Michael Anderson founded Spice Crafters LLC in 2012 in honor of the flavorful Sunday dinners he grew up enjoying at his grandmother’s house near Tampa, FL. His passion for food and his unique skill of developing fusion spices and seasonings makes a successful combination for the business.
In 2016 Michael began the Chilau brand journey with a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to launch his Chilau Flavor Base. After a successful campaign, he secured a $60,000 contract with Publix Grocery Stores the following year – ultimately leading to a huge jump in brand awareness for Chilau. He then decided to shift focus from the big box supply chain setting to eCommerce.
Michael then started working with Shopify, an online platform that provides vendors with access to eCommerce tools to manage their daily sales, forecasting, and financing options. However, the way platforms like Shopify processed loans was disruptive to the company’s cash flow and didn’t fit well with Michael’s business needs. He searched for a better solution and found ACE.
Michael came to ACE for debt consolidation in June 2021 and was able to secure working capital to get through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a special program designed for Small Business Resilience and Recovery, he secured a $200,000 loan which includes ACE’s business advisory services. His financial advisor helped him identify an opportunity to scale the business and complete an expansion with his funding.
After several years of diligently growing Spice Crafters LLC, and the brand building of Chilau Flavor Base, Michael launched Chilau Foods. His Chilau Flavor Base has become a staple with home cooking enthusiasts and novices alike who have an affinity for seafood, southern cuisine and ethnic flavors featured in foods like gumbo, low country boils, chowders and seafood stews.
The Resilience and Recovery program also provides 9 months of payment relief after his first six loan payments – which will give Michael the financial runway he needs to sustain and strengthen his business going into the New Year.
“I appreciated that ACE treated me like a real person and dove into the details of my story and my company. The loan officers made every effort to connect with me and made that a vital part of the decision-making process. Other places just looked at the numbers and didn’t care about me and what I came through to get here. But ACE cares.” Michael Anderson