L.I.C. Facility Expansion and Purchase

Financing for Growth During Market Downturns

Some members of the NYC manufacturing industry are surviving and even thriving under current market conditions. No downturn has slowed growth, not even one defined by the extremes of economic upheaval and uncertainty brought on by no less than a global pandemic. 

In truth, for specialty manufacturing companies serving high-margin clients, these are times of opportunity, including the time to set-up one’s company for growth. 

Why Buy Now?

Jouffre Inc. creates customizable upholstery goods built from a customer’s specific requirements. The company’s upscale clientele, which includes world-class interior designers, expect a certain level of sophistication. Our client’s existing layout was at full capacity and inefficiently spread across two facilities. A new facility with additional square footage and consolidated onto one floor could house a larger workshop, state-of-the-art machinery and equipment, and more skilled craftsmen, ultimately, allowing the company to increase its production capacity to be ready to expand into new markets. 

What Acquisition Says to the World

Purchasing property also sends a strong, clear message about the French-owned company’s loyalty to New York. Acquisition, versus leasing, demonstrates a long-term commitment to NYC, not for a few years but for the next three to four decades. This messaging is not lost on clients, either. Jouffre believes in the long-term success and enduring potential of the Big Apple. The company’s clients believe the same.

“To maintain and expand our client base, there was no question about remaining in NYC. An upscale clientele is drawn to the greatest city on earth, so we have to, rather, we want to be here.”

Romain Jouffre, Chief Executive Officer, US Operations.

How to Optimize Cash Flow

To lease or to purchase property? Cash flow is typically the defining factor affecting this decision.

Acquisition financing poses a difficult dilemma for many manufacturers facing financing challenges, in general. There are two major drivers: the desire to expend less of one’s operating budget on occupancy costs and the desire to expand one’s share of potential clients. The latter, of course, positions a company to weather both the bad and good times.

Our client Jouffre has consistently generated increasing cash flow over the last few years. Steady cash flow enabled the company to finance the acquisition and renovation of prime Class A real estate in Long Island City. Having additional space—including access to new specialized manufacturing capabilities—ensures that the company can meet additional client demand in a timely manner and, ultimately, expand into new markets.

Commercial rents have dropped nearly 13% from last year, according to CBRE (NYTimes, December 11, 2020). If you have the cash resources available to execute an acquisition, buying makes a lot of sense on a number of levels.

For acquisition financing, a lender typically requires a significant amount of equity and a strong operating history. Jouffre and other bespoke manufacturers catering to a high-end clientele, have these advantages and more. 

Fulfilling Potential for Growth

Plans to include design and consulting services among Jouffre’s offerings are dependent upon having modern, upscale amenities for hosting prospective clients. Furthermore, Jouffre’s primary focus to date has been the NYC market. With increased space and improvements to its manufacturing facility, the company could pursue growth opportunities in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Florida.

Financing Structure

For a first-time borrower and 100% foreign-owned enterprise, Jouffre faced significant financing hurdles. The ThinkForward team leaned heavily on its network of banking relationships, financing sources, and financial allies. 

It’s advantageous to have a team of legal, accounting, real estate, and financial experts at one’s side when financing property acquisitions and capital improvements. You may not have the internal resources (or mindset) to anticipate and navigate the various lender approval processes and requirements.

Ultimately, we secured for Jouffre a $6.0 mortgage financing from one of our relationship banks. We were also tasked with securing abatement of real estate taxes and reducing other operating costs using available government incentive programs. 

We were successful because we considered not just one but a combination of funding options.

Our Role

ThinkForward served as financial advisor and economic development consultant.

Project Details


  • Small Manufacturing
  • Acquisition & Renovation
  • 22,000 SF
  • Workshop, Office, Showroom


  • $6.0 M Permanent Bank Financing


  • Flushing Bank

More About Jouffre

The French atelier Jouffre has been doing business in the US since 2001. The company specializes in manufacturing high-end, custom upholstery, wall upholstery, and window treatments. A wealthy, exclusive client base has fueled steady growth over the years, including during economic downturns. The current pandemic is no exception. In fact, Jouffre anticipates additional orders that competitors have been unable to fulfill.

Seamstresses, upholsterers, onsite upholsterers, draughtsmen and business coordinators are all links in a chain devoted to excellence.

“Our new modern facility means we can take on manufacturing activities previously outsourced. We now have the capacity to service clients in other high-end markets and in new industries, like entertainment! ThinkForward helped make all of this possible.”

Romain Jouffre, Chief Executive Officer, US Operations