Oakland, CA (2018)

Community Foods


NMTC Amount: 11,000,000

Total Project Cost: 11,000,000


54 FTE jobs

54 construction jobs

Project Description

June 1st, 2019 marked the official opening of Community Foods Market at 3105 San Pablo Avenue in West Oakland. This article celebrates CFM’s grand opening as a moment years in the making and only possible because of the work and dedication of many people. It also celebrates CFM as a model of what it looks like to align capital with economic and racial equity, where health, community-driven ideas, and economic empowerment are at the heart of their business model. Realizing that traditional funding streams were not going to back a non-traditional grocery store going into a disinvested community, Brahm turned to the community to raise funds through a direct public offering to California residents. The DPO campaign raised more than $2.2MM in investments from nearly 650 California resident shareholders, which made it possible to secure ongoing financing from other sources. Unlike traditional venture capital or start up investments, the funds raised from the DPO will be patient equity that does not extract outsized returns from the CFM and its local community. Over the last eight years, FreshWorks and Community Vision have invested in CFM in a number of ways. The early FreshWorks grant provided seed capital for the company’s capital raise. A FreshWorks’ credit enhancement unlocked more than $17MM financing from its network of lenders. In the Summer of 2016, Community Vision provided CFM with a $25,000 dollar grant from the Greater Oakland Fund that covered the often difficult to finance site-specific pre-development costs. Later, in 2017 Community Vision and FreshWorks provided a $3,477,000 construction loan, and FreshWorks supported an additional construction loan from Self Help Federal Credit Union. In 2018, Community Vision, Clearinghouse CDFI, and the Nonprofit Finance Fund provided a $6.1MM NMTC leverage loan with FreshWorks credit enhancement. As well, Community Vision provided $11 MM in NMTC. Finally, both Community Vision and FreshWorks further supported the CFM’s Direct Public Offering with matching investments at critical junctures as the project needed to attract equity investments.


3105 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland, CA 94608

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