UK-based non-profit investment group Veg Capital yesterday announced it has funded 35-year-old vegan bakery Clive’s Purely Plants.
The new funding will be used by Clive’s to expand its range of pies, savoury tarts, quiches and nut roasts and work towards increasing production by 400% to reach £10m sales.
The bakery was established in 1986 by Devonshire foodie Clive Lowe, who started off by selling his signature ‘Creamy Mushroom Pie’ from the back of his bicycle.
With this new development, Veg Capital has become the majority shareholder by buying out existing ones, Sally and Chris Carson, who have been involved with the business over the past 17 years.
Veg Capital was founded by Matthew Glover, a serial entrepreneur with several vegan enterprises to his name, including non-profit Veganuary and vegan chicken brand VFC. The investment group has a focus on companies striving to replace animals in the food system.
In a company statement, Matthew said, “This is such an exciting investment for us. Clive’s offers the best of both worlds – over 30 years of invaluable experience, with all the ambition, scope for growth and enthusiasm of a start-up. This partnership has huge potential to further our mission of replacing animals in the food system, and we’re thrilled to be working together.”
Clive’s Managing Director Esther Pearson will continue to maintain a share in the business, whilst Veg Capital, is going to hold a majority share.
On the development, Esther said, “We’re over the moon to have the backing of Veg Capital. It marks a new era for Clive’s, one where we can continue to expand, innovate, and help shape the future of plant-based eating. We’ll always stay true to who we are, focusing on food that tastes good, and does good.”
Clive’s currently sells to major supermarkets such as Waitrose and Morrisons, food delivery services like Abel & Cole and Ocado as well as numerous independent health food shops up and down the country. They also export to the US, Australia, and Dubai.
Earlier this year, the team at Clive’s launched the UK’s first ever vegan Quiche Lorraine. Whilst this week, it launches its first ever Puff pastry pies, a ‘Beefy Ale Puff Pie’ and ‘Chickeny Puff Pie’, which both feature herby seitan as a meat replacement.
The investment from Veg Capital will enable Clive’s to drive forward their pipeline for new product development.