A Clearwater-based company has secured funding from a publicly traded baked goods giant.
Base Culture, a natural food brand known for paleo, grain-free and gluten-free frozen baked goods, closed its Series D funding round on Tuesday, led by Flowers Foods Inc.
Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO) is best known for its bread production, ranging from Nature’s Own to Wonder and Dave’s Killer Bread.
The Series D round was for an undisclosed amount.
“‘Our space was always bread and baked goods, and it aligns well with their history in the baking industry,” Jordann Windschauer, the company’s founder, said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Business Journal. “We’re excited to catapult us into the future to achieve our goals at a much quicker rate.”
Ryals McMullian, Flowers Foods CEO, initially saw Base Culture in a Forbes article, and through Base Culture’s investment banker, Massachusetts-based Whipstitch Capital, an introduction was made.
“The world of food is constantly evolving, and seeing entrepreneurs like Jordann create a vibrant brand that resonates with health-conscious consumers is truly inspiring,” McMullian, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We look forward to supporting Base Culture as it continues to grow.”
The funding will go toward distribution, marketing and manufacturing. The goods are manufactured in Clearwater, while Windschauer's home base is in Tampa.
“It’s a true partnership; they’re helping us with critical pieces of the business to grow distribution, innovation and become a household name,” Windschauer said, “and become a bigger presence in the bread and baked goods industry.”
The company was founded in 2012 after Windschauer began the paleo diet — a menu of only meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds — and wanted some sweet treats. It is now in 15,000 stores with 40,000 points of distribution.
According to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company’s most recent funding was $1.3 million in May 2020. According to the SEC documents, the company has raised roughly $5.1 million since 2017. It closed its Series C, led by Emil Capital Partners, in early 2021.
Windschauer said she has no immediate plans to raise a Series E funding round.
“We’re still creating the strategic plans [with Flowers Foods],” she said. “It’s come about very quickly and will expedite our process, so who knows what the future will hold, but it’s very exciting.”
Article By: Lauren Coffey