“The Barn Bio Market” was founded in 2017 by friends Julien de Brouwer and Quentin Labrique to make organic food more accessible. The group now has 6 establishments, including 5 in Brussels and one in Antwerp. The Barn points of sale are defined as covered markets offering 500 references of organic, local and sustainable products, each respecting numerous selection criteria including soil preservation and a neutral carbon footprint. The success is immediate and the group records growth every year. Today, the brand achieves around 20 million euros in turnover each year and employs 140 people.
“It is our positioning that makes our success. With us, eating with organic products does not cost more! Our prices are accessible to everyone. We are doing this because we have chosen to limit our range to 500 products when our colleagues on the market offer 5,000 to 25,000. We thus make more volume and can negotiate our prices with our fifty or so producers. Our markets offer 40% of fruits and vegetables which are presented in a very “raw” way. This “bulk” layout allows us to reduce costs as much as possible,” comments Julien de Brouwer, co-founder of The Barn.
In the current context of inflation, rising energy costs and wage indexation, companies are more than ever looking for alternative sources of financing, in particular to relieve their cash and to be able to keep some in the event of need.
“We were looking for a new partner who could support us in our development but who would also be in accordance with the values we defend! We then discovered crowdlending in more detail, which is an online collaborative solution that also allows us to maintain control over society. We chose Look&Fin for their professionalism and because they quickly understood our needs. The fact that Look&fin rewards sustainable projects with a Label Impact with, as a bonus, a lower borrowing rate has convinced us,” adds Julien de Brouwer.
“Crowdlending allows us to obtain €150,000 to be able to finance the development and opening of our new point of sale in Auderghem, Brussels. This structured financing via Look&Fin is obtained in addition to a bank loan. Our equity is thus preserved in order to be able to move forward on our other current and future development projects. Crowdlending is really an interesting solution and offers a very reasonable cost of borrowing: 2.4% thanks to the combination of Proxi Loan, insured loan and Look&Fin Label impact. Finally, this operation is also an opportunity to make ourselves known to the community of 40,000 members of Look&Fin. In short, an alternative method of financing that all entrepreneurs should know about,” concludes Julien de Brouwer.