As seen at Kwik Trip: SoFresh raises $3.3M for food packaging growth

Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Rich Kirchen, Business Journal

 

 

SoFresh Inc., a Kenosha-based firm that develops food packaging materials designed to extend the shelf life of foods like artisan bread sold at Kwik Trip, raised another $3.3 million to continue its growth — including packaging for produce.

The latest seed-funding round was led by Valor Equity Partners of Chicago, SoFresh president and CEO Toby Thomas said Tuesday. SoFresh closed the round in May and reported the information in an Aug. 2 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

SoFresh has raised a total of $5.64 million in capital so far, according to the SEC filing.

Proceeds will go to bulking up SoFresh’s talent. The company is adding staff in sales, business development, customer support and technical roles, Thomas said.

SoFresh runs a plant in rented space at 9016 58th Place in Kenosha. The company has 11 employees and about a dozen “paying customers,” Thomas said.

The company was founded in 2018 by Thomas and Bill Belias, who is chief technology officer. They are materials and manufacturing engineers who focus on advancing materials that stop mold.

SoFresh’s plant has a capacity to produce 50 million printed bread bags per year plus 400 million units of SoFresh film. The company uses co-manufacturers in the area to provide additional capacity for making bread bags with printed images, Thomas said.

The SoFresh logo appears on bags for artisan cranberry wild rice bread from The Good Bread Company of Minneapolis that is sold at hundreds of Kwik Trips, Thomas said.

SoFresh has continued adding bakeries across the country including those that sell bread via e-commerce and Amazon, Thomas said.

The next frontier for SoFresh will be produce.

Thomas said SoFresh is preparing to launch sales of bags to major produce firms. He said the additional cost for SoFresh packaging is worth the benefits of greatly reducing spoilage.

“We can keep berries pristine for two weeks,” he said.

 

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