DARIEN, Connecticut, US – Smile Beverage Werks, P.B.C. announces a seed capital raise of $3.2 million – an impressive feat for a start-up company revolutionizing the single-use coffee pod industry with its commercially compostable, BPI Certified pod. Funding was led by Dennis H. Chookaszian, American businessperson and former chairperson and CEO of CNA Insurance, with participation by coffee pod experts Fran Rathke, Paul Comey, and Stephen J. Sabol.
Rathke, Comey, and Sabol come from Keurig Dr Pepper Inc., formerly Keurig Green Mountain. Rathke served as their CFO and Treasurer from 2003 to 2015, as well as Strategic Advisor to the CEO in 2015. Comey served as the Vice President of Environmental Affairs, while Sabol served as Vice President of Business Development and chairperson of the board. Chookaszian and Rathke will join Smile Beverage Werks® Board of Directors while Comey and Sabol will sit on the Board of Advisors.
“To not only raise $3.2 million, but to also be backed by industry magnates in our first seed round is extremely exciting,” says Co-Founder and CEO Michael Sands. “Their decades of experience in the field will provide invaluable expertise and guidance to our company.”
Smile Beverage Werks will use the funds for research and development, purchasing filling equipment, and maintaining working capital for growth. Our commercially compostable pods empower consumers and businesses to easily go green. Its patented design enables users to conveniently throw the entire pod into a compost bin, eliminating the need to separate and clean the capsule, coffee, and lid to make it recyclable. No rinsing is needed to prep our pods, aiding water conservation. All excess bagging is also eliminated without compromising freshness. Our pods have a 12+ month shelf life.
“We created Smile Beverage Werks® with one goal in mind: to enjoy great-tasting coffee and everyday convenience without burdening the environment,” Sands said. “Our pods offer a simple, convenient alternative that is not so intimidating to the average consumer that wants to minimize their carbon footprint.”
Smile Coffee Werks is committed to sustainability in all aspects of its production: They source beans from only Rainforest Alliance Certified farms; pods are manufactured in a facility using wind, solar, and hydropower; cartons are made from recycled materials; supply chain is certified climate neutral by ClimatePartner; and products are certified USDA Biobased Products and certified commercially compostable by BPI. www.smilecoffeewerks.com.