BREVARD, N.C., June 29, 2023 — Carofin and Carolina Financial Securities are proud to announce the closing of yet another investment in a blueberry farm in the Southeast, building upon last year’s successful raise for a similar farm. Funded through the single purpose vehicle (SPV), Berry Capital Management II (BCM II), proceeds from this financing accomplished three objectives. The financing secured a farm lease with an institutional agricultural Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), purchased equipment to operate the farm, and provided working capital to prepare the crop for the 2023 harvest.
“Each farm further puts Carolina Berry Group in a position to support our retail customers better as well as our marketing partnerships,” said Brick Rooks, CBG’s CEO. “Our direct operation of these farms gives us the vertical approach that is needed to supply such a pivotal window, with the best and most consistent supply possible.”
Leasing this farm keeps the management of this land in the local community, as Brick Rooks and CBG have decades of experience in the Southeastern blueberry crop.
Blueberry Farming in the United States
Blueberries are native to North America and were first cultivated for sale in 1916.1 Since then, the United States has become the world’s largest producer of blueberries. Blueberries are commercially grown in 26 U.S. states; however, more than 98% of that production occurs in the following 10: Oregon, Washington, Georgia, Michigan, California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Minnesota.2 While blueberries are the second most produced berry behind strawberries in the United States, blueberry production has been growing faster than strawberry production over the past decade. Between 2010 and 2019, the annual growth of fresh market-cultivated blueberry production averaged 5%, climbing from 246.4M pounds in 2010 to 373M pounds in 2019.3 Over the past decade, the total supply of fresh blueberries available for U.S. consumption increased fivefold.4 Over the same time period, conventional blueberries have fluctuated between $2.75 and $4.00 per pound, depending on market conditions.
“Southern-grown blueberries continue to be a high conviction crop, as demonstrated with the closing of BCM II,” said Joshua Green, VP of Sales and Analytics at Carofin. “We’ve got a structure that enables Brick to go out and do what he does best — farm berries and grow CBG’s footprint in the Southeast.”
“We know that investors are seeking yield outside of traditional bond and real estate investments,“ said Garrick Ruiz, VP of Sales and Syndication at Carofin. “BCM’s repeatable structure has gained traction with investors for their current income-oriented portfolios. We’re thrilled with the continued success of this program.”
Carofin raised the capital needed to close the BCM II financing through a syndicate of high-net-worth accredited investors and family offices. Investors increasingly turn to Carofin as a source for direct private investments in venture-stage through middle-market operating companies across industries such as aviation, medical technologies, consumer brands, and agriculture. Carofin and its affiliates have raised over $1.3 billion across 200+ direct private investments.
In addition to its agriculture focus, Carofin has raised capital for various companies in the food production vertical, including sweet potato farming, poultry processing, tomato farming, and organic beef cattle ranching, and other industry sectors over the past decade.
Carolina Financial Group (CFG), Carofin’s and CFS’s parent company, is a private investment bank that structures investments and raises vital capital for small to medium-sized businesses seeking growth capital in the U.S.
1 “Blueberries.” Agricultural Marketing Resource Center
2 “Where Blueberries Grow.” Blueberry.org, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, 15 Sept. 2021,
3 Department of Agriculture, New Jersey Field Office. 2019 Blueberry Statistics, United States Department of Agriculture, 2020
4 “USDA: Blueberry Demand Growing and Consumers Looking to Have This Fruit Year-Round.” Blueberries Magazine Consulting, 14 Dec. 2020