WHAT THE STRIPES GROUP LOOKS FOR IN CPG INVESTMENTS
The Stripes Group invests in tech companies and traditional CPG brands, such as Califia Farms, and now Siete Foods. Christopher Carey, Principal, shares the firm's focused approach, investing $10-$100M in authentic brands and compelling founders.
INDUSTRY ALL STARS HAVE SPOKEN AT NOSH LIVE
Co-Founder & CEO, Siete Family Foods
CEO & Co-Founder, Coolhaus
Natasha Case founded Coolhaus in 2009 with Freya Estreller after she was working in architecture at Walt Disney Imagineering. They launched their architecturally-inspired, unique ice cream sandwich company from their barely driveable postal van at the Coachella Music Festival to an audience of 100,000. They built a loyal following over the festival weekend and returned to LA to an abundance of viral press, a rapidly building social media following, and an eager foodie audience. Since then, Natasha has been named a Forbes 30 under 30 Food & Beverage, Zagat 30 Under 30, Linked in 10 under 35 for Food & Leisure, as well as being featured in many national publications and radio like Cosmo, Dwell, and NPR, and TV shows including Food Network’s Chopped, Barefoot Contessa, Unique Sweets, Good Morning America, King of Cones, Andy Cohen Live and many more. The company has become one of the leading innovative small dessert businesses, growing significantly to include 4 trucks and 2 storefronts in LA, 2 trucks and one cart in NYC, and 4 trucks in Dallas, Texas. Moreover, consumers can now find Coolhaus’ pre-packaged ice cream sandwiches, hand-dipped bars, and hand-packed pints in 6,000+ gourmet grocery stores nationally, including Whole Foods and Gelson's, and larger retailers like Meijer and Safeway, and now internationally in Asia and the Middle East.
Kara Cissell Roell
Co-Founder & Managing Director, VMG Partners
Kara co-founded VMG Partners in 2005 and focuses on all aspects of the Fund’s investment strategy, sourcing, execution, portfolio company oversight and exit management. Since its inception, VMG has partnered with entrepreneurs and management teams to provide a breadth of value-add resources in the areas of sales, marketing, branding, finance, operations and legal support which enable its partner companies to rapidly increase brand awareness, accelerate growth and build equity value. Kara serves, or has served, on the boards of babyganics, Bare Snacks, Drunk Elephant, Health Warrior, Humm Kombucha, KIND Snacks, Pirate Brands, Pretzel Crisps, Quest Nutrition, Solid Gold Pet, Sun Bum, Waggin’ Train and Vermont Smoke & Cure, among others. Kara has been an investor in emerging, lower-middle-market branded consumer companies for the last 18 years. Prior to her private equity career, Kara was an Analyst at the investment bank of Schroders plc and received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and German from Colgate University.
Co-Founder & CEO, Once Upon a Farm
John is the Co-founder and CEO of Once Upon A Farm, a company with the mission of providing yummy and nutritious “farm-to-family” foods to kids of all ages. Company information can be found at www.onceuponafarmorganics.com Prior to his new start-up, John spent more than 30 years in the natural and organic food industry running businesses with a sharp focus on sustainability and social responsibility. John was the longtime leader of Annie’s, Inc., a leading natural & organic food brand, in the US from 1999 to 2017. As CEO of Annie’s, he took the company public in 2012 under the symbol BNNY before General Mills acquired the business in 2014 for $820 million. For the following three years John ran the Annie’s operating unit and also advised General Mills’ small business incubator 301, Inc. He was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2015 in Northern California. In August 2017, he transitioned into a new role as Chairman of the Bunny, where he continues to work with General Mills to drive leadership in company culture, organic and regenerative agriculture, and strategy support. Foraker received a B.S. in agricultural economics from UC Davis and an MBA from UC Berkeley.
Product Director – Center of Store, 7-Eleven
Ashley Borden joined global c-store retailer 7-Eleven Inc. in 2012 and assumed her current role as Center of Store Product Director in February of 2017. During her 5 years with 7 Eleven, Ashley has successfully managed a variety of food and non-food categories: Senior Category Manager of Confectionery as well as the Category Manager for Wireless. As a member of the Merchandising team, Ashley has spearheaded initiatives which focus on managing external relationships with vendors, improving internal collaboration between cross-functional business units and developing extensive merchandising plans which emphasize customer segmentation and exclusive brand product launches. Ashley has a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Christian University. She enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family.
Founder, The Goods Mart, Krupa Consulting
Over the last decade Rachel Krupa, founder of boutique PR firm Krupa Consulting, has launched incredible brands and discovered amazing products that share a common ethos – mindful practices, well-created natural foods and products, and a mission to do better. She has launched Thrive Market, Tastemade, Barnana, Brownie Brittle, goop Wellness, Sweetfin Poke, and Maman, also playing an integral role in the growth of Joe & the Juice’s in the U.S., Good Culture cottage cheese, Pukka Tea, MatchaBar, McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream as well as West Coast expansion of Milk Bar and Shake Shack. Her reach has also extended into culinary awareness for revolutionary festivals like Coachella, Arroyo Seco, Eat Drink Vegan, and Panorama. Inspired to inspire others by the restaurants, snack brands, and wellness thought leaders that she’s worked with – all passionate about ingredient quality, ethical sourcing, and consciously created business – in 2018, Rachel opened The Goods Mart, a socially conscious convenience store. The Goods Mart has curated mission driven upgrades to standard store staples that are not only delicious but also better-for-you and the environment. The Goods is a new kind of destination where neighbors get to know each other while grabbing a sustainable coffee for $1.25, a dye-free candy bar, a tasty local artisanal sandwich, chips, or the essentials – eggs, toilet paper, and milk – all the while giving back to local charities. There are two TGM locations: Silver Lake, CA and New York, NY.
Vice President of Foods, Unilever North America
Matthew McCarthy heads up Unilever’s Food business in North America. In his 20 years with the company Matthew has cultivated a diverse path in marketing and general management working across Foods and Personal Care. He has led a wide range of iconic consumer brands and has a passion for building teams and creating transformative growth. Matthew has received a number of industry recognitions including Cannes Gold Lion, One Show Gold Pencil, IAB MIXX and Adweek’s Brand Genius award. As Vice President Foods NA Matthew is a member of Unilever’s US country board and global Foods Leadership team. Matthew’s wife Lisa is a director at the Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society and together they are actively involved in their personal passions of animal welfare and social justice.
Founder & CEO, PieShell
For Cheryl Clements, food is personal. It’s about connection. Growing up, in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, Cheryl spent summers helping her mother run a pie business, with help from her Dad and brother they made close to 10,000 pies. Aptly named The Pie Shell, it was headquartered where all good startups begin; the family’s basement. After working as an accountant for 5 years, Cheryl had the opportunity to take on the tech world. She jumped at the change and for more than 15 years, she was an independent contractor, becoming a highly sought-after Senior Program/Project Manager; working with major corporations such as Hershey, General Mills, and Miller Beer and overseeing the implementation of SAP – the world’s largest enterprise resource planning software. But while this work was immensely satisfying, Cheryl yearned to do something more personal and a couple of years ago she explored crowdfunding to start her own business based on her Mom’s infamous salad dressing. As she delved into her research, it quickly became apparent that with a 75% failure rate the existing sites were clearly lacking, at least for food and beverage companies. Cheryl quickly realized that the world needed a better crowdfunding solution for food-oriented businesses, more than another salad dressing. Cheryl brings the same effective project management and forward-thinking to PieShell so all “PieShellers,” both campaigners and supporters alike, can be sure that their experience on the site is engaging, seamless and meaningful. She understands the mix of hard work, commitment, and passions that drive every entrepreneur and looks forward to helping them realize their dreams. It was from her mother that Cheryl learned what it takes to build a successful food operation, but more than that, she learned how communities grow around the food that people share. Cheryl lives in New York City with her husband, Adrian, and yes she proudly serves up her Mom’s salad dressing when entertaining!
NEXT CONFERENCE: NOSH LIVE SUMMER 2019 IN NEW YORK CITY
The next NOSH Live conference takes place at the Metropolitan West in New York, NY on June 10th and 11th. More than 300 natural food industry founder and executives come together to move their businesses forward and discover what's next for the industry. Plan ahead and secure your seat at the two-day conference for the natural food industry. Register today to save $200 per ticket.