BOULDER, Colo. (PRNewswire) — Sunrise Strategic Partners, a Boulder, Colorado-based accelerator of emerging brands co-founded by Steve Hughes and Trilantic North America, last week announced a minority investment in Vital Farms, the largest national provider of pasture-raised and ethically produced eggs. This is the seventh investment by Sunrise since it launched in 2016, and the fourth investment in grass-fed and humanely treated animal products.
Matthew O'Hayer founded Vital Farms in 2007 with 20 hens and a mission to give his egg-producing chickens a better life. Since then, Vital Farms has made it possible for chickens to live on farms and have full access to green pastures, fresh air and a diet of grass, bugs and all of the things they naturally like to forage for outdoors.
"Vital Farms began pasture-raising eggs with a mission to bring ethical food to the table. We believe that raising healthy, happy birds outside on fresh pastures also produces the most nutritious and flavorful eggs," said Matt O'Hayer, Vital Farms Founder and CEO. "Sunrise will help us grow our operations and let more people enjoy our eggs. We share passion and experience and are excited to partner with Steve, his team and their like-minded mission-driven brands."
Vital Farms set the standard for the welfare of egg-laying hens with a more humane and ethical approach to farming with "pasture raising." Unlike cage-free hens that remain inside crowded industrial barns and free-range hens which may receive as little as two square feet of space, a Vital Farms pasture-raised hen has 108 square feet of unrestricted outdoor access, dramatically improving the environment for the hen and the quality of the egg. Vital Farms' approach to a holistic system of farming incorporates sustainable practices that improve environmental, economic and social ecosystems not only for farm animals, but for everyone involved.
"As a result of Matt's vision and perseverance, Vital Farms created the category of 'pasture raised' and has established the first-ever scalable and sustainable pastured farming model with over 100 independent family farms," said Steve Hughes, Sunrise Strategic Partners Co-Founder and CEO. "As evidenced by our four investments in market leading grass-fed, pasture-raised companies, Sunrise is a big believer that this major trend is here to stay. We believe that once the consumer understands the difference pasture-raised eggs provides they will switch to Vital Farms and never look back."
The investment from Sunrise will allow Vital Farms to continue to support the brand's network of family farmers and to invest in infrastructure to help bring the best eggs to more consumers at an affordable price point. This marks the seventh investment for Sunrise, a brand accelerator that provides growth capital and expertise to early stage health and wellness brands to support their development, add strategic value and share guidance on tactical priorities.
About Vital Farms
Vital Farms offers Certified Humane® pasture-raised eggs that set the standard for taste and nutrition while also promoting the welfare of happy, healthy hens. Started in Austin, Texas, in 2007 with 20 hens, Vital Farms now partners with over 100 independent, family-owned farms in six states across the United States. It is the only national supplier of pasture-raised eggs in the country. Vital Farms eggs are sold in grocery stores nationwide. In 2012, Vital Farms was listed by Inc. magazine as the country's fastest growing food company. For more information on Vital Farms, please visit www.VitalFarms.com.