Ellenos, the cult-favorite Greek yogurt brand focused on carefully curated premium ingredients and a proprietary, slow churn process, has received a substantial minority growth investment from Monogram Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm focused on building consumer and retail brands. This partnership will enable Ellenos to expand its distribution, introduce new products, and build on its strong brand awareness as a pioneering leader in the yogurt category. Seattle-based investment bank, Meridian Capital, served as the exclusive financial advisor to Ellenos in the transaction.
Founded in 2013, Ellenos was conceived when Bob and Yvonne Klein convinced Con and Alex Apostolopoulos to port their longstanding family recipe over to the U.S. from Australia. The families joined forces to launch Ellenos in Seattle beginning with a storied retail operation in Pike Place Market and expanding over the past five years into regional natural and conventional grocery stores where it quickly became the fastest selling yogurt in the category. The yogurt is made from the heritage cultures Con and Alex brought over from Australia and is strained and blended over a proprietary five day process that has been a closely held family secret for generations.
By entering into this partnership with Monogram, Ellenos aspires to bring its family recipe to new markets, first in its own backyard in the Pacific Northwest, and then gradually in new markets where retailers have long awaited this disruptive brand’s arrival. Monogram’s investment will support the Founders in expanding their facility, adding additional members to the team, and extending its distribution footprint alongside the introduction of new product innovation.
Ellenos Founder Con Apostolopoulos said, “We created this brand to bring our family recipe to as many passionate fans of the product as we possibly could and sought out a partner that could help us scale while maintaining the authenticity and heritage of each cup. Monogram is the perfect partner to help enable us to extend and grow our reach while preserving the highest quality standards of the product our customers have come to know and love.”
Monogram Capital seeks opportunities to partner with founders and strong management teams of high growth brands to help them become the next generation of brand leaders in their respective categories, so Ellenos was a perfect fit. Monogram Founder & Partner Jared Stein added, “We couldn’t be more excited to be joining forces with the Ellenos family to bring this cult-favorite yogurt to new fans in new markets. The most amazing part of this process has been watching customers try the Ellenos product for the first time as their expectations and associations with yogurt are shattered by a product that is unlike any other in the yogurt case. We feel extremely privileged to partner with the team to help them expand that first taste phenomenon and bring this revolutionary treat to new frontiers.”
Michael Barber , Managing Director of Meridian’s Consumer and Food & Beverage practice said, “We are incredibly proud to be part of the team that is helping Ellenos realize its next stage of growth. Ellenos has the perfect partner in Monogram to help expand its operations while maintaining the premium, amazing quality of its unique product that consumers have come to love in the Pacific Northwest.”
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With early roots in Australia, Ellenos opened first in the Pike Place Market and then moved to a factory and production facility in Georgetown in 2014. Now, with a new production plant in Federal Way that will increase their capacity, the public can expect to find the same clean label focus on better-for-you local, quality ingredients and the creamy crave-able whole milk taste that Ellenos yogurt is known for. Devoted to making real Greek Yogurt, sourced from fresh wholesome milk directly from the local farmer, customers will still find the signature creative flavors they’ve come to love like Marionberry, Lemon Curd, and Passionfruit along with other exciting flavors like mango, pumpkin pie and balsamic pomegranate.
About Monogram Capital Partners
Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA and founded in 2014, Monogram Capital Partners has approximately $200 million in equity capital under management and focuses exclusively on investing in emerging consumer and retail brands. The firm seeks opportunities to partner with founders and strong management teams, typically investing $5-30 million of equity per transaction. The investment into Ellenos represents the firm’s thirteenth investment across nine platform portfolio companies.
About Meridian Capital LLC
Meridian Capital, a Seattle-based investment bank and M&A advisory firm, has served as trusted advisor to business owners on complex corporate finance, M&A and strategic challenges for over 20 years. The firm differentiates itself through its deep industry insights, highly customized service approach, and end-to-end commitment to execution. With a unique combination of financial, transactional and operation professionals on your side, Meridian offers the depth and breadth of experience required to serve leading middle market companies in multiple sectors including consumer, food and beverage, aerospace, manufacturing and technology.
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