True Food Kitchen has secured a funding round of more than $100 million from HumanCo and Manna Tree, the company announced Thursday.
The Phoenix, Ariz.-based wellness brand, which includes existing investor Centerbridge Partners L.P., said the HumanCo-Manna Tree investment is the largest for the 42-unit restaurant brand.
HumanCo’s key investors included entertainers Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra. HumanCo and Manna Tree join other True Food investors that include Centerbridge, Oprah Winfrey, Lion Capital, Weil and Howard Schultz, the chairman and CEO of Starbucks Corp.
“This investment enables us to truly broaden our mission to help well-being through more accessible, real food,” said Christine Barone, CEO of True Food Kitchen, in a statement.
“This capital will unlock a tremendous amount of potential for our future, allowing us to expand our footprint, launch smaller formats and ultimately allow more people across the country to experience great tasting food that is truly good for you,” Barone said.
True Food was founded in 2008 in Phoenix by Dr. Andrew Weil, creator of the anti-inflammatory food pyramid, and hospitality entrepreneur Sam Fox.
“True Food Kitchen is in a category of its own, with a mission perfectly aligned with HumanCo to help people live a healthier life through epic food experiences," said Jason Karp, founder and CEO of HumanCo. “While many companies are engineering man-made and synthetic products, True Food Kitchen looks to nature and farms for all of its food – and we believe this is how we can all build a better, more sustainable food system.”
Brent Drever, co-founder and president of Manna Tree, added: "Manna Tree is committed to improving human health through nutrition and found True Food Kitchen as a partner dedicated to that same mission.”
“Bringing people together over a delicious meal that makes you feel good has always been a passion of mine. It's what made me want to be part of True Food Kitchen originally,” said Winfrey in a statement. “I am excited to continue to support the brand in expanding their mission to bring seasonal, delicious and nutritious food to more people.”
Bank of America Securities advised True Food Kitchen on the transaction.
Nation's Restaurant News named True Food Kitchen among its Hot Concepts in 2011.
True Food is in 17 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
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