Capital investment will fund R&D, create new products, and build up Cleveland’s team and facility
Cleveland Kitchen
Image from Cleveland Kitchen website

Encore Funding, a Cleveland, Ohio-based private lender has invested an undisclosed amount in Cleveland Kitchen, a sauerkraut and fermented foods brand formerly known as Cleveland Kraut.

Cleveland Kitchen’s krauts and salad dressings are sold in more than 9,000 US stores. The company employs 40 people and manufactures products in a 30,000 square foot commercial plant in Cleveland. Most recently, it launched a line of vegan Kimchi.

Encore stated the investment will drive job creation and support farms and chefs across the region. Cleveland Kitchen said it plans to expand its fermented product lines and distribution channels and capital investment is necessary to fund R&D, create new products, and build up its team and facility.

Matthew Williams, vice-president of Encore Funding, said: “When we evaluated this opportunity, Cleveland Kitchen displayed nothing but high performance with doubled growth year-over-year. They are a niche, value-based business with the capacity for substantial growth and positive economic impact. It’s a perfect match, and we look forward to helping them realise their goals.”

Drew Anderson, co-founder and chief executive of Cleveland Kitchen, said: “We talked to big firms from Los Angeles and New York City, but Encore spoke our language from the start. They have a highly experienced, responsive team that understands cash flow challenges specific to retail. At any moment, I can pick up the phone and speak directly to an expert like Joel [Adelman, Encore’s founder] or Matt who offers advice, resources and connections. That’s extremely rare to find, yet invaluable to a business like us.”

As part of the strategic investment, Cleveland Kitchen retains full ownership of the business. Encore stated it won’t obtain any equity “because, ultimately, this relationship is about more than quick wins and monetary gains”.

Williams said: “We’re not a one-dimensional capital partner. We believe in their vision and are just as invested in their success as they are. This is a long-term collaboration, and we’re thrilled to be along for this exciting ride.”

Date published: 9 April 2021

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