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SBA-Backed Loans Give Business Boost, Emerging Leaders Program Helps Owner Reach Higher


Maud Borup Inc., originally a woman-owned retail candy company, was started in St. Paul, Minn., long before women had the right to vote. U.S. Army veteran Christine Lantinen purchased it in 2005 and focused on selling giftable confections wholesale to specialty and mass retailers, including Whole Foods and Target. Because of her previous experience working with Target buyers, Lantinen was able to create exponential growth, going from $100K to $2M in sales the first year. However, that growth brought great financing challenges initially. 

How the SBA (or SBA partner) Helped:

While transitioning from the storefront was challenging, Lantinen was resourceful.  A family friend backed her efforts in year one and the SBA stepped in to boost the business starting in year two with three consecutive SBA-backed loans. Helping her reach even higher, Lantinen created a three-year growth plan in the SBA’s Emerging Leaders program in 2011.  That led to Lantinen purchasing a manufacturing facility in rural Minnesota and creating a sustainable division, eco eggs®, which is the first-ever manufacturer of plant-based Easter eggs.

“The SBA was pivotal in helping Maud Borup gain momentum when I first bought the brand,” added Christine Lantinen. “The SBA-backed loans helped build the infrastructure that laid the foundation for our exponential growth,” remarked Lantinen.


Based in Plymouth, with a manufacturing facility in Le Center, Lantinen has grown the company by 2,500% in revenue and 2,000% in number of employees since purchasing it in 2005.  Maud Borup has gone from five to over 100 employees (96% of them women) and now has a loyal customer base around the world. Lantinen’s good will extends into the community, where she is a Girl Scout Troop Leader, active in an annual St. Jude’s Hospital fundraising event, and supports Blair’s Tree of Hope and the Sanneh Foundation, among others. She also advocates for environmental issues and received the Environmental Champion Award in recognition of her company’s sustainability efforts.

In 2019 Lantinen was named Minnesota’s SBA Small Business Person of the Year.



Company Name: 
Maud Borup Inc.
Le Center, Minnesota
File Attachments: 
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ChristineLantinen_MaudBorupOwner2019 2617Kb
ChristineLatinen2019-1 5934Kb
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