Baby Steps: Pure Spoon Grows With New Investment

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296334732674169.zksDUimEK4ZjFA0u9ctv_height640Organic high pressure processed (HPP) baby food company Pure Spoon may be focused on tot-sized consumers, but its business received a boost — and some advice — after closing a financing round earlier this month.

Pure Spoon Founder and CEO Alyson Eberle told NOSH that the Texas-based company received substantial investment from both Keen Growth Capital and Veritas Family Partners. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Eberle confirmed that both groups received seats on the company’s board, although she made it clear that Pure Spoon is still a majority women-owned business.

“At this point, scaling into a national brand is not my forte,” Eberle said while at Natural Expo West in Anaheim, Calif.. “I turned the idea into a product and kind of into a category, but so much of where Pure Spoon is now is something I haven’t done before.”

Keen Growth Capital is led by managing partners Jonathan Smiga and serial entrepreneur Jerry Bello, who most recently founded snack brand Pasta Chips. Eberle said she wanted to work with Bello not only for his experience, but also his demeanor during what can be a very stressful endeavor for entrepreneurs.

“This whole process [of seeking investment] is like walking into a room naked,” she said. “It is very stressful, you’re asked a lot of hard questions, and it can be difficult and demeaning because you are asking for help. So the biggest thing that drew me to Jerry is that he is a kind soul and he has a massive amount of experience with starting and growing brands.”

Pure Spoon launched in 2014 with a line of 100 percent organic, refrigerated fruit and veggie purées for toddlers and babies. HPP is considered the fastest-growing better-for-you trend with consumers, according to SPINS. Pure Spoon’s products are currently sold in about 300 stores and are slated to expand to over 1,000 retailers when its products hit shelves in Hy-Vee, Kroger, Amazon and Wal-Mart later this year.

With this investment, Eberle said Pure Spoon plans to increase its kitchen space, buy new equipment, make key hires and increase its marketing efforts. She added that the company’s board is also considering rebranding efforts.

“We’ve seen a lot of the growth and hiccups to that growth, but that can be said about any new category,” Eberle said. “It’s all about how do you get people to know we are here, where to find us, and why we are better than what was there before. But that costs money.”