Dave's Killer Bread expanding beyond Western U.S.
by Eric Schroeder
PORTLAND, ORE. — Dave’s Killer Bread is preparing to expand outside the Western United States in 2013. The company, which was founded in 2005 by Dave Dahl, who battled depression and emerged from a life of crime to start the bakery, offers organic, whole grain, vegan and bioengineered-free bread products.
In order to facilitate the expansion, Dave’s Killer Bread has partnered with Goode Partners, a New York-based private equity firm that focuses exclusively on investment opportunities in the consumer sector. In addition to providing investment capital, Goode specializes in partnering with experienced professionals and has invested in such brands as Skullcandy, Intermix and Chuy’s.
Dave’s Killer Bread is available in 11 states, and it recently launched in retail chains throughout Southern California, Hawaii and Colorado. The company had sales of approximately $53 million in 2012, and of its 280 employees about 30% are ex-cons.
“We love that people want our bread in their stores, and we’ve been doing our best to meet demand in more states,” said Mr. Dahl, who is president of the company. “Our first priority when we add a new market is to make sure that the quality of the bread is never compromised. Today, we are unable to ship bread farther and farther away from our Portland-area Breadquarters without sacrificing its quality.
“Our relationship with Goode Partners is going to give us additional resources and a top-shelf board member who knows exactly how to build a brand and grow nationally. Together, we’re going to work to get our bread in the hands of new fans in new cities.”
As president, Mr. Dahl will retain his role as leader of product development, brand development and the company’s philanthropic efforts. The company also will maintain its headquarters and all of its current staff and operations near Portland.
The partnership with Goode will result in some operational changes, though. In addition to its equity stake, Good Partners will be represented by three individuals on the Dave’s Killer Bread board, joining Mr. Dahl, Shobi Dahl and Glenn Dahl.
The company also will add Angelo Fraggos, a 38-year veteran of the baking and snack industry, as chairman of the board. He is expected to bring the expertise needed to drive strategic direction and organizational development, the company said.
“As a board, our chief focus will be to ensure the heart and mission of this company are uncompromised,” Dave Dahl said. “We believe the addition of Goode Partners and Angelo to our team will help drive our company to new heights.”