SAN FRANCISCO–(–)–NextWorld, LLC, a San Francisco-based investment partnership, announced today it has led an $18.7MM investment in Van Leeuwen Ice Cream (“Van Leeuwen”), via the firm’s consumer focused private equity fund, NextWorld Evergreen, LP.
Van Leeuwen, based in Brooklyn, NY, is a leading artisanal ice cream brand with a cult-like following and a uniquely differentiated product offering. What began in the kitchen of a shared Brooklyn apartment back in 2007, has grown into a mini ice cream empire with stores and trucks in NYC and LA and pints in grocery stores around the country. The Company is currently selling traditional dairy ice cream, cashew based vegan and oat milk based vegan flavors made with just a handful of fresh ingredients sourced from the world’s best artisan producers and farmers. The classic scoops are crafted with nothing more than fresh milk and cream, cane sugar and egg yolks; while the vegan flavors are made with house made oat milk or cashew milk, coconut cream, organic extra virgin coconut oil, cane sugar, pure cocoa butter and carob bean. Both recipes result in a rich, decadent, naturally perfect ice cream.
David Fife, Partner of NextWorld, said, “We are excited to partner with the outstanding management team at Van Leeuwen and believe our evergreen fund, a patient and flexible capital source, will provide the Company with the resources to continue building a strong, iconic brand. We love how the product is made with obsessively sourced ingredients and always free of unnecessary fillers, stabilizers and artificial flavors. The authenticity of the Van Leeuwen brand is something special.” As part of the transaction, David Fife will be joining the Van Leeuwen board.
From Co-founder and CEO, Ben Van Leeuwen, “Thanks to NextWorld’s long-term vision and deep experience in consumer goods, we are excited to start the next chapter in our growth plan. With several new products in the making, strong consumer demand, and a team of experienced professionals, Van Leeuwen is at an inflection point, poised to continue to grow and expand market share in both the wholesale channel as well as with the addition of new scoop shops.”
Van Leeuwen has been in significant growth mode and is now sold through 21 brick and mortar scoop shops in New York and Los Angeles, several trucks for catering and marketing and via wholesale through over 2,000 doors and growing. Andrew Fatch from NextWorld, said, “The branding is iconic, while remaining fresh and modern, with a commitment to deliciousness over trendiness. With the incredible team and phenomenal product, Van Leeuwen is extremely well positioned for continued success with their vegan and dairy ice cream. We are really excited to be a part of the next phase of the Company’s growth.” Van Leeuwen will use the capital to open new scoop shops and expand wholesale distribution.
About NextWorld Evergreen
NextWorld Evergreen is a San Francisco-based private equity firm focused on providing growth capital to the consumer sector. The firm is currently investing out of its flagship $400MM NextWorld Evergreen Fund, LP, a diversified evergreen growth equity fund with a global focus and long-term perspective. The firm invests across the entire consumer ecosystem, including retail, branded products, manufacturing, and business services. Our core verticals include food, beverage, beauty & personal care, as well as health & wellness and we seek to partner with strong industry innovators, pioneers and change agents to build authentic brands with lasting value. For more information, please visit www.nextworldevergreen.com.
About Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream was launched out of a buttery yellow ice cream truck in 2008 by Laura O’Neill and brothers Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen. The trio set out to revive the classic American ice cream truck, using exceptional ingredients and techniques. In just a decade, the beloved Brooklyn-based company has grown to include scoop shops and trucks across NYC and LA and sells pints in over 2000 stores across the country, including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Safeway, Kings, Wegmans, Bristol Farms and more. Their unwavering dedication to quality extends to each and every flavor; made with carefully sourced ingredients from purveyors whose standard for exceptional quality meets their own. In addition to classic ice cream, Van Leeuwen makes an acclaimed vegan ice cream using a proprietary blend of cashew, coconut and cocoa butter, which is every bit as delicious as their classic ice cream. Their latest innovation is Vegan Oat Milk Ice Cream and the 7-flavor line was an instant hit. Favorites in their lineup include Vegan Choc Chip Cookie Dough, Honeycomb, Oat Milk Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl, and Vegan Strawberry Cookie Crumble. For more information please visit www.vanleeuwenicecream.com and follow @vanleeuwenicecream.