SBA's Johns Takes Farewell Tour
Barrington M. Salmon | 6/5/2013, 4 p.m.
Current owner Bill Fuchs bought the business more than 20 years ago and he used the SBA’s 7(a) loan program to grow and expand the business. In total, Wagshal’s received four 7(a) loans, beginning with a $775,000 loan in 1990. The company later received a total of $1 million in loans between 2001 and 2006.
At one point, Fuchs hugged Johns warmly, describing her as a vital collaborator and benefactor.
“This young lady has done a wonderful job for me,” he gushed. “She’s a good friend and neighbor.”
When the SBA crew stopped by, the Foxworth Square’s Northwest location had only been open for five days. A busy lunchtime crowd stood in line to buy cooked food from a selection of sumptuous dishes, all made by hand, as well as a large slate of fresh fish, pastries, cakes, pasta, meat and vegetables available on the market side.
Fuchs said the “soft opening” allowed the staff to go through their paces, and work through and smooth out the kinks.
“If we didn’t have the SBA we wouldn’t be able to do this. All of us don’t have a rich uncle,” he joked. “…We’re probably one of the oldest businesses in D.C. We have a lot of history and we want to give back nowadays. When you buy Wagshal’s, what are you buying? Goodwill? A brand? You don’t have a lot of tangible assets … banks are looking for collateral.”
“It takes a lot more sophistication. We’re very glad we’ve been successful with SBA’s help.”