This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Learn More

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

3 Steps for Turning Customers Into Investors Can't get a bank loan? Customers and community members can be your best investors. Here's how to make that happen.

By Michelle Goodman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Zak Cassady-Dorion wanted to aggressively expand Pure Mountain Olive Oil, his gourmet olive oil business. When the bank denied the loan he needed to open a second shop, he found a better backer: loyal customer Wolfgang Foust.

Foust, who grew up in Spain with olive trees in the backyard, routinely traveled 70 miles to shop at Pure Mountain's inaugural Rhinebeck, N.Y., store, which opened in May 2012. Foust invested $10,000 in Pure Mountain in exchange for a small piece of equity. That August, Cassady-Dorion was able to open his second shop in Tarrytown, just miles from Foust's home.

"It was a real testament to what we were doing that he wanted us to open up a shop closer to him," Cassady-Dorion says.

The rest of this article is locked.

Join Entrepreneur+ today for access.

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Sign In