Before the Butcher yesterday announces that private investors, whose portfolio includes shares in well-known ground meat producer, have acquired a controlling interest in the California company. Founder and CEO Danny O’ Malley says of the deal, “It effectively turns us from a startup to a major player in the space.”
The plant-based meat producer launched only a year ago, and offers the US market’s broadest selection of meat substitutes. Private investors Gregg and Jeff Hamann have acquired controlling interest in the company in a transaction that complements the Hamanns’ ownership of ground beef producer Jensen Meat Company. The acquisition gives Before the Butcher access to a $25 million line of credit, a 90,000-square-foot production space, and cold storage warehousing facilities that will enable the company to quickly scale up to meet escalating market demand for meat alternatives.
Before the Butcher launched its UNCUT brand in the foodservice channel last year, initiated retail distribution last month, and is rapidly building competitive advantage by offering a broad family of products rather than the one or two product choices available from other brands.
Its portfolio currently spans 12 products, including plant-based beef, chicken and turkey burgers as well as breakfast sausage patties, chorizo, pulled pork, chicken chunks, beef tips, and multiple varieties of ground beef and sausage. Retail distribution is expected in more than 3,000 stores nationwide by August, joining foodservice customers that include 1,000 restaurants and 20 school districts.
“This acquisition validates our diversified product strategy and also gives us both the financial resources and the production capacity to support our strong growth forecasts,” said Danny O’Malley, founder and president of Before the Butcher, who remains part-owner of the company. “It effectively turns us from a startup to a major player in the space.”
Investor Jeff Hamann states, “It’s clear that plant-based meats are on a growth trajectory. That makes Before the Butcher an ideal companion investment to Jensen Meats, which we have owned since 2011. With the company’s solid foodservice base, new retail initiative and broad product assortment, we are anticipating strong performance that will put the UNCUT brand firmly on the map.”