Originally published on Project NOSH
Call it fuel to keep the pasta business boiling.
Last week artisanal pasta company Sfoglini announced the close of a $2.5 million round of funding. Investment group Almanac Insights led the round, with Fresh Source Capital and several individual investors taking part. The funding marks the first equity raise for the brand, which has previously closed convertible notes to support its growth.
Sfoglini produces 28 varieties of organic pasta which retail from $5.99-$7.99. The line is currently sold online as well as in 40 Whole Foods Markets. The brand aims to differentiate itself in the crowded category by using 100 percent organic American-grown grains combined with local ingredients. The result is a diverse portfolio of both traditional, such as whole grain reginetti, and non-traditional pasta varieties, such as beet fusilli and saffron malloreddus.
Sfoglini exemplifies Almanac’s investment thesis, which is to support companies that are striving to better the food system while simultaneously seeing high growth, fund founder David Barber told NOSH.
“Sfoglini proves good agriculture and artisan techniques can produce an affordable and delicious food future,” Barber said. “[The company] is an example of an early stage ‘lean-in partnership’ that demonstrates the young entrepreneurial model.”
Scott Ketchum, Sfoglini’s co-founder, said that the company was drawn to Almanac’s “support of good farming and agriculture practices.” Ketchum also noted that Almanac’s model of partnering with a slate of advisors to advise its portfolio brands will also help accelerate the company’s growth with everything from marketing insights to distribution to food service.
Sfoglini recently relocated from a smaller production space in Brooklyn to a 40,000 square foot pasta production facility in Coxsackie, New York. The new facility will allow the brand to increase production sevenfold.
Prior to the move, Sfoglini reported that it had $1 million in sales. The brand expects to more than double its sales in its first year of production in the new plant, and hopes to grow to $10 million within the next several years.
Ketchum told NOSH that the funds will go towards completing this expansion into the new facility and hiring new team members. The capital was needed in order to help the brand scale to its next stage of development.
“We are transitioning from Sfoglini the start-up to Sfoglini the better mass-produced pasta maker,” Ketchum said. “[But] no matter how big we grow, you won’t see us cut corners – we think that’s what sets us apart, and that’s what ultimately will continue to drive our growth.