Q&A with Owner, Matthew Arnold
Give a high-level overview of your business.
Nude Foods Market is Boulder's first zero-waste grocery store. It's like a traditional grocery store except there's no plastic packaging in sight - everything comes in reusable, returnable glass jars and is local, organic, or rescued.
The store is at 3233 Walnut St (just near Twisted Pine). We're open daily 10am - 7pm and also offer delivery by bike and electric vehicle!
How did the idea for your business come about?
The average American produces 1,704 pounds of trash each year. That’s enough to fill 23 million garbage trucks, which is 50 garbage trucks per minute! We wanted to reduce that so decided to create a zero-waste grocery store.
Describe your typical customer and what you love about your customers.
Our typical customer is sick of all the plastic waste they are forced to produce simply by eating food from a traditional grocery store. They care about the future of our planet and we love that they're willing to go the extra mile to protect it.
Describe your journey in seeking out funding for your business. Ie, where did you first go to for funding, did you lean on credit cards, etc.?
We started out by making personal loans to the business and have then relied on a variety of loans and credit cards.
Describe your difficulties in obtaining funding for your small business and how that impacted you and your business.
We felt that after 2 years of revenue, getting funding from mainstream banks would be easier, but we have seen little difference. This meant we had to cover shortfalls with personal loans, but the need for that is getting less and less as the business grows.
What ultimately made you decide to go with CEF as your lender?
We love the ethos of CEF and Nude Foods' founders had had great experiences with CEF before.
How did the funding you received from CEF make a difference for you, your employees, or even your community?
The funding from CEF enabled us to transition from being a purely delivery-based grocery service to opening a brick-and-mortar store that meant we immediately became more accessible to more people!
What's on the horizon for you and your small business?
Boulder is just the first store. We've already expanded delivery to surrounding towns and are now planning to launch delivery to Denver. Once demand in Denver becomes high enough, we'll open a store.
What recent success(es) have you experienced in your business?
We were recently picked as one of the top 15 Independent Grocers across the whole US by Progressive Grocer magazine. We also won multiple awards in the Best of Boulder competition.
What do you love about the small business community in Colorado?
Boulder's small business community is amazing! The way everyone helps each other out, promotes each others' businesses and provides support is like nowhere else I've ever lived.