Taste Radio Insider Episode 15

How To Win Over Venture Capitalists

+ Larry Kahn, Beechwood Capital


Larry Kahn, a partner and managing director with private equity and venture capital firm Beechwood Capital, is not a fan of surprises.

In his five years with Beechwood, Kahn has invested in a variety of entrepreneurial companies, including baby food brand Once Upon a Farm, chickpea pasta company Banza and fresh, organic food maker Urban Remedy. In an interview included in this episode, he stated that forthrightness about both successes and failures has been critical to Beechwood’s relationships with the companies.

“Surprises are the worst part of a relationship as you move forward,” he said in an interview included in this episode. “Being honest and upfront about what those challenges are… will bring you closer together.”

As part of our conversation, Kahn outlined Beechwood’s investment thesis and discussed how his previous job experience as an advertising executive and with his family’s company, appliance manufacturer The Holmes Group, have helped shape his perspective as an investor. He also spoke about the courtship process between brands and potential capital partners, and what entrepreneurs should and shouldn’t say in a funding pitch.

Also in this episode: a review of recent beverage investment and acquisition deals involving Tio Gazpacho, Revive Kombucha and Dirty Lemon.

In this Episode

1:32: Tee-ing Up The Show — The hosts thank listeners who’ve rated/reviewed Taste Radio Insider on iTunes and encourage others to do the same. They also riffed on Ray’s recent visit to Allium Market, a specialty food store in Brookline, Mass. that carries a wide variety of small production foods and beverages from across the country, including FilFil, a maker of gourmet garlic condiments and The Urban Canning Company, which makes artisanal pickled products like its Sriracha Peppered Okra. They also discussed an interview with Ripple Foods/Method Products co-founder Adam Lowry in Ep. 140 of the flagship Taste Radio podcast.
12:07: Interview: Larry Kahn, Partner/Managing Director, Beechwood Capital — A private equity and venture capital firm based in Wellesley, Mass. Beechwood describes itself as focused on disruptive, differentiated businesses. The firm holds stakes in a number of fast-growing brands, including Once Upon a Farm, Banza, Urban Remedy and Foodstirs (Listeners may recall interviews with the founders and CEOs of the latter three companies featured in Eps. 120, and 97 and 110 of the flagship Taste Radio podcast). In an interview with NOSH editor Carol Ortenberg, Kahn discussed his background as an venture capitalist and Beechwood’s portfolio and shared his perspective on what makes for a successful relationship between entrepreneurs and investors.
29:31: Breaking Down Recent Beverage Investment Deals — In 2017 Beechwood Capital invested in Revive Kombucha as part of the company’s Series B round of funding. On Dec. 20, Revive announced that Peet’s Coffee, had acquired a majority stake in the kombucha brand and in doing so, bought out Beechwood’s shares. BevNET’s Martin Caballero and Brad Avery discussed that deal along with other recent investment/acquisition news involving Tio Gazpacho and Dirty Lemon.

Also Mentioned

Once Upon a Farm, Banza, Foodstirs, Urban Remedy, Revive Kombucha, Tio Gazpacho, Zupa Noma, Simply Soupreme, Dirty Lemon, Coca-Cola