1853 Royal Gorge, Inc. is a minority and woman-owned pickup and delivery service in Grayslake, Illinois. With a fleet of 12 vehicles and 14 employees, their team transports packages to and from the Grayslake FedEx Terminal for business and residential recipients.

Kafayat Owolewa is a graduate of DePaul University and the UIC John Marshall Law School where she earned her Juris Doctor degree. She founded The Odoffin Law Group in 2008. Her husband, Adebayo Owolewa, is a graduate of Amherst College and the University of Virginia where he earned concurrent JD and MBA degrees. He has worked in high finance for over 10 years.

Kafayat stepped away from her law career to focus on their family after their children were born. She always had the intention of re-entering the workforce and they kept their eye out for the perfect opportunity.

Kafayat and Adebayo decided that the best option would be to acquire a business that truly matched Kafayat’s personality: bold, determined, and a natural leader. They looked at a number of business opportunities but ultimately determined that this FedEx delivery company would be a great option for their family. They liked that the business was unique and didn’t suffer from the traditional competitive dynamics of most businesses. They would have exclusive rights to deliver in their territory and their only customer was FedEx. Due to these features, they decided to move forward and purchase the FedEx delivery company, which is now known as 1853 Royal Gorge, Inc., named after the first house they purchased together.

They were put in contact with Dennis Wagner, our experienced Business Development Officer, through their buy-side Broker. Dennis was able to structure an SBA 7(a) loan for the business acquisition. Kafayat and Adebayo liked that the SBA option allowed them to use one loan to cover all of their business needs, and had lower equity injection, longer maturity, and a fair interest rate.

Kafayat and Adebayo Owolewa had this to say about their experience working with Dennis Wagner and the team at FNB Small Business Finance:

Working with Dennis was a dream come true, he is top-notch and we can’t say enough great things about him. What makes Dennis great at his job is that even though he is on the relationship side, he knows the entire process thoroughly. He understands underwriting, closing, the SBA, etc. We would 100% recommend Dennis and the entire team at FNB Small Business Finance. As small business owners, they looked at their experience in three phases as they worked with Dennis.Dennis added great value in all three phases of the transaction:
  • Phase One (introduction) – Dennis was our first point of contact at FNB Small Business Finance. In lending, it’s not just about the numbers, it’s also about whether these are the type of people that they want to do business with. Dennis did a great job of getting to know us personally and not just as clients. With that being said, he also walked us through the entire process and gave us a good roadmap of the months ahead.
  • Phase Two (diligence) - Dennis played a key role as the facilitator between FNB and ourselves. Even before the closing checklist came out, the underwriter needed information to make a decision. Dennis kept us in the loop with excellent lead time so we were able to accomplish each task with less stress. When there was an item that we needed clarification on, we’d speak to Dennis and he’d work with us to resolve it. We really felt like Dennis was our advocate and he wanted us to succeed as much as anyone could in his position.
  • Phase Three (closing) - Dennis distinguished himself in the closing process. With many parties involved on both sides, Dennis was the “deal whisperer” who was able to talk to all parties and keep the ball rolling. On more than one occasion, Dennis resolved internal and external issues without any compromise. This deal may not have gotten done without Dennis and we owe him our gratitude.

We enjoyed partnering with Kafayat and Adebayo! We wish them all the success and growth in the future and hope to work with them again soon.