Sustainable single-serve manufacturer Smile Beverage Werks has secured US$3.2 million in seed funding for its commercially compostable BPI-certified coffee pod.
These compostable pods can be thrown directly into a compost bin, removing the need to separate and clean the capsule, coffee, and lid to make it recyclable. No rinsing is also needed to prep the pods either which also helps with water conservation, says Smile Beverage Werks.
Excess bagging has been eliminated, adding the brand’s goal to “empower consumers and businesses to easily go green”.
The funding was led by Dennis H Chookaszian, Businessman and Former Chairperson and CEO of CNA Insurance, along with Fran Rathke, Paul Comey, and Stephen J Sabol, coffee pod experts from Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP).
Rathke was CFO and Treasurer of KDP from 2003 to 2015 and went from Strategic Advisor to KDP’s CEO in 2015. Comey was Vice President of Environmental Affairs and Sabol was 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 US$3.2 million, but to also be backed by industry magnates in our first seed round is extremely exciting,” says Michael Sands, Co-Founder and CEO of Smile Beverage Werks. “Their decades of experience in the field will provide invaluable expertise and guidance to our company.”
The company says they will use this funding for research and development, purchasing of filling equipment, and maintaining working capital for growth.
“We created Smile Beverage Werks with one goal in mind: to enjoy great-tasting coffee and everyday convenience without burdening the environment,” says Sands.
“Our pods offer a simple, convenient alternative that is not so intimidating to the average consumer that wants to minimise their carbon footprint.”
The company sources all its coffee beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and says its pods are manufactured using energy generated from wind, solar, or hydropower farms.
“Our cartons are made from recycled materials, our supply chain is certified climate neutral by ClimatePartner, and our products are certified USDA Biobased Products and certified commercially compostable by BPI,” Smile Coffee Werks says. “We’re very proud of our mission to make going green as easy as drinking a delicious cup of coffee.”
Smile Beverage Werks house brand Smile Coffee Werks can be bought online at Walmart, Amazon, or www.smilecoffeewerks.com