Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Closes Minority Investment Led by Strand Equity
Consumer Growth Equity Firm Partners with Beloved Brooklyn-Based,Artisanal Ice Cream Brand to Propel Growth
LOS ANGELES, August 6, 2018-- Strand Equity, a leading growth equity firm investing inthe next generation of iconic consumer brands, is joining forces withVan Leeuwen Ice Cream (“Van Leeuwen” or the “Company”), purveyors ofmade-from-scratch ice cream and vegan ice cream. Van Leeuwen producesits own dairy-based and vegan ice cream products in its Greenpoint,Brooklyn facility and currently operates 13 scoop shops and 6 trucks inNew York and Los Angeles. The Company also sells its dairy and vegan icecream pints in over 700 retailers nationwide, including Whole FoodsMarket, Fairway Market and Erewhon. This announcement marks VanLeeuwen’s first equity investment and positions the Company forcontinued growth. Blue Scorpion previously led a convertible noteinvestment in Van Leeuwen.
Strand Equity partners with emerging brands to scale their businessesthrough its marketing and operational expertise, as well as itsextensive network of industry relationships. Current and realizedinvestments include Bai Brands, Hippeas, Hum Nutrition, Vita Coco, DosToros, Chopt, Youth To The People and Wander Beauty, among others.
“Van Leeuwen is an iconic Brooklyn brand with a cult-like following ofloyal consumers who enjoy its innovative-yet-accessible icecream,” said Strand Equity Co-Founder and Managing Partner, SethRodsky. “We are thrilled to partner with Van Leeuwen and are excited tohelp the Company execute on its mission of serving the highest-qualityice cream to customers everywhere.”
Founded by Ben Van Leeuwen, Laura O’Neill and Pete Van Leeuwen inGreenpoint, Brooklyn, Van Leeuwen launched in 2008 with a single yellowice cream truck. Inspired by Ben and Pete’s experience growing updriving Good Humor® trucks as a summertime job, the co-founders set outto revamp the quintessential American ice cream truck by using only thehighest-quality and natural ingredients in its handcrafted ice cream. In2010, Van Leeuwen opened its first scoop shop in Greenpoint and in 2014,the Company launched its innovative vegan product line to criticalacclaim. In the coming weeks, Van Leeuwen will also open scoop shoplocations in Soho, Prospect Park and Silver Lake, bringing its totalscoop shop footprint to 16 stores.
“We created Van Leeuwen because people deserve to eat ice cream madewith extraordinary ingredients and no unnecessary ones,” said Ben VanLeeuwen, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. “Every Piedmonthazelnut we caramelize, every Askinosie chocolate chip we mix in, everyraw cashew we soak and blend into milk, is done to achieve that pivotalmoment of serving our customer and witnessing the pure happiness that anextraordinary food experience provides. This partnership with ourcommunity is why we do what we do.”
“We are immensely proud and fiercely protective of the business we havebuilt,” said Laura O'Neill, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Van Leeuwen IceCream. “We have grown Van Leeuwen by being scrappy, lean and always inpursuit of perfection, never compromising the integrity of our productsor brand DNA. Until now, we have done so without outside funding andtook our time to find a partnership that felt just right. We found thatin the team at Strand Equity, as their values and approach to supportingfounders deeply resonate with our own.”
“After a decade building our brand, obsessing over our product andholding true to our vision, it is equal parts amazing and encouragingto know that our hard work is appreciated by our wonderful new partnersat Strand Equity,” said Pete Van Leeuwen, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of VanLeeuwen Ice Cream. “We are excited for them to join our team and lookforward to sharing the common culture and Van Leeuwen spirit that wehave cultivated over the years.”
For more information on Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, please visit www.vanleeuwenicecream.com.For more information on Strand Equity, please visit www.strandequity.com.
ABOUT STRAND EQUITY: Strand Equity is a Los Angeles-basedgrowth equity firm investing in the next generation of iconic consumerbrands. Strand Equity is led by a team of experienced and successfulinvestors and entrepreneurs. With a permanent capital base, StrandEquity maintains a flexible approach to structure and partnership,enabling dynamic entrepreneurs and management teams to accelerate growthand build durable businesses. For more information on Strand Equity,please visit www.strandequity.com.
ABOUT VAN LEEUWEN ICE CREAM: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream waslaunched out of a buttery yellow ice cream truck in 2008 by LauraO’Neill and brothers Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen. The trio set out torevive the classic American ice cream truck, using exceptionalingredients and techniques. In just a decade, the beloved Brooklyn-basedcompany has grown to include scoop shops and trucks across NYC and LAand sells pints in over 700 stores across 25 states. Van Leeuwenmakes ice cream from scratch using fresh milk and cream, lots of organiceggs yolks and pure cane sugar. Their unwavering dedication to qualityextends to every ingredient for each flavor; add-ins are made in-house,and fruits, nuts and chocolates are carefully sourced from purveyorslike Michel Cluizel Chocolate, Askinosie Chocolate, Kettl Matcha, andothers whose standard for exceptional quality meets their own. Inaddition to classic ice cream, Van Leeuwen makes an acclaimed vegan icecream using a proprietary blend of cashews, coconuts and cocoa butter,which is every bit as delicious as their classic ice cream. Favorites intheir lineup include Vegan Choc Chip Cookie Dough, made witha touch of Tahitian vanilla, a pinch of sea salt, chunks of cookie doughmade from locally milled flour and generous amounts of single originchocolate chips, and Honeycomb, with a crispy, chewyhouse-made candy folded into a sweet cream base with ribbons of caramel.
For Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Venture Capital Database