Press Clips: CircleUp Launches Credit Program

CircleUp Launches CPG Credit Program

Crowd investing firm CircleUp has made its name giving startup CPG companies a platform with which to raise capital necessary to launching a brand. And with its analytical system, Helio, CircleUp has been able to collect detailed data on hundreds of companies financial strengths and weaknesses.

Now, CircleUp is seeking to get personally involved in young companies with the launch of CircleUp Credit Advisors, a multi-million dollar fund which will issue loans between $25,000 and $600,000 to CPG businesses seeking growth.

According to TechCrunch, CircleUp has partnered with Community Investment Management, an investment manager which is contributing a $20 million credit facility to fund CircleUp’s loan program, with potential to increase funding down the line depending on the program’s success. Already, CircleUp is celebrating early success and seeking to expand its credit offerings.

As of date, CircleUp has issued 50 loans and plans to near 200 by the end of the year. Powerful Yogurt, which produces a line of high-protein drinkable yogurts and snacks, was one of the first companies to take out a loan, TechCrunch reported.

Dunkin’ Donuts Considers Name Change

Dunkin’ Donuts may be dropping some weight from its name. The fast-casual chain is experimenting with a test storefront in Pasadena, Calif. bearing the simplified name “Dunkin’”.

“We have been referring to ourselves simply as Dunkin’ in our advertising for more than a decade, ever since we introduced our ‘America Runs on Dunkin’ campaign,” the company said in a statement.

The company will officially decide on a rename next year when it embarks on a mass store redesign project, Fortune reported.

New York Business Journal Profiles Brett Thomas

CAVU Ventures has put its financial weight and operational experience behind successful and fast-growing brands, including Bai, Chef’s Cut, and Health-Ade. To get a sense for one of the minds behind the successful food and beverage-focused VC firm, New York Business Journal spoke to 38-year-old co-founder and managing partner Brett Thomas this week.

“We work hard, but like to have fun, and I’m not saying it in a cavalier way — our brands have a partner that’s in the trenches with them and where we enjoy each other’s company,” Thomas said.

Thomas also weighed in on the strength that celebrity investors can play in a brand’s development. CAVU’s brands have brought in the likes of Olivia Munn, David Ortiz, Von Miller, and perhaps most famously, Bai investor and pop star Justin Timberlake.

But Thomas’s work with CAVU isn’t always fun and games. He relayed one story of sitting in a Whole Foods store every day for three weeks just to examine consumer habits.

Starbucks Offering Meaty Cold Brew with Jerky Garnish

Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle is often a place where the coffee company can experiment with its product offerings, and this week it’s certainly delivered a unique concoction.

The Pepper Nitro with a Jerky Twist, now available at the Roastery, is a cold brew coffee with “herbal spice notes and orange acidity,” according to Food & Wine. The coffee uses a malted pepper syrup, cracked pink peppercorn, a layer of cold honey foam, and to top it off — garnish with a piece of grass-fed beef jerky.

The coffee in the brew is made from from Congo-sourced beans, the third Starbucks coffee to utilize the roast.

Marygrace and Natalie Sexton Discuss ‘Orchid Island’ in Q&A

When Marygrace Sexton founded Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company nearly 30 years ago, she opted to name the company in honor of her daughter. Now, Natalie Sexton is playing an important role in the company that bears her name, having served as director of marketing since 2012. The duo sat down with BizWomen for an interview published today and discussed the family dynamics of the company.

“My number one goal right now is to make sure that we build a really great succession team because it’s really important in a family business,” Marygrace said. “You certainly don’t want to wait. I don’t ever intend on retiring, but it’s just valuable to have a succession plan and a team.”

The juice company is also looking at adding baby good to its portfolio, Natalie said. Much of the baby food on the market today is over-processed, she said, and an Orchid Island offering would be “more authentic, minimal ingredient baby food.”