California-based vegan brand Parmela Creamery recently secured $1.25 million in seed funding led by investment firms 25Madison and Gather Ventures. Founded in 2014, the brand creates craft vegan cheeses using traditional techniques such as culturing and aging its cashew bases. “25Madison and Gather Ventures are a perfect match for Parmela,” Ry Salomone, co-founder of Parmela, said. “Their deep knowledge in the food space, serious appreciation for innovative plant-based foods, and extensive industry network greatly impressed me. Our vision at Parmela is to honor the heritage of traditional cheese making while supporting a healthier, sustainable future. These visionary partners offer the operating experience and deep connections to help deliver on this vision at scale.” Parmela currently offers 14 products, including shreds, slices, blocks, spreads, and nacho varieties, and previewed upcoming vegan ravioli during trade show Natural Products Expo West in March. In addition to Parmela, 25Madison’s current investment portfolio is comprised of eight other companies, including meat brand The Great American Turkey Co. “The plant-based foods industry is seeing tremendous growth,” 25Madison CEO Steven Price said. “Parmela will be a national leader in the plant-based cheese category by continuing to focus on its craft process, superior ingredients, and sustainability.” Parmela’s most direct competitor in the $169 million vegan cheese category is Miyoko’s Kitchen—which raised $6 million in capital in 2017 to expand its product lines, distribution channels, and for the completion of a new manufacturing facility in Petaluma, CA.
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