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Family Business Purchases Historic Homestead

tasting room at Casa Carmen winery

“We’ve helped a lot of businesses, but this family and their project are really special,” said Marie Shires, Seedcopa + SeedcoDE Senior Vice President, Relationship Manager.

Not far from a thriving commercial and residential corridor in West Grove, Chester County is the idyllic Casa Carmen Farm and Winery owned by brothers Enrique and Felipe Pallares and their extended family. The family already owned a successful winery, tasting room and tapas bar in Chestertown, Maryland. But when they wanted to expand into a new market, the 26-acre property was a perfect fit for Casa Carmen given the fertile acreage for growing grapes and existence of multiple structures including a 2-story farmhouse, additional residence, milk barn, pole barn and former antique store.

Seedopa team with Pallares brothers of Casa Carmen
The Seedcopa + SeedcoDE team celebrates the soft opening of Casa Carmen Farm and Winery with owners Enrique and Felipe Pallares.

“We are the primary growers and producers of our wine and vermouth, in addition to collaborating with other wineries in the Mid-Atlantic region to buy grapes while  keeping agricultural risk low, so we knew we had a sound business plan,” said the Pallares brothers. “Our next step was to secure the right funding so we could purchase the homestead, plant a vineyard and renovate the buildings to include a tasting room and tapas bar.”

On behalf of the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC), Seedcopa + SeedcoDE worked with the borrower and partner Victory Bank on a PIDA loan at a favorable below-market interest rate fixed for 20 years for the acquisition. Such loans can be used for land and building acquisition, construction and/or renovation. PIDA loans can also be used for machinery and equipment costs or industrial park projects.

In addition to the PIDA loan, Seedcopa + SeedcoDE facilitated a $115,000 PSBCI loan for renovations, professional fees and equipment & fixtures for the milk barn renovation and conversion into a Spanish-inspired tasting room.

Working with CCEDC, which administers the PA Catalyst Loan Fund for 9 counties, the family was also able to secure an additional $75,000 in working capital funding.Enrique and Felipe Pallares at the soft opening of Casa Carmen

“One of the great advantages of working with Seedcopa + SeedcoDE is that, in addition to our vast SBA 504 loan services, we have a variety of loans we can offer in partnership with the Chester County Economic Development Council,” said Seedcopa Managing Director Sherwood Robbins.

Just last month, Seedcopa attended a soft opening of Casa Carmen’s tasting room constructed in the old milk barn. Joined by multiple generations of the family who are operating the business from top to bottom, it was a night to remember. Cheers!

Feature photo courtesy Casa Carmen Farm and Winery
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For almost forty years, Seedcopa + SeedcoDE has helped businesses get the money they need to start, grow and expand. We are proud that the loan programs we work with promote economic development.

Together with economic development partners throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware, we help to grow local businesses, create and retain jobs and stimulate local communities.

Our team has over 75 years of combined government lending experience and a dedication to excellent customer service. After our initial assessment of your project, our commitment is to get you approved and closed.

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