St. Louis-based Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners is investing $8 million in Rustic Crust Inc.
Rustic Crust, based in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, offers all-natural and organic products, including ready-made pizza crusts, sauces and pizza kits, as well as its American Flatbread branded frozen pizzas. American Flatbread frozen pizza was rated the best-tasting frozen cheese pizza in 2017 by Consumer Reports.
Whipstitch Capital, a Maine-based investment banking firm, advised Advantage Capital on the deal.
With the investment, Rustic Crust looks to expand its brand and strengthen operations.
According to the Organic Trade Association, organic sales in the U.S. totaled a new record of $49.4 billion in 2017, up 6.4 percent from the previous year and reflecting new sales of nearly $3.5 billion.
“Rustic Crust has demonstrated a resounding and unwavering commitment to its community, from its total rebuild after a devastating fire in 2014 to the operation of its second facility in town. The company’s employment has increased by nearly 40% in three years and expansion plans are set to drive positive economic impact for the area,” Keith Freeman, principal at Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, said.
Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners is a $154.5 million investment fund that focuses on businesses involved in production, processing and supply of food and agricultural products. It is a partnership between Advantage Capital and eight Farm Credit organizations.