Tech/BioTech

From Caterpillar To Butterfly

  • Juwan Richards

    Juwan's focus is on the intersection of investing and media. Simply defined as a creative with an appreciation for curating content that audiences can both learn from and enjoy. As a buy-and-hold investor, Juwan is a trend-spotter and likes to invest in companies at the ground level. As an avid believer of Web 3.0, his strategy consists of finding companies with a unique competitive advantage and interpreting their market sentiment within the retail audience.

    View all posts

There are many things that are very good about the Very Good Food Company. Their cheeky name, their animal and earth conscious mandate, and of course, their extremely attractive market performance (clocking in at a 2,800% return since their June 2020 IPO, at the time of writing). 

However, nothing pulls our heartstrings more than to see a company like this, which I first learned of through my weekly strolls at Whole Foods, expand so fantastically quick and scale to the brink of international recognition. The sequence of growth was wholesome. First their products would show up in more and more stores across the city, then word of their IPO made some noise in the Canadian stock world. My non-vegan family members and close friends found themselves discussing it at the dinner table, while I saw headlines on my newsfeed about the Very Good Butchers expanding to take over large production plants across BC. Chat rooms from Canada AND the U.S. started chattering about this company, and of course, the ticker on my Apple Stocks app would continue to climb higher and higher every day. 

Although this was all extremely inspiring, nothing beats my morning walk to Elysian Coffee on 7th and Ontario. As I was cruising past the cracked sidewalks of Ontario St. near 5th Ave, a giant, bold mural started to taunt me. “Theres a new butcher on the block” read the graphic that was posted  on the side of the retail space. My plant-based self doesn’t care too much for butcher shops (obviously), so I kept walking. Taking another glance to my left as I crossed the road, I saw there was yet another sign on the adjacent corner of the building. 

“Don’t worry Mt. Pleasant, we butcher beans.” 

They got me.  

Left wondering what new vegan company was setting up here, the “butcher” reference was the only hint that it could have been another claim of The Very Good Butchers. Of course, as the next press release for Very  was published, the assumption was confirmed; they had moved into the neighborhood, bringing not only a production facility, but a retail storefront attached.

More often than not, when a company’s stock price surges thousands of percent within months, its driven from a massive wave of hype with mediocre (and sometimes downright lousy) fundamentals. Very Good Food Co. had something truly different, and investors knew it. Looking back, the rise of this company on the business side and market side of things consisted what was the closest thing to a perfect recipe for success. 

  1. It was one of the first companies of its kind to hit the equities market. 
  2. It had retail location with creative meat-alternatives for years prior to going public. 
  3. The financings, including the IPO $0.25 round and the $3.50 bought deal, both not only performed well in the market, but massive substantial expansions followed immediately after, proving the use of capital to be wise and well-timed.

As the stock was creating a lot of noise in Canada (VERY), the States (VRYYF) and Europe (0SI), the company was acquiring commercial real estate at an impressive pace. Taking residence over Daiya’s previous production plant on Rupert St. in Vancouver, Very had secured their largest space yet, boasting an impressive 2,960% higher production capacity than their current Victoria facilityThey’ve now moved into the facility and begun the scaling process, ensuring that quality doesn’t decrease as they move forward. We’re expecting 2021 to be a pivotal year in production and sales for the company and are extremely excited to be on board during that time.

The Very Good Food Co. is also expanding out across the border, with a facility in Patterson, California, to satisfy the appetites of our west coast neighbors to the south. To finish this all off, as recently as last week it was announced that Very is giving some love on home turf by opening a larger, more attractive butcher shop that operates as a retail space and flagship restaurant location. This concept is the first of many that the company plans to strategically open in cities across North America. 

If you’re tired of hearing about real estate acquisitions alonefear not, as Very is making strategic moves in more than one area. The company has announced their intent to acquire 100% of vegan cheese company, The Cultured Nut, setting foot into the dairy-alternative industry. Very has carried Cultured Nut products in their Victoria location (and on their menu) for years now and has obviously seen the benefit of bringing them into the Very Good Food family. 

In the ecommerce world, online sales have doubled since their expansion into Sobey’s retail network, and utilized 3PL Logistics, an in-house improvement that optimizes everything to do with online and retail sales. With heavy-hitter names like Ana Silva, Kyle Marancos, and Olga Milman on the team, we’re anticipating that these improvements are only the start. 

If this isn’t the ideal caterpillar to butterfly scenario, I don’t know what is. The perfect harmony between fundamental development and market response has helped me keep a positive outlook on the future, even after the company has run up so far. We’ll be holding on and seeing them through the next phase, and we hope to see you there!

Disclaimer: The Very Good Food Company is a communications client of Edge Investments, and we own shares in the company. 

  • Juwan Richards

    Juwan's focus is on the intersection of investing and media. Simply defined as a creative with an appreciation for curating content that audiences can both learn from and enjoy. As a buy-and-hold investor, Juwan is a trend-spotter and likes to invest in companies at the ground level. As an avid believer of Web 3.0, his strategy consists of finding companies with a unique competitive advantage and interpreting their market sentiment within the retail audience.

    View all posts

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