Food & Drinks

Kathleen King, The Founder Of Tate’s Bake Shops, Announces Investment In Better-For-You Snacking Company Chasin’ Dreams

When Kathleen King first met Sydney Chasin of Chasin’ Dreams, she thought, “this is interesting. You’re finding me and my CEO wrapped up in one person. At just 23 years old.” King founded and sold her cookie brand, Tate’s Bake Shop, to Mondelez for $500 million in 2018. Today King is announcing her investment in Chasin’ Dreams as a part of the company’s seed funding round.

There are an estimated 30 million small business in the United States. Well under 1% received venture capital investment in 2020. And of those, there were just 103 venture-backed IPOs in 2020, according to the National Venture Capital Association. Although it is exceedingly rare to receive venture funding, it just as uncommon to land a celebrity mentor and investor like King. Think Jennifer Garner (Once Upon A Farm), Jay Z (Partake Foods), and Seth Goldman (Beyond Meat
BYND
).

King meets with dozens of entrepreneurs, and says that her meeting with Chasin was different. She reflects, “I just remember that she was a true entrepreneur. And then she was so right with her projections, her vision, her marketing plans, and her passion for the business.” 

King is a big believer in paying it forward. When she meets with entrepreneurs, she focuses on getting them, “to ask themselves the right questions, because they have the answers within themselves.” Her focus is strongly on the entrepreneur themselves, because, “how many times has water been reinvented?” Her bet with Chasin’ Dreams is a bet on its founder.

Chasin’ Dreams was founded in 2019. Chasin had been, “making things with ancient grains my entire life, as I was diagnosed with celiac disease as a kid.” She grew up on a horse farm in Maryland. Chasin said, “I was surrounded by corn and soy fields, and not great farming practices. Some farmers in the area were starting to grow sorghum. I really dove into learning more about sorghum, and how incredible of a crop it is.”

Chasin’s goal is to interrupt the U.S. snacking space with a better-for-you option made from popped sorghum. Sorghum is an ancient grain. While there are over 25 species of the crop, the domesticated version originated on the continent of Africa. Sorgham is gluten-free, and it can be grown in both tropical and arid regions. The sorghum used in Chasin’ Dreams products are U.S. grown, and sourced from regenerative farms in the Midwest. 

When asked how Chasin came to meet King, she said, “We met in person. It was the most old school way of meeting. And I was not looking for fundraising. I went to Kathleen for advice, and I fell in love with her. She is a founder that truly leads with heart and intuition, and she is hyper aware of her strengths and weaknesses. She had a remarkable team around her. It felt like what I want to do and how I want to be as a leader.”

According to a press release, Chasin hopes to tap into the $106 billion U.S. snack market, of which ancient grains is gaining traction at a CAGR of 36% and a market size of $6.3 billion by 2024. As a part of the fundraising effort, she has also launched a campaign on the equity crowdfunding website Republic.

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