microgreens farm — in 2022. They’re now focused on expanding. However, like many new businesses, they have run into a few stumbling blocks when applying for funding.

Let’s explore how BCK Ranch is using Nav to maneuver through common financing challenges and to get a jump start on their business credit.

The BCK Launch Story

BCK Ranch came to life like most small businesses — out of necessity. Ryan had planned to continue a career in firefighting, but he felt like he needed more time with his family. 

“When we started having kids, the fire department didn’t really seem like it was the way of our future,” Ryan said. “It was really hard being away from our kids, especially watching them growing up.” 

Once he transitions to a full-time business owner, Ryan will be able to better control his hours and work from home.

Then, Taryn started showing signs of an allergic reaction to certain foods. 

“I guess I’m kind of the big reason behind why microgreens specifically,” Taryn said. “After our son was born, I had allergies, skin rashes.” She wondered what was going on. “It would keep me up at night.”

The couple finally found the underlying cause of her reaction: a newly developed nickel allergy. Suddenly, Taryn’s diet was limited, and she couldn’t eat a lot of the produce she had been able to in the past. So they began growing their own microgreens. 

“We figured out hydroponically grown produce could be an option because you’re not having that contact with the soil.” 

Soil often contains metals like nickel that can make their way into plants, so using this alternative growing method allowed Taryn to get the nutrients she needed. 

Funding Challenges

Taryn and Ryan are managing operations by themselves for now, but they hope to expand. Along with handling the hard work of watering, harvesting, and shipping, they’re responsible for bringing in new customers. One of their biggest goals is to get their greens shipped nationwide. 

They have already tested a group of greens that made it all the way from their headquarters in Texas to Alaska, California, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and more.

But this kind of expansion requires financing, which has been a major hurdle. Their business was founded about a year and a half ago, which means it hasn’t quite hit the “two years in business” requirement from most traditional lenders.

“A lot of big banks don’t want to fund a new business,” Ryan said. “They don’t see you as profitable, they don’t see you as, you know, as anything your first two years. You just bootstrap.”

They also plan to start selling grow kits for anyone who wants to do it themselves. And down the road? Franchising to offer their products in even more locations. 

“So whether you’re out in the middle of the sticks or in the city, there’s that option for you,” Ryan said.

The Nav Prime Solution

The couple has had to look for out-of-the-box opportunities. 

“There’s not a clear-cut path here. You’re clearing that path for yourself,” Ryan said. 

And new businesses want to hit the ground running.

“One of the biggest things that we have is Nav Prime. We’re able to not have to wait for that check to come in for supplies.” The Nav Prime Card* — included with a Nav Prime membership once approved — is a business charge card that can help with cash flow. “When it does come time for supplies… we have that support,” Ryan said.

Plus, if members use the Nav Prime Card regularly, their payments are reported monthly as a business tradeline to the major business credit bureaus. The same is true of the monthly Nav Prime payment, so members get up to two tradelines in one solution. Prime helped build BCK’s business credit history, even though they’re a new business, which can help open up financing opportunities.

“Nav has taken that zero-to-two-year mark and said, ‘Hey, we trust you. We want to build a relationship with you and see that business credit grow through Prime,’” Ryan said. 

Now the Lockwoods and their family see big things in their future: “Helping ourselves, helping our community, and building that legacy for our family. That’s going to last a lifetime and beyond.”

*Nav Technologies, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Banking services provided by Blue Ridge Bank, N.A., and Thread Bank, Members FDIC. The Nav Visa® Business Debit Card is issued by Blue Ridge Bank, N.A. or Thread Bank, and the Nav Prime Charge Card is issued by Thread Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa cards are accepted. See Cardholder Terms for additional details.

This article was originally written on March 20, 2024 and updated on June 13, 2024.

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