ST. LOUIS — Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, LP (ACAP), along with Silas Capital and Emil Capital Partners, has launched a $3 million financing round in Orlando, Fla.-based Vintage Italia. The investment will be used to accelerate Vintage’s Pasta Chips brand growth, supporting its release of new product lines to large retailers, including Wal-Mart, Costco and Safeway.
Pasta Chips are a baked alternative to the regular potato chip and use higher-protein grains such as farro to increase nutrients.
“We’re the first in the industry to create the only snack food made from fresh pasta dough,” said Jerry Bello, founder and chief executive officer of Vintage Italia. “We created Pasta Chips as a healthier alternative to the bland, overly processed options in the deli section, and we’re dedicated to finding new ways of offering our customers quality, gourmet taste and an elevated snack food product that has greater focus on nutrition.”
Mr. Bello has co-founded branded food companies Sensible Portions, Brownie Brittle and Mamma Says. He said he created the new Pasta Chips after being inspired by a traditional Italian dish — baked pasta dough drizzled with olive oil. After a trip to Italy, he came up with the idea of using fresh pasta pieces to convert into a salty snack line, and the Pasta Chips brand was born. The chips are available in five different seasonings based on regional Italian sauces: marinara, alfredo, spicy tomato basil, garlic olive oil and Mediterranean sea salt.
“Since its introduction to the market in 2013, Pasta Chips has been setting a new standard for products in the better-for-you snack aisle,” said Tyler Mayoras, principal at Advantage Capital. “Vintage Italia is changing the snack brand marketplace and proving that baked chips can be regionally inspired, healthful and tasty.”ACAP is a $154.5 million fund that is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a Rural Business Investment Co. The fund is a partnership between Advantage Capital and nine Farm Credit organizations, established to bring together resources and people focused on providing more private capital, small business investment and quality jobs to rural America.