Sunrise Strategic Partners Grows its Portfolio, Plants Roots in Cauliflower Based Foods
Sunrise Strategic Partners, a Boulder, CO based accelerator of emerging brands co-founded by Steve Hughes and Trilantic North America, today announced an investment in Cali’flour Foods based in Chico, California, with participation from CircleUp Growth Partners. This is the eleventh investment for Sunrise since it launched in 2016.
Cali’flour Foods was created after founder Amy Lacey was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder and wanted to find a way to enjoy her favorite foods without getting sick. Fresh cauliflower proved to be a great substitute for flour, and Lacey eventually landed on a winning recipe for pizza crusts that are gluten free, grain free and taste great.
Since the first pizza crusts were sold at farmers markets in 2016, the Certified Women Owned Business has enjoyed tremendous growth. Fueled by low carb lifestyles and a need for allergen free products, the Cali’flour Foods e-commerce business boomed, and they started gaining retail distribution. In 2018, the company sold a pizza crust every 12 seconds and opened the Cali’Concept Kitchen, a pizza bar located in their hometown. Lacey released a cookbook in January 2019, Cali’flour Kitchen Cookbook, which landed on the National Best Seller list and inspired dozens of new ways to utilize Cali’flour products in recipes. Now, Cali’flour Foods is ready for the next phase of growth.
“We’ve discussed partnering with an institutional investor for a while, and I know now is the right time and Sunrise is the right partner,” said Amy Lacey, founder of Cali’flour Foods. “Steve Hughes has been a phenomenal mentor, and I feel extremely blessed and grateful for the opportunity to work with the entire Sunrise team. This strategic partnership and support will allow us to expand and innovate quickly as we continue sharing healthy food with the world.”
“Amy made no compromises as she created the recipes in her product line. She could have grown faster sooner, but her steadfast commitment to using fresh cauliflower, only a few simple ingredients and zero fillers sets Cali’flour Foods apart from competitors,” said Steve Hughes, CEO and co-founder of Sunrise Strategic Partners. “We are so impressed by what Amy and her team have built and we are incredibly excited about the future of Cali’flour Foods.”
The next phase of growth for Cali’flour Foods will be led by new CEO, Mike Anderson. Anderson has more than 30 years of experience in consumer-packaged goods and most recently was head of business development at Factory LLC in Bethlehem, PA, a ‘scale up’ facility for early stage brands. Prior to that Anderson served for 16 years as president of NS Sales, a leading sales and marketing agency in the natural foods industry. Both positions awarded Anderson significant experience in spotting early stage companies with a high likelihood of success.
“Amy has assembled an amazing team, chosen a great partner in Sunrise and created a product that is far superior and much healthier than others in the category. I am excited to be part of a brand on the forefront of such an innovative consumer trend,” said Mike Anderson, incoming CEO of Cali’flour Foods. “Our primary goal is to build upon the solid consumer base from our online business, expand into supermarkets and natural product stores and innovate, while keeping our commitment to using fresh cauliflower to create great tasting products with the best nutrition profile in the category.”
“Mike Anderson’s retail experience is exactly what we need, and our value systems are right on point, which is important to me,” said Lacey. “I believe having him on board gives us a tremendous advantage at an exciting time in our industry, and we’re all looking forward to building off of that momentum. Together, we’ll be able to focus our passion and energy and continue creating products that can radically improve lives.”
The investment from Sunrise will allow Cali’flour Foods to expand grocery distribution, make additional marketing and sales investments and launch new innovation. This marks the eleventh 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.
May 02, 2019
Sunrise Strategic Partners, LLC (“Sunrise”) based in Boulder, Colorado, provides growth expertise and capital 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 sunrisestrategicpartners.com
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 has managed six private equity fund families with aggregate capital commitments of $9.4 billion. For more information, visit trilanticnorthamerica.com.
About Trilantic North America
CircleUp Growth Partners is CircleUp’s equity fund that takes a data-driven approach to investing in visionary entrepreneurs and products. CircleUp harnesses the power of data to provide capital and resources to emerging consumer brands. Through Helio, the company’s technology platform that identifies, classifies, and evaluates consumer and retail companies, CircleUp has built the world’s most robust repository of CPG and retail intelligence and takes a quantitative approach to investing in promising entrepreneurs. Founded in 2012, CircleUp is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by Union Square Ventures, GV, Canaan Partners, QED Advisors, and others.
About CircleUp Growth Partners