Conscious consumers are demanding products and services from environmentally and socially responsible companies in all industries. Brattleboro-based gluten-free, plant-based meal delivery service, MamaSezz Foods, Inc., is working to provide consumers with food that heals while providing a livable wage, benefits and stock options for employees. To help make this vision a reality, the Flexible Capital Fund (Flex Fund) announces an investment of $150,000 to help accelerate their growth.
MamaSezz makes whole food plant-based meals delivered directly to customers with a pre-paid return label to send back all of the empty materials (container, inserts, ice packs, and packaging) so the company can sanitize and reuse or recycle everything.
Janice St. Onge, President of the Flex Fund, has known Lisa Lorimer, co-founder, and CEO of MamaSezz, for over a decade.
“We knew Lisa had a proven track record, founding and then leading the Vermont Bread Company,” said St. Onge. “Lisa is a seasoned and successful entrepreneur who has championed livable wage jobs and socially responsible business practices. This in combination with her partner Meg Donahue’s strengths on the plant-based nutrition side of the business, made this opportunity compelling.”
The Flex Fund traditionally provides flexible financing in the form of near equity capital, such as subordinated debt and royalty (or revenue-share) financing, to Vermont growth-stage companies that strengthen or fill a gap in their supply chain while also creating quality jobs and sustainable products and services.
The investment of $150,000 is structured as a minority purchase of common stock, which is a first for the Flex Fund. The investment was structured as common very consciously by the founders to ensure all stakeholders were on the same footing versus the typical power structure of investor having preferential rights over an entrepreneur.
“The Flex Fund chose to invest as equity because it is the right structure for the company’s stage of growth and scale they want to grow to consider the market opportunity,” said St. Onge. “The team brings deep experience in food manufacturing and logistics, and MamaSezz aligns well with our mission to build healthy food systems, grow resilient communities and mitigate climate change through their commitment to purchase local and/or organic food, pay their employees a living wage with benefits, and support reusable and/or recyclable packaging.”
With a corporate office in Brattleboro, VT and manufacturing space in Keene, NH, the Flex Fund also worked with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund to co-invest in MamaSezz.
“We are very excited to have the Flexible Capital Fund as an investor and partner in our common mission to provide high-quality jobs in a company that supports local farmers, provides healthy food to our communities, and focuses on our environmental impact,” said co-founder Lisa Lorimer. “The Flex Fund also adds tremendous value to our team with its wide network and their engagement to share ideas, good questions, and best practices.”
The Flexible Capital Fund provides creative financing in the form of near equity capital (subordinated debt and royalty financing) to growth-stage companies that strengthen the supply chain in sustainable agriculture and food systems, forest products, renewable energy, clean technology, and other natural resource sectors. As a mission-based investor, the Flex Fund is committed to helping portfolio companies grow, to help accelerate the rate at which Vermont, and the region, move towards healthy food systems, renewable energy, and climate change solutions. www.FlexibleCapitalFund.com
MamaSezz is an online, whole food, plant-based meal delivery service providing ready-made breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and kid-friendly foods. Meals are shipped in eco-friendly coolers, which come with a return-shipping label so customers can send back both the cooler and the waste packaging material for MamaSezz to recycle. The meals, which include items such as Millie’s Chili, Veggie Loaf, Gardener’s Pie, and a kid-friendly Mac and Cheese are never frozen. www.mamasezz.com