Cherrydale, America’s Fundraising Co., has been on the acquisition trail for the better part of the last three years, growing some 200% in that period. In addition to keeping up with rapid expansion, the Lansdale, Penn., firm has also had to juggle the financial challenge of being tied to the school calendar, with its business at its fullest with the back-to-school crowd.
When Ross Cherry, Chief Executive of the family-owned firm, saw more merger-and-acquisition opportunities ahead, he knew that he needed an asset-based lender to help him secure $3 million in financing. He turned—again–to Gibraltar Business Capital.
“We knew Gibraltar and Mark Stoeberl, the Chief Credit Officer, from a previous deal,” Cherry said, referencing an affiliation with us that started in 2012. “He and his credit team did such a good job and we had such a great relationship with him, that when we knew we needed help, Mark was the only person I called.”
Cherry noted that Stoeberl took the time to understand Cherrydale’s business, of which almost anyone who has children in school would recognize. As one of the largest fundraising companies in the U.S., Cherrydale supplies fundraising programs and products—like Esther Cherry’s signature chocolates and confections that were the impetus for the business in 1907—to schools and nonprofit organizations across the country.
“We have a very, very seasonal business,” Cherry said. “Our inventory and catalogs come in the summer, and when school gets back in session in September until about December, we’re running hard. That’s when most of the fundraising occurs for schools and nonprofits.”
A seasonal business like Cherrydale has to bring in all its inventory well in advance of sales, Cherry said. “We’re even more seasonal than retail,” he added. “It’s not easy for everyone to understand a seasonal business and how to position a loan for a seasonal business. But we knew that Mark and Gibraltar did.”
As Cherrydale continues to expand its business, it will draw on the $3 million line of credit, backed by its inventory of chocolates, T-shirts, mugs and other items schools and nonprofits customize for their fundraising needs.
“Mark Stoeberl is a man of his word,” Cherry said. “We wouldn’t do an ABL with any other company but Gibraltar.”