Stephen Hughes (Sunrise Strategic Partners) - What Makes a Great Market, When Should a DNVB Hit Retail and the History of the Natural Foods Movement

My guest today is Steve Hughes, founder of Sunrise Strategic Partners. Sunrise Strategic Partners provides growth capital and expertise to emerging brands in the healthy, active and sustainable living space. Some of their investments include Cali’flour foods, Kodiak Cakes, and Maple Hill Creamery. We discuss the current SPAC market, the history of the natural foods movement, and transitioning from a digitally native brand to becoming an omnichannel brand.

Here are the questions I ask him:

  1. What was your initial attraction to the food industry?
  2. Why did you decide to focus on natural / organic foods?
  3. How did you start Boulder Brands?
  4. Did a SPAC in 2005, Boulder Brands
  5. How do you view SPAC market today?
  6. Why did you want to start Strategic Sunrise your own private equity shop?
  7. Diligence process - What is brand authenticity to you?
  8. What is your sweet spot when it comes to sales?
  9. Has to be a big category
  10. How do you think about strategics?
  11. Is there a particular sector your not bullish on that other investors are bullish on?
  12. What's the current landscape for strategics? How has the tide shifted in the past few years?
  13. Where do you fall with profitability vs. growth?
  14. How do assess a company that is built for digital and hasn't gone into store yet?
  15. What were some of your learnings through COVID?
  16. What's one thing you would change about venture capital?
  17. What's one book that inspired you personally and one book that inspired you professionally?

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