Toronto, Ontario – June 2, 2021 – Plant&Co. Brands Ltd. (CSE: VEGN) (FSE: VGP) (OTCPK: VGANF) (“Plant&Co” or the “Company”), a modern health and wellness company curating delicious plant-based foods, is pleased to announce the appointments of Alex Rechichi, Mark Rechichi and Kevin Cole, as members of the board of directors. Mr. Alex Rechichi will join the board as chairman and will support overall company brand-strategy and emerging food-market opportunities. Mr. Mark Rechichi will lead the finance and compensation board committee. Mr. Cole will help guide the Company’s CPG (consumer package goods) and Prepared Foods Marketing Division.
“On behalf of the Board and the entire Company, it is a pleasure to welcome Alex, Mark, and Kevin, three highly respected and accomplished food industry executives, to the Plant&Co team,” said Shawn Moniz, CEO of Plant&Co. “Plant&Co started with one brand and has quickly grown into a company with multiple brands and over 50 high-quality plant-based product SKUs and we don’t intend to take our foot off the gas. Recognizing that the acquisition of YamChops and Holy Crap Cereals was only the first phase of growth in this company, additional bench strength was sought after in order to achieve our next phase of development and growth. To that end, we could not have asked for a more intelligent group of individuals with consistent track records of success across multiple brands and industries building brands from the ground up and taking consumers by storm.”
Alex Rechichi is a food entrepreneur who has co-founded, managed and invested in many dynamic omni channel Food Brands, including Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, The Burger’s Priest, Via Cibo Italian Street Food, Bangkok Buri and Fresh Plant Powered. Most recently Alex has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Crave it Group since October 2013. Crave it is an active investor in the restaurant and functional food space, scaling brands that re-invent the food experience. These brands include; The Burger’s Priest, Via Cibo Italian Street Food, Bangkok Buri Thai Kitchen and Fresh Plant Powered. Crave It recently sold its interest in The Burger’s Priest and Fresh Plant Powered to Recipe Unlimited (formerly Cara Operations in April 2021).
Prior to Crave It, Alex was Co-Founder and CEO of Extreme Brandz from 1997 – 2013. Extreme Brandz was the parent company of Extreme Pita and Mucho Burrito and Purblendz with over 340 franchised restaurants across North America and Internationally. On September 23rd, 2013 the majority of Extreme Brandz assets were acquired by The MTY Tiki Ming Food Group.
Alex and his partners are early-stage investors that offer strategic growth and operational experience to assist existing management teams in the scaling phase of the business. Alex is also an early investor and board member at Unbun Foods, an innovative Functional Foods Bakery producing Gluten Free, Low Carb, Keto bread products available in Retail and Foodservice across North America.
Alex is a graduate of Queen’s University and has been recognized as Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award recipient during his time at Extreme Brandz. In 2006, Canada`s Foodservice and Hospitality recognized Extreme Brandz and honoured them with the 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year Pinnacle award. In 2011, Extreme Brandz was named Company of The Year by Canada`s Foodservice and Hospitality Magazine. In 2012, Alex and Mark Rechichi were finalists for Ernest & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Extreme Pita was recognized as one of the top 100 leading global franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine, receiving many marketing accolades, including being recognized as a leader in nutritional disclosure within the restaurant space.
Mark Rechichi is also a serial food entrepreneur who has co-founded and led many iconic food brands. He, along with his partners in the Crave It Group, have been early investors in private companies using his financial and operational skills to assist in their growth. Currently Mark is the Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder of Crave-It Restaurant Group. Crave It Restaurant Group is the parent company for Via Cibo Italian Street Food, The Burger’s Priest, Fresh Plant Powered and Bangkok Buri. In April 2021, Crave-It sold its interest in The Burger’s Priest and Fresh Plant Powered to Recipe Unlimited (formerly Cara Operations).
Before co-founding Crave It Restaurant Group, Mark was Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder of Extreme Brandz, the parent company of Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, and PurBlendz, with over 340 franchised restaurants across North America and internationally.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from Queen’s University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Early in his career Mark worked at Price Waterhouse and Merrill Lynch in Toronto, Ontario. In 2001, Mark left Bay Street to join his brother Alex in their parent`s basement to starting a business which became Extreme Pita. In May 2004, the 100th Extreme Pita restaurant opened, and only three years later, in October 2007, the 200th restaurant opened. Extreme Brandz contributed a portion of its profits to a charity it had formed called extremepitacares.com, which primarily focused on charitable support by bettering the lives of children through nutrition, education, and sports.
The Crave It Group Inc., through their affiliate, is investing in Plant & Co. by leading a strategic private placement to support ongoing M&A.
Kevin Cole is a strategist and a business builder. He is known for his strategies which have led turn-arounds for many declining or slow growing CPG businesses to deliver billions of dollars in incremental growth and profit. By setting new visions, strategies, and plans, Kevin has significantly improved the performance of many brands and portfolios to deliver share leadership positions across multiple categories including Petcare (Pedigree, IAMS, Nutro, Greenies, Whiskas, and Temptations), Consumer Health (Oral Care: Sensodyne & Polident, Skin Care: OXY, Spectro) and Confections (Ferrero Rocher and the Ferrero Boxed Chocolate Portfolio).
Currently, Kevin is President and Chief Executive Officer of STEM Animal Health, a company that is working to address anti-bacterial resistance in Animal Health due to the formation of biofilms. Previously, Kevin has held senior executive and management positions in several multi-national companies including MARS Canada, GSK Consumer Healthcare, and Ferrero. He is also the Chairman of the Board for LUMIERA Health, a natural consumer health company, where he led the team through the integration of Mondias and Lumiera Health Innovation, strengthened the management team and set the foundation for the team to focus on growth. Kevin is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s HBBA program.
To facilitate the changes to the board, Ms. Lindsay Hamelin and Mr. Jerry Habuda have stepped down as directors of the company. The Company wishes to thank Lindsay and Jerry for their valuable contribution during their time on the board.
The Crave It Group
The Crave It Group was founded by entrepreneurs Alex Rechichi, Mark Rechichi and Sean Black. Together, they have co-founded, invested in, and led many successful brands through the various growth phases, from incubation to maturity. Each partner brings a depth of experience in Brand Strategy, Finance, Operations, Marketing, Real Estate, Franchising and Public Relations to their investments, closely collaborating with existing management to realize the brand’s growth potential. Many brands have grown to become dynamic omnichannel brands with loyal followings such as Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, PurBlendz, The Burger’s Priest, Via Cibo Italian Street Food, Bangkok Buri and Fresh Plant Powered.
Plant&Co. Brands Ltd. (CSE: VEGN) (FSE: VGP) (OTCPK: VGANF) is modern health and wellness company curating delicious plant-based foods. It offers a growing number of delicious plant-based food products through two leading plant-based brands Holy Crap Foods Inc. and YamChops, the vegan butcher. For more information please visit: www.HolyCrap.com www.YamChops.com www.PlantandCo.com.
For additional information, please contact:
Chief Executive Officer
Plant & Co. Brands Ltd.
Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release, which has been prepared by management.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
All statements in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are “forward-looking information” with respect to the Company within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as “plan”, “expect”, “project”, “intend”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements including, but not limited to delays or uncertainties with regulatory approvals, including that of the CSE. There are uncertainties inherent in forward-looking information, including factors beyond the Company’s control. There are no assurances that the business plans for Plant&Co. Brands described in this news release will come into effect on the terms or time frame described herein. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change except as required by law. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. For a description of the risks and uncertainties facing the Company and its business and affairs, readers should refer to the Company’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis and other disclosure filings with Canadian securities regulators, which are posted on www.sedar.com.