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.
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.”
Ellenos Founder Con Apostolopoulos said, “We couldn’t be happier with the great union that was formed because Meridian deeply understood our needs and goals. As a food manufacturer with a premium brand and product, it was important for us to find a financial partner that was an expert in the field, and that would resonate with our business and more importantly, our culture. Meridian intuitively understood our mission from the start. And now, we couldn’t be happier with the way this all turned out.”
Ellenos Co-Founder Bob Klein said, “We have been doing it all, as many business owners do. With Meridian we were able to hand off our finance strategy to a group that truly knows the consumer market through over two decades of experience. Thanks to Meridian and their foresight into what we needed, we now can focus on growth initiatives like creating new flavors, exploring new products and taking this business into new markets and beyond.”
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.”