LoHi pancake mix maker Birch Benders raises $1.2M

Birch Benders just-add-water pancake mix comes in an assortment of categories. (Burl Rolett)

Birch Benders isn’t waffling around.

Pancake and waffle mix maker Birch Benders Micro-Pancakery, based at 3316 Tejon St. in LoHi, reported a $1.2 million fundraising round in a July 9 SEC filing, its second in just over a year.

The company now has raised $6.3 million, including a June 2018 round of just over $5 million, according to Form Ds filed with the agency.

The company declined to comment on its most recent round.

Husband-and-wife team Matt LaCasse and Lizzi Ackerman launched the company in Boulder in 2012 after struggling to find a healthier alternative to instant pancake giants such as Bisquick. Its website said the idea behind Birch Benders was “to make pancakes that are better than at a restaurant and easier than from scratch.”

Matt LaCasse launched Birch Benders in 2012 with wife Lizzi Ackerman. (Courtesy Birch Benders)

The company’s just-add-water organic pancake and waffle mixes come in an assortment of categories, such as keto, paleo, plant protein or gluten-free, as well as flavors that include chocolate chip, blueberry and pumpkin spice. The 10-ounce bags retail on its website for between $6 and $8.

LaCasse told BusinessDen in 2016 that the Paleo mix was the brand’s most popular item.

The company now also offers paleo, protein, buttermilk and homestyle toaster waffles, which are available only in stores, according to its website.

Entrepreneur magazine reported in November that Birch Bender’s annual revenue is in the eight-digit range, and its products are in more than 8,000 stores nationwide. The company’s website shows a presence in major grocers such as Target, Walmart and Safeway, as well as health food stores, including Whole Foods and Sprouts.

Birch Benders isn’t alone in its pursuit of health-conscious pancake mixes. Annie’s, a California-based organic food company, and Oregon-based Bob’s Red Mill both offer an organic pancake and waffle mix, while the gluten-free baking business Pamela’s Products, based in Illinois, sells pancake mixes that can be grain-free, non-dairy or packed with protein.

Bisquick, too, now offers two health-conscious varieties: a “Heart Smart” mix and a gluten-free mix.

POSTED IN Investing, News, Top News

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