The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, recently approved a $67,500 loan to Homestead Market, located at 59 Gardner Road in Winchendon. Funding approved by NCMDC was in partnership with Athol Savings Bank, which assisted in purchasing the real estate.
Homestead Market, owned by Tony and Morgan Ruschioni, is a small family business that provides homemade products and services focused on sustainable agriculture. Most of the organic and sustainable products are created with items locally sourced from the Ruschioni family farm, including specialty foods, gift shop merchandise, personal care items, lotions, soaps, salves and other homemade products.
In addition to managing the store, Morgan Ruschioni will lead a variety of creativity classes and specialty evenings, including paint, craft and kid’s nights. Homestead Market plans to hire one full-time and one part-time employee in the future.
“When you purchase products at Homestead Market, you are supporting a local, small farm that uses regenerative agricultural practices, and raises animals with care and respect,” said Morgan Ruschioni. “With the financial assistance and support from the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, we can build a business to help our community have access to healthy, sustainable food options.”
As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $250,000 for working capital, real estate, equipment, inventory, and expansion and work with its banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.