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Modern Market acquired by private-equity firm Butterfly

Modern Market acquired by private-equity firm Butterfly

Los Angeles-based firm focuses on investing in food sector

Modern Market has been acquired by Butterfly, a Los Angeles-based private-equity firm, according to a press release Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Denver-based Modern Market operates 28 fast-casual restaurants in Colorado; Texas; Arizona; Washington, D.C.; and Maryland. The menu centers around healthful, sustainably sourced food. The chain primarily serves salads, sandwiches, soups, pizza and plated meals made with sustainable, naturally raised protein and a choice of two sides.

Recent winter menu additions include a truffled potato pizza; curry salmon bowl; barbecue pork sandwich; and “Superduperfood Salad” with hemp-seed granola, raspberry-chia seed dressing and baby greens. The dishes are priced between $9 and $14.

Butterfly co-founder Adam Waglay praised Modern Market co-founders Anthony Pigliacampo and Rob McColgan in a press release:

“By combining their unique technical backgrounds in engineering and business with a deep understanding of the most important trends impacting food today, Anthony and Rob have built a highly scalable concept with an incredibly loyal following. We look forward to helping Modern Market share its commitment to delicious, healthy, clean food at an accessible price point with an ever-expanding national audience.”

Butterfly was formed by executives from the private-equity firms KKR & Co. LP and Vista Equity Partners to focus on the food sector, including agriculture, aquaculture, food and beverage products, food distribution, and foodservice. In June 2016, shortly after it was formed, the firm invested in Lemonade, the Los Angeles-based fast-casual chain. Last month, it acquired Pacifico Aquaculture, based in Ensenada, Mexico, which raises striped bass.

Modern Market was founded as Modmarket in Boulder, Colo., in 2009. The chain changed its name in November 2015, when it had 14 units.

Another Butterfly co-founder, Dustin Beck, said Modern Market’s food and service have growing appeal and potential for expansion.

“Modern Market’s innovative menu, emphasis on convenience, and ability to meet any dietary need result in a concept with immense, broad appeal and significant room to grow,” he said. “We believe that Modern Market’s offering is increasingly representative of the way that modern restaurant-goers prefer to eat, and we’re excited to support Anthony and Rob in leading the change in the fast-casual space.”

Modern Market’s co-founders said they looked forward to working with Butterfly:

“Butterfly brings years of industry experience and know-how to the table. We are thrilled to partner with Adam, Dustin and the rest of the Butterfly team as Modern Market moves toward its next phase of growth. We’re confident that Butterfly’s deep expertise in fast-casual connectivity throughout the broader food sector will help us to expand and to further our stated mission of serving amazing, healthy food to as many people as possible.”

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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