In June 2019, I made a trip to Victoria, BC to meet with James Davison and Mitchell Scott, the two founding partners of ‘The Very Good Food Company’. Blown away by their range of products and their endless demand, I wanted to discover how The Very Good Food Company has created such fanfare and devotion. This is what I found…
The Very Good Food Company was born out of passion. Chef by trade, James invented a high quality range of products to combat a significant problem – poor quality vegan products. As a devout vegan, James quickly realized that the quality and selection of vegan options available on the market was limited, with many highly processed products setting the industry standard. Immediately, James identified the need for change. At a casual BBQ in the summer of 2015, James introduced Mitchell (a fellow vegan) to The Very Good Burger. After one bite, Mitchell was hooked! Mitchell and James teamed up to form The Very Good Food Company.
Mitchell had a strong background in eCommerce and a mind for business, however, he was missing one ingredient in his recipe for success; a great chef with a great line of products. They decided to team up and create a line of natural, whole food based products that were unprocessed and had a great taste profile. As far as they could see, there was nothing out there on the market. This marked the beginning of their journey together from a project of passion to becoming a significant player in the vegan food tech arena.
The passion emanating from these two is contagious. We have all watched their feature on Dragons Den and I think it’s apparent that it takes a lot more than Dutch courage to step before six of the most highly established business people in Canada. Although receiving offers from five of the six dragons, the terms of the deals offered were not good enough, so Mitchell and James decided to continue their journey on their own.
The global movement away from animal meats and their by-products is undoubtedly underway. Although I am not a vegan, I do fall under the bracket of flexitarians. Like so many others, I focus on increasing the amount of vegan protein I consume as I am concerned about animal welfare, the environment and my own personal health. More and more data is showing the same results; an increase in people gravitating towards plant-based sources of protein for each of the reasons I have just mentioned, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The capital inflow from social impact and ESG funds into this sector is exciting to watch. The Beyond Meat IPO last year was a truly profound moment that caught the attention of the investment community, and opened their eyes to this exciting trend. Just last week, Beyond Meat announced their direct to consumer sales initiative, a distribution model Mitchell and James implemented over a year ago, from which they have experienced massive growth. I always watch for a company to lead the charge into a new sector and I knew that the market had the desire for another plant based IPO. The Very Good Food Company (VERY – CSE) IPO experienced close to 1000% returns within days of opening with large trading volume, making it one of the most successful small-cap IPO’s in Canada in the last decade.
I am excited to watch the development of The Very Good Food Company over the next few years as the company expands their product distribution bringing healthy vegan products to a wider market.
The passion, enthusiasm and ‘The Mission’ from the founders, Mitchell and James is unparalleled.