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North Avenue Capital Funds Acquisition of Hidden Lake Winery

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., June 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- North Avenue Capital (NAC), a specialized commercial lender, announced today the closing of a $1.6 million loan to fund the acquisition of the Hidden Lake Winery and Banquet Center located in historic Aviston, Illinois. Commercial Lender, Drew Louis, led NAC's lending activities. According to Louis, NAC is committed to helping aspiring entrepreneurs realize their dreams. "Our client, Steve Gorazd, found a unique opportunity to acquire one of the region's most beautiful wineries. NAC was honored to facilitate the acquisition that preserves jobs and the long-standing legacy of a compelling cultural landmark in southern Illinois," said Louis. "With the purchase complete, the Gorazd family now focuses their attention to reinvigorating and cultivating the heritage of Hidden Lake Winery." NAC underwrote and funded the loan through the USDA Rural Development Business & Industry program with packaging support from Patrick Kenney and Guaranteed Lending Specialists (GLS).

Following an illustrious career with Boeing, Stephen Gorazd established his company Got Wine, LLC to facilitate the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of purchasing and operating a winery. Only 35 miles from St. Louis, Missouri, Hidden Lake Winery has been in business for 13 years. The 92-acre full-service facility distinguishes itself with five venues for weddings, receptions, and parties, complete with a winery, a banquet center, ten cabins, a waterfall, a large gazebo, a commercial tent, and two lakes. "As wine aficionados, my wife and I have visited wineries for many years and dreamed of one day being in the business ourselves. With GLS's support and NAC's financial backing, that dream is now a reality," said Gorazd.

"Hidden Lake Winery is a diamond in the rough and an incredible example of why the USDA and NAC are working hard to partner with rural businesses to save and create jobs. Steve and Angela saw an opportunity to rescue a business that had a strong foundation, but needed a fresh start. NAC is grateful to be part of the Got Wine story and we look forward to seeing and tasting the fruits of their labor," said Alex Louis, NAC Managing Director.

About North Avenue Capital, LLC
North Avenue Capital is ranked as the sixth largest USDA Rural Development lender in the country and is a specialized commercial lender exclusively originating, underwriting, and funding USDA RD loans nationwide.  Using its expertise, capital, and relationships, NAC is committed to building businesses, growing economies, and creating jobs in rural America. Visit the website at www.northavenuecap.com.

About Guaranteed Lending Specialists, LLC
Guaranteed Lending Specialists is the leading packager and consultant for USDA Guaranteed business loans throughout the country. GLS has over 30 years of experience in delivering quality loans to businesses and lenders in rural America. Learn more at www.glsusda.com.

About Got Wine, LLC & Hidden Lake Winery
Hidden Lake Winery and Banquet Center is situated in the "Silent Forest" of Aviston, IL, a wooded parcel of land flourishing in local lore that enchants and entertains its guests. Winemaking since 2004, Hidden Lake Winery embraces the German heritage of the families who settled in this region of Illinois. Produced with locally-grown fruit and bottled onsite, Hidden Lake Winery offers a variety of wines, dining, lodging, and event accommodations in a tranquil setting. Learn more at www.hiddenlakewinery.com.

Contact: Joseph Rowell
Office: 904-562-2617
Cell: 404-822-7761


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