ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, LP (ACAP), along with Silas Capital and Emil Capital Partners, announced today it is leading a $3 million financing round in Florida-based Vintage Italia. Dedicated to providing capital to companies in food and agribusiness industries, ACAP has selected Vintage Italia – founded by entrepreneur Jerry Bello – as the first company within the snack food category to receive support from the fund.
One of the company’s brand names, Pasta Chips, is a baked alternative to the regular potato chip that uses higher protein grains like farro to increase nutrients. The investment will help the company accelerate its rapid growth, supporting its release of new product lines to large retailers, including Walmart, Costco and Safeway.
“We’re the first in the industry to create the only snack food made from fresh pasta dough,” said Bello, founder and CEO of Vintage Italia. “We created Pasta Chips as a healthier alternative to the bland, overly processed options in the deli section, and we’re dedicated to finding new ways of offering our customers quality, gourmet taste and an elevated snack food product that has greater focus on nutrition.”
Bello, who has co-founded branded food companies Sensible Portions, Brownie Brittle and Mamma Says, created the new Pasta Chip inspired by a traditional Italian dish – baked pasta dough drizzled with olive oil. After a trip to Italy, Bello came up with the concept of using actual fresh pasta pieces to convert into a salty snack line, Pasta Chips.
“Since its introduction to the market in 2013, Pasta Chips has been setting a new standard for products in the better-for-you snack aisle,” said Tyler Mayoras, Principal at Advantage Capital. “Vintage Italia is changing the snack brand marketplace and proving that baked chips can be regionally inspired, healthful and tasty.”
The Florida-based company had then, as it does now, a passion for using the same semolina flour, ancient grains and Italian herbs that have been celebrated for hundreds of years in Italy. The chips come in different seasonings based on favorite regional Italian sauces.
“We created the Rural Business Investment Company as a way to inspire innovation and investment in rural America, and it is encouraging to see it doing just that,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Matching private investors with businesses in rural communities helps companies get the capital they need to grow and create jobs.”
ACAP is a $154.5 million fund that is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC). The fund is a partnership between Advantage Capital and nine Farm Credit organizations, established to bring together resources and people focused on providing more private capital, small business investment and quality jobs to rural America. Farm Credit supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent access to credit and financial services.
About Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, LP (ACAP)
Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, LP (ACAP) is a $154.5 million fund that is licensed as a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which focuses on businesses involved in the production, processing and supply of agricultural products. It is a partnership between Advantage Capital Partners and nine Farm Credit organizations: AgCountry Farm Credit Services (Fargo, N.D.); AgStar Financial Services (Mankato, Minn.); AgriBank (St. Paul, Minn.); Capital Farm Credit (Bryan, Texas); CoBank (Denver, Colo.); Farm Credit Bank of Texas (Austin, Texas); Farm Credit Services of America (Omaha, Neb.); Farm Credit Services of Mid-America (Louisville, Ky.); and United FCS (Willmar, Minn.).
About Farm Credit
Farm Credit supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services, today and tomorrow. Farm Credit has been fulfilling its mission of helping these areas grow and thrive for a century by providing farmers, ranchers and others in rural America with the capital they need to make their businesses successful and by financing vital infrastructure and communication services. Because a steady flow of capital means more jobs and economic growth, Farm Credit is able to invest in the vibrancy of communities throughout rural America. For more information about Farm Credit, please visit www.farmcreditnetwork.com.
About Vintage Italia
Borne out of the hills of Tuscany, Pasta Chips were inspired by Italy’s gently baked fresh pasta, often drizzled with olive oil and served up in traditional osterias. Vintage Italia was the first to recreate this rich, traditional food in Pasta Chips, which are made with premium semolina flour, ancient grains and Italian herbs that have been celebrated for over 800 years. Whether straight from the bag, dipped or dressed and served, they are a great source of protein, cholesterol-free and contain 60 percent less fat than potato chips and 20 percent less fat than pita chips. In five flavors inspired by the sauces and tastes of Italy – Marinara, Alfredo, Spicy Tomato Basil, Garlic Olive Oil and Mediterranean Sea Salt – Pasta Chips are available at major retailers across the nation. For more information about Vintage Italia, please visit www.pastachips.com.
Advantage Capital is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. The information in this release is not intended to be an advertisement concerning investment advisory services or an offer to buy or sell securities of any type. Only accredited investors within the meaning of Regulation D under the Securities Act of 1933 (Reg. D) will be permitted to review offering materials or subscribe for interests in private funds referenced in documents prepared by Advantage Capital. In order to qualify as accredited investors, individuals and institutions must provide certain information and satisfy the criteria of Rule 506(c) under Reg. D. Advantage Capital has not admitted any new investors to Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners since the fund closed in 2014 and has no intent to open the fund to new investors during the life of the fund. Advantage Capital is an equal opportunity provider.