RuralWorks Announces Strategic Investment in American Unagi, Pioneering Sustainable Aquaculture

MINNEAPOLIS & MIDDLEBURY, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–RuralWorks Partners, LLC (RuralWorks), an impact-driven investment firm committed to fostering rural community growth and environmental sustainability, proudly announces its strategic investment in American Unagi, Inc. (AU), the only producer and processor in the US of locally sourced and harvested American Eel (also known as Unagi). Located in rural Maine, this pioneering aquaculture company sells a range of live and value-add Unagi products to Michelin-star restaurants, other discerning consumers, and distributors throughout the United States.

American Unagi is disrupting the traditional eel supply chain, from Maine to China, as it expands within the 5000 metric ton US market driven by consumers’ increasing demand for sustainable, traceable seafood. AU’s products are accountable down to the specific fisherman who harvested the juvenile eels from the freshwater rivers of Maine. RuralWorks’ investment will support this growth. Operating in partnership with the local Passamaquoddy Tribe, and with the backing of RuralWorks, AU is well positioned to supply the escalating consumer demand for sustainably sourced, traceable seafood, notably within the fast-growing market for Japanese cuisine.

“With a strong focus on supporting local economies and preserving our environment, American Unagi leads the way in sustainable aquaculture,” said Sara Rademaker, founder of American Unagi. “Our mission is to offer consumers a responsible and traceable alternative to uncertain imported eel products, while championing community growth and responsible natural resource management. Our collaboration with RuralWorks is an important piece in achieving these goals.”

RuralWorks, committed to investing in scalable rural businesses that generate quality jobs while addressing challenges posed by climate change, is excited about this new relationship. “We are thrilled to support American Unagi’s disruptive approach to sustainable aquaculture,” said Louisa Schibli, RuralWorks’ chief engagement officer. “This investment aligns perfectly with our mission to help build local agriculture and food supply chains, create economic resilience within rural communities, and promote environmentally responsible solutions.” The collaboration between RuralWorks and American Unagi underscores a shared dedication to sustainable initiatives, economic prosperity, and community empowerment, paving the way for a brighter, locally driven future.

About RuralWorks: RuralWorks Partners, a joint venture between Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) and Conduit Capital U.S., Inc, is an impact investment firm that delivers much needed growth capital to rural businesses that are doing their part to protect our planet and generate community wealth and economic resilience. By investing in ready-to-scale rural businesses that create quality jobs and protect the environment, either by demonstrating a commitment to environmentally sustainable business practices or by providing solutions that address climate change or other environmental challenges, RuralWorks delivers meaningful impact to both underserved rural communities and the environment. Learn more about RuralWorks at

About American Unagi: American Unagi is a pioneering aquaculture company dedicated to responsible sourcing and the sustainable cultivation of high-quality freshwater eel in the United States. Committed to offering traceable, environmentally responsible eel products, the company aims to disrupt traditional supply chains while meeting the rising demand for sustainable seafood. Learn more about American Unagi at

Contact Information:

Louisa Schibli, RuralWorks Partners, LLC

(802) 497-4834