Back to the Roots, the fastest growing organic food & gardening company innovating the way families are connecting with food, announces today its $3M series C led by Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ: CENT), the country’s leading lawn, garden and pet company. Central was joined by new investor Blue Scorpion Investments, a NYC-based consumer-facing venture capital fund. Back to the Roots will be using the capital to fuel its growth as leaders in the indoor gardening market with over a dozen new products in que to launch in 2019 and thousands of new retail partners including Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdale’s, Petco and Costco.
Today’s fundraising and retail expansion comes on the heels of a banner 2018 for Back to the Roots that included a game-changing licensing deal with Nature’s Path to bring organic cereal to every school in the US, a partnership with best-selling cookbook author, Ayesha Curry, and nationwide launches into 5000 new retail stores.
“Central Garden & Pet is continually looking for innovative and passionate companies to invest in and help take to the next level. Back to the Roots embraces the future of both of our segments,” says George Roeth, CEO of Central Garden & Pet. “We look forward to a great partnership and helping spread the mission of making organic gardening accessible to families everywhere.”
Along with the infusion of capital, Back to the Roots has increased its national retail footprint over the past year with a national launch into Target stores. The brand’s best-sellers and fan favorites Mushroom Grow Kit, Kitchen Herb Garden and Windowsill Tomato Planter hit Target shelves this February 2019. This new distribution into Target stores expands Back to the Roots’ current national availability in retailers such as The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Amazon, Whole Foods Market, as well as online at BacktotheRoots.com.
“Food is so personal, and we’re seeing this huge wave of interest from families wanting to interact and engage with food in new ways they haven’t before – from knowing the story of each ingredient, to growing it themselves,” says Co-founder and Co-CEO, Alejandro Velez. “We’re going to help setup over 1,000,000 new organic gardens in homes and classrooms this year and continue to reach kids through our #GrowOneGiveOne campaign where Back to the Roots donates grow kits and STEM curriculum to US elementary school classrooms.”
“It’s a really exciting time for the company,” continues Co-founder and Co-CEO, Nikhil Arora. “What started off as a college project has grown into a national brand that’s re-connecting millions of families back to where their food comes from. Our whole team is incredibly inspired by the opportunity to help every family and kid experience the magic of growing their own food. As we look to 2019 and beyond, we’re excited to offer Back to the Roots in even more national retailers and make organic gardening accessible to all — no backyard or green thumb needed!”
Back to the Roots Director & Managing Partner at Acre Venture Partners, Lucas Mann adds, “this partnership with Central Garden & Pet will only accelerate Back to the Roots’ innovation pipeline as they help redefine gardening for a new generation. Central has already proven to be a great partner and can meaningfully strengthen Alex and Nikhil’s vision for the category.”