Hey, everyone. Welcome back to Investors Scene. I’m Jeremy Szafron. Today on the show, we’re going to be talking about the plant-based revolution. It’s an industry that’s estimated to be worth $35 billion by the year 2040. That according to some conservative reports. Today on the show we have a freshly traded company on the CSE called Boosh Plant-Based Brands. That’s a very interesting company. It’s about comfort vegan food, that wants to introduce more plant based diets to regular people such as you or me. The CEO of that company, Jim Pakula, joins us now. Jim, thanks for being on the show.
– Thank you, Jeremy.
– Now let’s talk a little bit about Boosh. I understand that it’s a homegrown story out of Canada, in some quite impressive grassroots.
– Yeah, it really is. The founder of Boosh is Connie Marples, who’s a seasoned executive and entrepreneur, with an emphasis on the food and beverage industry as well as sales and marketing. Connie’s been winning awards for over 20 years. And in 2003, she created a successful Bistro Wine Bar in Vancouver, and won the coveted position of being on the list of Conde Nast Traveler’s Best Restaurant in the world award.
Fast-forward, in the last two years, Connie’s won numerous awards for Boosh, including finalists for product of the year, local innovation award, and rising star award. So she’s done a phenomenal job, taking it from literally a few stores in the greater Vancouver area to going to be in or are in 375 stores throughout all of Canada.
– Yeah, It’s a fascinating time, because as we see by new studies, there’s a ton of meat eaters out there that just want an opportunity to incorporate some of these foods, more plant-based environmentally foods, into their diet. It seems like this could be an interesting conduit to that.
– Exactly, Jeremy. Boosh was developed for those looking to introduce more plant-based meals into their diets. The majority of our customers are not vegan or vegetarian. What you call flexitarian.
So one of the biggest reasons people, we believe, refrain from eating plant-based meals, is they don’t know where to start. And we at Boosh try to make it easy for them. As an example, our six frozen lines right now, at the grocery store. By mid to end of July, we’ll have three refrigerated lines, including our mushroom gravy, sloppy joe, and chili. And we anticipate by the end of the year to have some shelf-stable lines out there, to make it, again, easier for the consumer to go towards a plant-based diet.
While most plant-based food companies make meal components like meat and cheese alternatives, we make composed dishes. So all you need to do is heat and eat. Our goal is to be the plant-based meal which is 100% trusted by the consumer. And our mission is to make plant-based eating more accessible for everybody, and enjoyable because of the tons of flavor that Boosh offers.
– Yeah, it’s impressive. And massive runway here. Now, we’re talking about a new financing, obviously, with the IPO happening, which means– I’m just reading there’s a new facility as well. So, what’s the plan here? What’s the plan to scale up?
– The new facility is 8,500 square feet. It’s a multi facility. One of the primary reasons we got this facility is because of the multiple kitchens we can create. We can create our own testing kitchen with our chefs, and our engineers, and our scientists, as well as Connie overseeing it all. And then we have the studio kitchens in which we’ll be able to invite a lot of the smaller local plant-based companies that are starting to sprout up that admire Connie for what she has done so far. We’ll be able to bring them in, and do some podcasts with them.
– Let’s talk about new studio space. Because it’s almost an incubator. We know that this is not a new industry, but there are many smaller companies out there that are really successful. They taste great. I know that you just picked up a vegan cheese. So this seems to be some type of an acquisition strategy?
– Yeah, there sure is. We’d like to grow organically. And we’d like to grow through acquisitions. We have a multipronged strategy. One is through organic growth. As we just referenced, we will be in 375 stores by the summer. The second prong is growing through acquisitions. We acquired a wonderful vegan cheese plant-based company a couple of months ago. And that actually saved us about six months of time in the kitchen figuring out how to do the plant-based cheese. So it saved us time, plus, and more importantly, the individual that created a plant-based cheese is very creative, works hand in hand with Connie. So we anticipate a lot of wonderful things coming out of the kitchen because of this acquisition.
– Let’s talk about the lay of the land here. What are some of the short-term goals we can come to expect?
– Well, first and foremost, we’re having a heavy emphasis on increasing our sales department. We were able to get into 375 stores, or will be in 375 stores by the summertime. And that’s through Connie and a top-tier sales food broker that she brought in. We’d like to increase our sales division significantly. There’s roughly 15,000 grocery stores throughout Canada. There’s no reason we can’t get into a significant body of those grocery stores.
– It’s an exciting time for the company. Coming off of this IPO, you look to some of the comparables in this space, and your evaluation is much less. In fact, some of the comparables are valued at 10 times more. So it seems as though it might be an exciting entry point here.
– Yeah, the numbers speak for themselves. As you just referenced, the nearest competitor has a 10 multiple valuation over our roughly seven million valuation.
The other thing we’re real proud about is regards to the conservative capital structure that we created. Post-IPO where it’s about just north of 15 million shares outstanding. And, with combining the relatively small, private financing we did for Boosh, as well as the IPO, we have roughly 1,100 shareholders already. So we’re really happy with these numbers.
– What an exciting time. I know that there’s lots in the works, including the fact that Boosh is going to be available at Whole Foods, which is just down the street from me. So I’m excited about that. Thanks for your time, Jim. I appreciate you. If more developments come, please come on the show.
– Absolutely. Thank you for having me, Jeremy.