February is Black History Month and it’s time to call out some of our members who are helping to break through barriers and bring some diversity to the CPG Industry. Here are just a few: Ayo Aigbe, founder of Hangio, Nichelle and Nicole Nichols founders of The Guilty Grape (fun fact, their aunt was the infamous Nichelle Nichols from Star Trek), Elisabeth Varondi and her husband, Emmanuel, founders of Yatab Mandazi African beignets, Abena & Eugene Foli, founders of POKS Spices, Derin Raji, Green Sahara Foods, Mary Porter of Delightful Sweets by Mary, as well as Psyche and Vontoba Terry of Urban Hydration. Keep on keeping on!
According to DallasInnovates.com, real estate entrepreneur Rogers Healy has founded a new venture capital Morrison Seger Venture Capital Partners. The firm has raised $5 million since its launch and has focused on movers & shakers such as Tiff’s Treats, Siempre Tequila, Laundry Sauce and Catch’N Ice Cream.
Dallas-based direct-to-consumer sauce company SideDish announced last week it is entering retail with an exclusive partnership with Central Market throughout Texas. Launched in October 2022 by cookbook author, Alex Snodgrass, the company produces dairy-free, paleo-friendly, preservative-free and zero refined sugar dressings in three flavors: Creamy Sesame, Chipotle Ranch and Honey Dijon.
Need warehousing and fulfillment services? Chicago-based RJW Logistics Group Inc., has announced that it is leasing 600,000 square feet at Mesquite’s new Alcott Logistics Station, as noted on DallasInnovates.com. The company is a leading provider of retail logistics solutions for consumer-packaged goods. Their new Mesquite location expects to bring over 200 jobs to the area.
Thanks to John Zupo with SABX who discussed B2B software solutions at our last Huddle on January 26th. If you missed it or want more info, contact John at the link above or visit SABX.com.
Congrats to Nicole Ingram, founder of Bella Bars, as she announced that her products will be in eighteen Market Street locations throughout Texas starting in February! This is the company’s biggest retail rollout to date as hard work and perseverance have paid off! Bella Bars are low sugar, keto-friendly & high protein snack bars. Developed by Nicole when she had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy. Truly delicious and healthy!
DFW’s Kaurina’s Ice Cream is debuting in all 10 Central Markets this month with the Kulfi pops and pints! They are also selling in Costcos, Whole Foods Markets, and HEB in Texas ongoing. As the company says on their website, “Kaurina’s Kulfi bars are a convenient snack! Eat them on the go, after a hearty meal. Great size for kids! At only 80 calories per snack size bar you can’t go wrong.”
Startup CPG has launched the Shelfies Awards with the goal of giving exceptional small CPG brands the recognition they deserve. As the first and only awards program specifically for emerging CPG brands, the Shelfies eliminate the typical hurdles involved in awards applications and create opportunity for brands in their earliest stages. Learn more here.
Attention BIPOC founders: In a recent article, Supermarket News details how healthy products distributor, UNFI, has expanded inclusion efforts for diversity owned brands and businesses such as small companies owned by disabled individuals, minorities, women, veterans, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Read more here.
Former 7-Eleven executive, Asif Khalid, is joining organic beverage provider, Tractor Beverage Company, as its first COO, a position created “specifically to allow the company to leverage his diverse skills” in the beverage space, according to a company press release. Khalid spent 14 years at 7-Eleven where he held several leadership positions that will help his new role at Tractor.
Over the past 10 years, GreenBook’s flagship Insight Innovation Exchange event has become one of the largest, most anticipated market research conferences in the world, which is why brands like Liquid Death, Nike, Publix Super Markets, McDonald’s, American Express, Kellogg’s, and Kroger are already on board to join us May 24-25th in Austin, TX
Stryve co-founders Joe Oblas, Ted Casey and Gabe Carimi are seeking to apply their expertise to a new crop of companies by acquiring and investing in CPG brands under a new holding company currently operating under the name Two Birds, One Stone. Oblas, Stryve’s former co-CEO, said the company is aiming to bring small brands much-needed “leadership” in addition to growth capital, representing “killing two birds with one stone.”
What an incredible first event of the year! Thanks to all of you who came out to Four Corners Brewing for Maximizing the Expos. A BIG thank you to Chi Nguyen for moderating our panel and for the informative Q&A! Thank you to our awesome panelists Hima P., Salvador Duran & Cristy Adamski for their great insight on the do’s and don’ts of attending expos.