San Francisco Equity Partners

San Francisco Equity Partners
Investors and growth partners to exceptional consumer companies

San Francisco Equity Partners is a private equity firm focused exclusively on partnering with growth-oriented companies in the consumer sector.

We look for differentiated businesses seeking not only financial capital but also a hands-on, relationship-driven investment partner who will be closely involved in the process of building value. To each of our partner companies, we serve as an extension of the management team and provide both extensive operating experience and a broad network of relationships across the consumer products landscape.

We work proactively with founders and management teams to develop the strategy, organization and infrastructure necessary to drive sustainable and profitable growth. We understand the rapidly changing retail environment and value chain in which our partner companies operate and work closely with each of them to strengthen product offerings, build awareness, grow distribution and professionalize operations.

Most importantly, we have experience scaling companies while maintaining brand authenticity and preserving entrepreneurial culture. We believe that our highly focused and active approach to partnership leads to optimal outcomes for all stakeholders.

Investment Criteria

Revenue Ebitda Equity Investments
Up to $100 million Up to $10 million $10–$30+ million
Control or Minority investments
Revenue
Up to $100 million
Ebitda
Up to $10 million
Equity Investments
$10–$30+ million
Control or Minority investments

Target Categories

  • Apparel
  • Beauty & Personal Care
  • Food & Beverage
  • Health & Wellness
  • Household
  • Outdoor & Recreation
  • Pet Care
  • Specialty Manufacturing

Partner Companies

Brazi Bites

Brazi Bites is a provider of better-for-you Latin American-inspired frozen foods.

The company’s initial product offering of Brazilian-style cheese bread was born in the kitchen of a husband and wife team using a traditional family recipe for Pão de Queijo, a staple Brazilian snack that is wildly popular throughout South America. The company’s products are naturally gluten-free and made with only high-quality, simple ingredients.

The Brazi Bites brand has grown rapidly as consumers have continued to demonstrate more interest in authentic, ethnic, clean label frozen food offerings that are both convenient and delicious. The company’s product line is available at leading food retailers such as Costco, Whole Foods, Kroger, Safeway and Publix.

Website: brazibites.com

San Francisco Equity Partners is the ideal partner for Brazi Bites based on their experience guiding authentic consumer brands to a broader audience.

Junea Rocha, Co-Founder and CMO

BruMate

BrüMate is the leading direct-to-consumer (DTC) provider of insulated drinkware for adult beverages.

Founded in 2016 by Dylan Jacob, BrüMate has built a cult-like following of its growing line of insulated drinkware for adult beverages, including wine tumblers, wine canteens, can and bottle coolers, barware, and most recently coolers. BrüMate is continually enhancing the perfect drinking experience for consumers through its innovative products.

BrüMate was named #14 on the 2020 Inc. Magazine 500 list of the fastest growing companies in America.

Website: brumate.com

In taking on a capital partner for the first time, it was important for us to partner with a firm like SFEP with a proven history of scaling iconic consumer brands and executing strategic retail programs.

Dylan Jacob, Founder

ICU Eyewear

ICU Eyewear is a leading designer and marketer of reading glasses, sunglasses and specialty eyewear. The company’s brands are sold throughout the U.S. in the food, drug, mass and specialty retail channels, at retailers such as Target, Whole Foods and Office Depot.

ICU has revolutionized the reading glasses industry with fun styles, bright colors and unique designs offered at affordable prices for the everyday consumer. The company’s products emphasize both fashion and quality and offer a wide range of alternatives to traditional reading glasses for every occasion. The ICU brand is one of the best-known brands of fashion reading eyewear in the U.S. and has received Oprah Magazine’s “O" pick multiple times.

The company also provides Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for use in various end markets, including medical, manufacturing, food processing, retail and hospitality through its ICU Health division. ICU Health supplies PPE for consumer use through its retail and online partners.

Website: icueyewear.com and icuhealth.com

SFEP has been with us every step of the way as a value-added partner. They know what it takes to unlock the potential of a high-growth consumer business.

Kirk Hobbs, CEO

Jane Iredale

jane iredale is the leading makeup brand serving the U.S. professional channel, including licensed aestheticians, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and professional spas and salons, and the company’s products are also sold online, in specialty retail stores, and in over 50 countries worldwide.

Since inception nearly 25 years ago, jane iredale has developed products with a commitment to using only clean ingredients, including high-quality minerals, organic botanicals and other natural inputs that benefit the skin. The company’s products are free of synthetic preservatives and other chemicals yet deliver superior and long-lasting aesthetic performance with proven skincare benefits.

Website: janeiredale.com

To take the company to the next level, I knew we needed a partner with a proven track record in beauty who would be a good steward to our brand and company. Based on their experience working with leading authentic natural brands, SFEP is the ideal partner to guide us through the next phase.

Jane Iredale, Founder

Japonesque

Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Japonesque is a unique beauty platform whose mission is to inspire consumers to ‘Create Beauty’ by delivering products of superior performance and design at attractive mass price points.

An exceptional player in the industry, Japonesque’s capabilities include creating, developing and marketing a broad range of differentiated brands, including the highly regarded JAPONESQUE brand and authentic retailer Partner Brands.

The company’s proficiencies span a wide array of beauty categories, including implements and accessories, makeup brushes and sponges, and color cosmetics. A valued partner to blue-chip national retailers such as CVS, Target and Walmart, Japonesque manages multiple brands across more than 23,000 doors in North America.

SFEP exited Japonesque through a sale to a financial sponsor.

Website: japonesque.com

We were seeking a partner to help Japonesque fully capitalize on the recent expansion of our distribution channels and the increasing demand for our beauty program.

Karen McKay, President

Method Products

Method Products is a homecare company that was formed with the goal of transforming the household cleaner from a toxic object that hides under the sink, to an all-natural, biodegradable, and stylish countertop accessory. Through design, fragrance, and wit, the company elevates mundane household goods to objects that provide consumers with sensory and aesthetic pleasure.

The company’s product line started with all-purpose cleaners and rapidly expanded to include kitchen soaps, specialty cleaners and wipes, hand and body personal care items, laundry detergents, and air care.

Method has products available at national and regional outlets, including Target, Lowe’s, Whole Foods, and Safeway, as well as leading global retailers Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose, and others.

SFEP exited Method through a sale to a strategic aquirer.

Website: methodhome.com

SFEP’s strategic relationships and insights were extraordinarily helpful to us as we grew our company and brand across retailers and geographies.

Eric Ryan, Co-Founder

Red Monkey Foods

Red Monkey Foods is a leading provider of premium organic spices, seasonings, salt products and other natural dry food products.

Operating out of multiple state-of-the-art facilities in Springfield, Missouri, the company manages gourmet store brand programs for many of the nation’s largest food, mass and specialty retailers. The company’s unique approach to premium store brand management is enabled by a global organic supply chain, strong product development capabilities and data-driven category management expertise.

Red Monkey Foods is at the intersection of two strong trends in the food industry: the rise of premium store brand programs and the continued growth of organic products in numerous categories.

Website: redmonkeyfoods.com

Given their outstanding track record with category leading natural brands, coupled with their experience with multiple premium store-brand businesses, SFEP is the ideal partner for us at this key juncture in our company’s expansion.

Scott Bolonda, CEO

San Francisco Salt Company

San Francisco Salt Company is a specialty salt provider that distributes its products through multiple channels to both the gourmet and personal care end markets. The company’s product portfolio includes two distinct brands.

San Francisco Salt Company: Flagship brand of natural culinary sea salts from a variety of origins in unique flavors and distinctive packaging.

Epsoak: Bath salt brand delivering targeted benefits to the consumer including muscle recovery, stress relief, sleep health and detoxification.

San Francisco Salt Company operates as a subsidiary of SFEP partner company Red Monkey Foods.

Website: sfsalt.com and epsoak.com

SFEP and Red Monkey Foods are the ideal platform to take our brands to the next level.

Lee Williamson, Founder

Yes To

Yes To develops innovative, natural, fun, and efficacious beauty and personal care products that are free of all the “nasties” and filled with all the “goodies.” Yes To has grown to become the leading natural facial care brand in the US with a growing global footprint. The brand’s irreverent and inspirational voice uniquely speaks to the Millenial and Gen Z consumer.

Yes To products are distributed at leading global retailers, including Target, Walmart, Ulta, Walgreens, CVS, Boots, Tesco, and Amazon.

Website: yesto.com

In seeking a financial partner, we were fortunate to have many attractive options. SFEP became the obvious choice given their proven track record of working with high growth consumer brands.

Ido Leffler, Co-Founder

Investment Team

Scott Potter

Managing Partner
spotter@sfequitypartners.com

Scott is the Managing Partner of San Francisco Equity Partners and oversees all aspects of SFEP’s investment strategy.

Scott currently serves as Chairman of Yes To, Red Monkey Foods, and Jane Iredale and serves on the board of directors of Brazi Bites and ICU Eyewear. Scott previously served on the boards of directors of Method Products, Japonesque, and Rave Motion Pictures, among other private and public companies.

Prior to founding SFEP, Scott oversaw the U.S. private equity portfolio for a large European family office and held senior operating roles (including CEO) at two private equity-backed consumer growth companies. Scott began his career as a corporate finance attorney in Silicon Valley.

Scott holds a JD from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and a BA from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a member of Cal’s Division I soccer team.

David Mannix

Partner
dmannix@sfequitypartners.com

David is a Partner at San Francisco Equity Partners and is involved in all aspects of SFEP’s investment strategy and operations.

David currently serves as Chairman of Brazi Bites and serves on the board of directors of Jane Iredale, Red Monkey Foods and Yes To.

Prior to joining SFEP, David was an investment professional at Castanea Partners, a consumer focused private equity firm. David began his career as an investment banker with RBC Capital Markets, where he focused on advising consumer companies on mergers, acquisitions and public financings.

David has been involved in multiple education and conservation non-profit organizations including Junior Achievement, the First Tee and the Wildlife Conservation Society. He earned an MBA with Honors from the University of California at Berkeley and a BA in Economics from Stanford University.

Chris Sargent

Vice President
csargent@sfequitypartners.com

Chris is a Vice President at San Francisco Equity Partners and focuses on sourcing new investment opportunities, due diligence, deal execution, and working with SFEP’s portfolio companies on operational initiatives.

Chris currently serves on the board of directors of Jane Iredale.

Prior to joining SFEP, Chris had a 10-year career at Sawaya Partners, a New York based investment bank focused exclusively on the consumer products sector, where he focused on M&A transactions in the personal care and beauty, consumer health and wellness, household products and food and beverage sectors.

Chris earned his B.A. from Columbia University.

Todd Jones

Senior Associate
tjones@sfequitypartners.com

Todd is a Senior Associate at San Francisco Equity Partners and focuses on due diligence, deal execution, and working with SFEP’s portfolio companies on operational initiatives.

Prior to joining SFEP, Todd was with the commercial lending group at J.P. Morgan Chase focusing on middle-market businesses. Before J.P. Morgan Chase, Todd helped lead Sponsor Finance coverage at Avidbank where he executed debt financing for private equity led acquisitions, dividends, and recapitalizations.

Todd earned his B.S. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. Todd also serves as an Executive Mentor to the Orfalea College of Business.

Andrew Poley

Senior Associate
apoley@sfequitypartners.com

Andrew is a Senior Associate at San Francisco Equity Partners and focuses on due diligence, deal execution, and working with SFEP’s portfolio companies on operational initiatives.

Prior to joining SFEP, Andrew was an Analyst in the Consumer & Retail Investment Banking Group at Piper Jaffray, where he focused on advising consumer companies on mergers, acquisitions and public financings.

Andrew earned a BA in Mathematical Economics from Colgate University.

Mary Kayser

CFO and CCO
mkayser@sfequitypartners.com

Mary is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer at San Francisco Equity Partners and oversees all aspects of SFEP’s finance and operations.

Prior to joining SFEP, Mary was the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer for over 10 years at VMG Partners, a consumer focused private equity firm. Prior to VMG, Mary held various roles within privately and publicly held companies with a focus on finance, accounting, tax, partnership structures, administration, acquisitions and related integration. Mary started her career as a Manager at Deloitte in their San Francisco audit practice.

Mary is a Certified Public Accountant (active), a member of various professional organizations and actively volunteers at the San Francisco – Marin Food Bank and the San Francisco Fine Arts Museum. She received her B.S. in Accounting from the University of Southern California.

Samantha Kanak

Executive Assistant & Office Manager
skanak@sfequitypartners.com

Samantha Kanak is the Executive Assistant and Office Manager at San Francisco Equity Partners and oversees the day-to-day administrative and office operations of the firm.

Prior to joining SFEP, Samantha was the Member Relations Manager at three sister wineries in Sonoma where she focused on overall business operations, logistics and customer service. Prior to her work in the wine industry, Samantha worked at a private non-profit pacific salmon hatchery where she focused on the enrichment of the local salmon population and overall logistics of the non-profit.

Samantha earned a BS in Ecology and Field Biology from St. Cloud State University.

Operating Partners

Moiz Ali

Digitally Native Brands

Moiz Ali is an accomplished, entrepreneurial consumer products veteran with experience in founding and leading consumer brands. Moiz was the CEO and founder of Native, the first fully natural, direct-to-consumer deodorant company, and grew the brand to over $100 million in sales and successfully sold a majority stake to P&G. Moiz also co-founded Caskers, an e-commerce company focused on craft spirits, and negotiated its sale in 2013. He is also an accomplished investor and mentor, advising and investing in prominent consumer companies such as AirBNB, Sir Kensington’s, Ancient Nutrition, Pinterest and several others. Moiz began his career at the law firm Simon Thatcher & Bartlett, LLP. Moiz holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA from the University of Florida.

Scott Bolonda

Food Industry

Scott Bolonda is an accomplished food industry executive with more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, and general management with leading branded consumer companies including Nestle, Unilever, JM Smucker and McCormick and Company. During his time at McCormick, he was President of Zatarain’s, the leading brand of New Orleans style cuisine and served as US VP of Sales and Marketing.

He has worked with leading middle market private equity firms and is currently the CEO of Red Monkey Foods, a portfolio company of San Francisco Equity Partners.

Scott earned his Bachelors and Master’s degrees from Cornell University.

Maggie Carey

Personal Care/
Home Care
Adult Beverage

Sara (Maggie) Carey is the CEO of Yes To, a leading natural personal care brand and an SFEP portfolio company.

Maggie is a veteran of the consumer products industry, having served in various leadership roles in sales, marketing and strategy. Prior to joining Yes To, Maggie built and led the first ever global marketing team at Molson Coors, serving as a Global Vice President of Brands, Insights and Consumer Excellence. Prior to Molson, Maggie had an 18-year career at SC Johnson where her tenure included serving as General Manager of natural homecare company Caldrea (Caldrea and Mrs. Meyers brands). Maggie graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Business Management and Marketing.

Richard T. Conti

General CPG

Richard T. Conti is an experienced consumer products veteran with strong sales, marketing and executive leadership credentials. Rich currently serves as CEO of Japonesque and Chairman of ICU Eyewear. Prior to that, Rich served as the President and Chief Operating Officer at S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. He has also served as Chief Executive Officer of other private-equity backed businesses in the consumer sector, before which he spent over 20 years at The Clorox Co., where he assumed various roles and ultimately became Group Vice President, responsible for half of Clorox’s operating units. Rich began his career with Procter & Gamble. He is a graduate of Colgate University and the PMD program at Harvard Business School.

Mike Guanella

Food Industry

Mike Guanella is the of CEO of Brazi Bites, makers of Latin-inspired frozen snacks. Mike is a 15-year veteran of the food industry with leadership roles in general management, sales and marketing. Prior to joining Brazi Bites, Mike was President of Justin’s, a leader in natural nut spreads and confections based in Boulder, Colorado. Immediately before joining Justin’s, Mike led the Skippy Peanut Butter brand since its acquisition by Hormel Foods. While at Skippy, Mike led the brand integration as well as award-winning product innovation. As a marketer with Hormel, Mike was also engaged in multiple M&A efforts within the Grocery Products division. Mike holds an MBA from Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and BA in International Relations from Carleton College.

Jordan Lamberg

Beauty/Personal Care Manufacturing
Supply Chain

Jordan Lamberg is an Operations expert with 12 years’ experience in the Personal Care and Cosmetic industries. Jordan currently works at Benefit Cosmetics where he leads the Quality Assurance and Process Engineering departments and is responsible for the technical execution of all new launches. Prior to Benefit, Jordan worked as a Process Engineer at Kolmar Laboratories where he industrialized color cosmetic and skincare products for dozens of retail companies. Jordan earned a BS in Biology from the University of Miami.

Michael Larrain

Beauty
Health & Wellness

Michael Larrain is a highly experienced consumer products executive with over 20 years of experience in the health and wellness, beauty, and skincare industries. Michael has experience both in public companies as well as private equity-backed brands and currently serve on the board of directors of SFEP partner company Jane Iredale . Most recently, he was the CEO of PCA Skin, during which the Company tripled in size while he led the brand through its acquisition by Colgate-Palmolive in 2018. Prior to PCA Skin, Michael was the President of L’Oreal’s Active Cosmetics Division where he managed four separate beauty brands. Michael earned his BS in Business Management from California State University, Fullerton.

Chris Payne

Beauty
Personal Care

Chris Payne is a 20-year veteran of the beauty industry who currently serves as the CEO of Jane Iredale, the leading makeup brand in the professional channel. Prior to joining Jane Iredale, Chris was the CMO of PCA Skin, a leader in the professional skincare market, where he helped guide the company through transformational growth and the ultimate sale to Colgate-Palmolive in 2018. Prior to PCA Skin, Chris was the SVP of Global Marketing for Arcade Beauty, the VP of Marketing at Clarisonic, and served in various senior marketing roles at L’Oreal. Chris earned his BA from the University of Michigan.

Contact Us

San Francisco Equity Partners

50 California Street, Suite 1320
San Francisco, CA 94111
  • T: 415.738.1200
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Please submit your inquiries to:
info@sfequitypartners.com