Before Glacier Family Foods was established, there was only one local option for grocery shopping — a store that had existed in Browning for over 30 years. The next nearest grocery store was 120 miles away.
Date of Commitment: November 9, 2011
Type of Service: Loan Guarantee
Lender: First Interstate Bank
Borrower: Glacier Family Foods LLC
Project: Financing the Plant, Property, and Equipment
Financing Amount: $5,126,000.00
Location: Browning, MT
Scenic Glacier National Park adjoins the Blackfeet Nation where Glacier Family Foods is located in Browning, Montana. An Indian Affairs loan guarantee enabled the Blackfeet tribe to create Glacier Family Foods in November 2011. The grocery store is operated by the Siyeh Corporation, an economic development and management company owned wholly by Blackfeet Nation.
The community supported the Blackfeet tribes’ development of Glacier Family Foods, not just because the store expanded shopping choices, but because it also brought jobs. The store employs up to 45 employees and continues to be a solid return on the tribe’s investment. The Blackfeet Nation is proud of the business’s success and its creation of jobs in an area of very high unemployment.
“The impact of more jobs while providing lower priced grocery store products has been tremendous,” said Denis Fitzpatrick, CEO of Siyeh Corporation. “Some local customers may not have vehicles to travel out of town for groceries. They can now save more money by purchasing locally.”
Glacier Family Foods continues to expand and modernize to meet customer demands. A fuel kiosk has been added to the grocery business and a rewards program has been established offering discounted fuel and grocery coupons.