Plant meat barbeque? NC startup Barvecue’s recipe lands investors, $780,000

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CORNELIUS – A North Carolina plant meat startup called Barvecue has raised roughly $780,000 in debt and options, according to a recent securities filing.

Three investors contributed to the round, which is capped at $2 million.

Founded in 2017 by Lee Cooper and Zack Werner, the Cornelius-based firm is focused on creating a “plant-based, modern take” on traditional southern food.

Among its products: Barvecue Pulled BVQ (with sauce) and Barvecue Naked Pulled BVQ (without sauce).

It’s all part of a growing trend. As consumers become more concerned about their health and look for alternatives to meat, plant-based products are on the rise. New data shows that total plant-based retail sales reached $5 billion and grew 11 percent over the past year—almost five times faster than total U.S. retail food sales, according to the The Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association.

According to Barvecue’s website, Cooper is an NC State University grad and co-founder of Valworx, a manufacturer and distributor of actuated valves and controls. He has also been a vegetarian for 30 years, and currently serves as the company’s chief executive officer.

Warner is listed as a founding partner and is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of Michigan. He has held positions in quality, research and development, and food Technology in Chicago and New York. He currently lives in Concord, North Carolina and serves as Barvecue’s chief operating officer.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire