Thought Leadership

A Valuable Partnership

How Anchor Bank helped a local entrepreneur make his brewery dream a reality

When Tom Schroeder, an attorney by day, saw the historic limestone saloon at 445 Smith Avenue in St. Paul, he knew it had potential to become something great. He just wasn’t quite sure what. Seeing it as a slice of local history, Schroeder wanted to make sure it stayed that way. So, he decided to restore the old saloon to its original façade and use the building for what it was originally intended—to serve beer. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2017, Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery will serve traditional German-style lagers and food true to the building’s 1850s heritage.

To start, Schroeder needed a strong business plan and financing. After interviewing with five banks, he chose Anchor Bank to assist with the financing because of its expertise and level of service. Sr. Vice President of Business Banking Stephen Nesvig and President of Commercial Banking Eric Britt even visited the brewery site multiple times to help refine the business plan and tailor the loan to Schroeder’s requirements.

“It was really like a partnership,” Schroeder says. “I had never experienced that [with a bank] before.”

When it came down to assessing his financing options, Nesvig helped Schroeder decide on the 504 Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, which gives borrowers the option to conserve their cash as the loan requires less money down.

“It’s particularly good for those who want to keep cash for operations,” Nesvig says.

Schroeder also uses Anchor Bank’s private banking services, which includes an unsecured (meaning it’s based on the value and strength of the borrower) line of credit to help with personal and business purchases. Services available to private banking customers include private checking, private savings, real estate financings, credit cards, home equity loans and lines of credit, and specialized financing.

“Our private bankers know each one of their clients and are able to do everything for them within their deposits, lines of credit—and ultimately, their financial world. All they have to do is call us,” Nesvig explains. “Small business people heavily depend on bankers to not only invest in their projects, but also to believe in their projects. Anchor Bank really believes in this project—and that has helped build my confidence,” Schroeder says. “They took what was a dream of mine and transferred that into a business reality—and not every bank would do that.”


Anchor Bank
Headquarters: St. Paul, Minnesota
Inception: 1967
Employees: 325
Description: Privately-held, family-owned community bank with more than $2 billion in assets. The bank offers a range of financial services for both individual and business clients.
Phone: 651-554-3463

Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery
Headquarters: St. Paul, Minnesota
Inception: 2017
Leadership: Tom Schroeder, owner
Description: Brewery that serves German-style lagers and food true to the building’s 1850s heritage.