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Little Secrets Receives Investment From Sunrise Strategic Partners

Sunrise Strategic Partners (“Sunrise”), a Boulder, CO-based accelerator of emerging brands co-founded by Steve Hughes and Trilantic North America, today announced an investment in Little Secrets, a clean label chocolate brand made without artificial colors or flavors. This is the ninth investment for Sunrise since it launched in 2016.

Chris Mears founded Little Secrets to answer to his candy cravings and set out to create a chocolate candy without artificial ingredients to make indulgences more permissible. Little Secrets’ delicious signature chocolate pieces and recently-launched chocolate crispy wafers use high quality Fair Trade ingredients and are made with natural colors and flavors.

“Sunrise brings growth expertise and capital that will enable us to focus on business expansion and strengthen our team. When I started Little Secrets, I wanted to create a chocolate candy that was delicious and a slightly less guilty pleasure. I’m now looking forward to expanding our product line across other proven forms and to bringing Little Secrets to more consumers across the country,” said Chris Mears, CEO and Founder of Little Secrets. “Additionally, I am pleased to announce Jeremy Vandervoet, former Director of Marketing in Nestle USA’s Confection and Snacking Division, is joining Little Secrets as President and COO. With over a decade of experience at Nestle, Jeremy brings strategic insights and a deep network that will help us continue to grow the Little Secrets brand.”

“When Chris left Boulder Brands to start Little Secrets, I was excited for him but sad to see him go. I’m thrilled to be partnering with him again on such an exciting business,” said Steve Hughes, CEO and co-founder of Sunrise Strategic Partners. “Chris has done a terrific job bringing real innovation to the world of clean label chocolate, and we believe Little Secrets is at inflection point, as evidenced by the recent national launch of pieces and crispy wafers at Whole Foods.”

The investment from Sunrise will allow Little Secrets to increase distribution and support marketing efforts to reach new consumers. Little Secrets recently launched nationwide in Whole Foods and is also available on Amazon (excluding summer months) and at HEB, Stop & Shop, King Soopers, Natural Grocers, Meijer and Wegmans.

This marks the ninth investment for Sunrise, a brand accelerator that provides growth expertise and capital to early-stage health and wellness brands to support growth, add strategic value and share guidance on tactical priorities.

Caroline Stevens
Sunrise Strategic Partners

Jul 19, 2018
Boulder, CO

Caroline Stevens
Sunrise Strategic Partners

Little Secrets is a clean label chocolate brand made without artificial colors or flavors to make guilty pleasures a little less incriminating. Founded in Boulder, Colorado, in 2015, Little Secrets makes delicious chocolate pieces and chocolate crispy wafers using high quality Fair Trade ingredients. Little Secrets recently launched nationwide in Whole Foods and is also available on Amazon (excluding summer months) and natural grocery stores nationwide. For more information on Little Secrets, please visit

About Little Secrets

Sunrise Strategic Partners, LLC (“Sunrise”), based in Boulder, Colorado, provides growth capital and expertise to differentiated and authentic emerging brands in the healthy, active and sustainable living space that resonate with Millennials, have a strong proof of concept, and need capital for growth. The Sunrise team is deeply experienced in scaling brands and supports these investments by adding strategic value and guidance on tactical priorities. Sunrise Strategic Partners was founded by Steve Hughes, founder of Boulder Brands, in partnership with Trilantic North America, a leading private equity firm. For more information, visit

About Sunrise Strategic Partners

Trilantic Capital Management L.P. (“Trilantic North America”) is a private equity firm focused on control and significant minority investments in North America. Trilantic North America’s primary investment focus is in the business services, consumer, and energy sectors. Trilantic North America currently manages six private equity fund families with aggregate capital commitments of $8.4 billion. For more information, visit

About Trilantic North America