Tom First Joins Castanea Partners as an Operating Partner

aaeaaqaaaaaaaat2aaaajdvmy2e0njnmltbjmjytndk0yy04zgu0ltuzodbmn2qznwjhzqNEWTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Castanea Partners announced today that Tom First has joined the firm as an Operating Partner focusing on opportunities in the branded food and beverage sector.

“We are thrilled that Tom will be joining our team,” said Brian Knez, Managing Partner of Castanea. “Tom is an extraordinarily successful serial entrepreneur, advisor, and investor. His deep passion and experience in the food and beverage space will bring a unique perspective to our existing portfolio and help us identify exciting new investment opportunities.”

Prior to joining Castanea, Tom was a managing partner at First Beverage Ventures, the investment arm of First Beverage Group. Tom was also co-founder of Nantucket Nectars, an award-winning branded juice beverage which sold to Ocean Spray Cranberries and later to Cadbury Schweppes PLC. The brand is currently owned by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.

A serial entrepreneur, Tom also founded O Beverage, which sold to Polar Beverages in 2010. Tom will remain a board member of several brands including Health-Ade Kombucha, Purity Organic, Repsly, and Project Juice. He is also a minority co-investor in Essentia Water, a Castanea portfolio company.

Tom graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in American History.

About Castanea

Castanea Partners is a middle-market consumer-focused private equity firm founded by operating executives and private equity professionals. We partner with promising small to middle-market companies in branded consumer products and services, including companies in specialty apparel and fashion, footwear and accessories, beauty and personal care, food and beverage, sporting goods, outdoor and leisure, household and juvenile products, and health and wellness. Castanea typically invests between $15M-$150M of equity in businesses where we have significant operating and investing expertise. Castanea has approximately $1B under management and is currently investing from a $600 million fourth fund. More information about Castanea Partners is available at

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Castanea Partners

Marion Schouten, 617-630-2420