Urban Remedy Raises $5 Million; Names Coletta CEO

Urban Remedy_JuicesAiming to ramp up production and distribution of its raw, organic juices and foods, Urban Remedy today announced a new $5 million round of funding as well as the appointment of industry veteran Paul Coletta as CEO.

Launched in 2009, by holistic practitioner Neka Pasquale, Urban Remedy operates primarily as a direct-to-consumer business, and sells a range of ready-to-eat meals, snacks, cold-pressed juices and cleanse kits via its website and two brick-and-mortar storefronts in Marin County, Calif. The company counts supermodel Cindy Crawford as a board member and brand partner.

Venture capital firm Venture51 supplied the financing for the round, which follows $1 million in seed funding from Science, Inc., a Santa Monica-based firm that describes itself as a “technology studio.” According to a statement from Urban Remedy, the $5 million in Series A funding will be used to “scale production with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, increase marketing efforts, and expand nationwide storefronts.”

Coletta comes to Urban Remedy following top marketing roles at Jamba Juice and The Melt, a chain of grilled cheese chain restaurants. Coletta had also held interim CMO roles at POM Wonderful and Pinkberry. Overseeing company operations — including Urban Remedy’s new 20,000-square-foot production facility in Point Richmond, Calif. — and building an infrastructure capable of expanding Urban Remedy’s direct-to-consumer business model will be Coletta’s primary responsibility.

“One of the first goals is to ensure that we have the operational foundation to scale quickly,” Coletta said in an interview with BevNET.

Coletta explained that Urban Remedy will lean on small format and non-traditional retail, including its company-owned storefronts, “as a way to drive trial and awareness,” but that its primary focus will remain on direct-to-consumer sales. He noted that the business model allows the company to command higher margins and collect consumer insights and data more effectively than traditional wholesaling.

While Coletta said that he was not able to comment on how many new storefronts Urban Remedy planned to open in 2014, he did note that the company would be “aggressive.”