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Snap Kitchen receives investment from Catterton Partners

Snap Kitchen receives investment from Catterton Partners

Private-equity firm invests in healthful takeaway chain

Snap Kitchen, a 10-unit “healthy takeaway brand,” has received an investment from private-equity firm Catterton Partners, the company said Monday.

Terms of Greenwich, Conn.-based Catterton’s investment were not disclosed, but Austin-based Fitness Food Holdings Inc., a newly created parent for Snap Kitchen Investments LLC, filed Securities and Exchange documents in August for the sale of $13 million in securities.

“The funding will allow us to continue a thoughtfully aggressive growth strategy, and begin to build out a support structure for our stores,” said Martin Berson, who co-founded Snap Kitchen in 2010 with Bradley Radoff.

Snap Kitchen currently has six locations in Austin, Texas, and four in Houston. The company plans to enter the Dallas market in early 2014.

Berson said he and Radoff created Snap Kitchen when they saw “a fundamental shift” in convenience of meal purchases, especially those linked to diet, lifestyle, fitness and overall health.

“We were also well-positioned to accommodate customers with different dietary constraints,” Berson said, citing the gluten intolerant, diabetic, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, lactose intolerant and others.

“Our stores are 99-percent gluten-free,” he said. “We use just two gluten contaminants and keep them isolated, but we are in the process of eliminating even those.”

Snap Kitchen executive chef Matthew Reinhart has created a menu that changes seasonally and features such items as Peanut Butter Pancakes, Grass-Fed Beef Meatballs and Peppers, Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash, Herbed Quinoa “Mac & Cheese,” Jalapeno Hummus and Raw Coconut Macaroons. Units also offer cold-pressed juices, snacks and salads, which are made-to-order at some locations. An in-house dietician also tests the items, the company said.

Top sellers, which Berson said fluctuate seasonally, include Bison Quinoa Hash at lunch, almond-crusted salmon, spaghetti Bolognese and Vegetable Lasagna, which uses layers of vegetables as the “pasta.”

“We do all of our cooking and juicing at one of our kitchens,” Berson said.

The company has one kitchen in Austin, Texas, and two in Houston that supply the current and forthcoming locations. Five of the units in Austin are brick-and-mortar locations and the sixth is a mobile unit in a repurposed shipping container. Snap Kitchen also debuted a micro-site prototype in downtown Houston earlier this year, and Berson said the company expects to have two more full units open in Houston in the next few weeks.

Earlier this year, Snap Kitchen acquired the assets of Tru Meals-Diet Gourmet.

A representative for Catterton Partners, which has numerous restaurant investments and has been mentioned as an investor in Chicago-based Protein Bar, said Snap Kitchen has a unique place in the market.

“Snap Kitchen is an on-trend, well-positioned, high-growth retail concept at the intersection of three high growth sectors — healthy foods, weight management and restrictive diets, including food allergies,” Michael Farello, senior partner at Catterton, said in a prepared statement.

“Because Snap focuses first and foremost on great-tasting food made with great ingredients,” Farello continued, “it serves the needs and cravings of all health-conscious consumers.”

Last week, Catterton Partners was reportedly near closing on a $22 million investment deal with 12-unit Protein Bar.

Catterton currently has investments in Bloomin’ Brands Inc., the parent to Outback Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Casual Café and Noodles & Co. The firm has been involved in brands as varied as Baja Fresh, Caribou Coffee, First Watch, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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