TBL Capital Invests $3 Million in Gaia Herbs

TBL Capital announced today that it has invested $3 million in Gaia Herbs, a nationally branded manufacturer of botanical medicines. Since 1986, Gaia Herbs has established itself as the leading grower and producer of Certified Organic (COG) herbs and herbal products. The company’s commitment to certified organic herbs ensures product strength, purity, and efficacy. The financing provides growth capital to rapidly expand the Company’s presence in existing and new markets in North America, support ongoing and developing strategic partnerships, round out the senior management team, and develop and market new products.

“Gaia Herbs has been and continues to be a leader in developing botanical products that can literally change the way health-conscious consumers view self-care”, said Mark Finser, General Partner of TBL Capital. “These plant based supplements are gaining significant acceptance by a large part of the population. People increasingly see these supplements as a more cost effective way of maximizing optimum wellness.”

“Ric Scalzo has built an impressive team and positioned Gaia for significant growth and visibility”, said Joe Glorfield, Principal at TBL Capital.

Based in Western North Carolina, the company cultivates 250 acres of medicinal herbs which, along with all operations at their 36,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility, are organically certified each year by Oregon Tilth under USDA’s National Organic Program. Gaia Herbs line of all-natural herbal products is carried by national and regional natural products retail chains, as well as independent health food retailers and health professionals.

The natural products industry grew 9.8% in 2007 with more than $62 billion in sales. Natural products retailers, Gaia Herbs primary sales channel, accounts for almost 50% of these sales. Gaia Herbs items typically rank in the top 3 of all categories in herbal supplements.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have a financial partner like TBL Capital,” said Ric Scalzo, Founder & CEO of Gaia. “There is no question that TBL Capital is committed to our mission to produce pure plant medicines of exceptional quality and purity while enriching the ecology of the earth and the health and harmony of the people that use our phyto-medicines. In addition, they bring considerable experience and expertise to our company. As we move forward, TBL Capital will play an important role in our ambitious expansion plans.”

Since their founding in 1986, Gaia Herbs has been a pioneer in the now almost $24 billion supplements industry. More than 10 years ago they developed the patented Liquid Phyto-Cap technology which provides a concentrated, therapeutic dose of liquid herbal extract in an easily-digested vegetarian capsule. An immediate increase of sales was experienced as new consumers stepped into the natural supplements market due to the convenience.

Gaia Herbs also conducted 5 years of NIH-NCCAM funded research on Echinacea that revealed groundbreaking discoveries of how parts of the plant, and the time of harvest affected immune and anti-inflammatory processes. This research resulted in patented technologies used to process according to these standards and led to the most successful single new product launch in Gaia Herbs history – Quick Defense.

“With this important round of financing, Gaia Herbs is now well positioned to establish a powerful sales and marketing leadership team with a plan for extensive new product launches over the next several years. Equally important to this is that Gaia Herbs will grow together with TBL Capital under a platform fully committed to organic farming and processing and delivering products of unsurpassed safety, purity, and efficacy.”, concluded Scalzo.

Gaia Herbs (www.gaiaherbs.com)
Gaia Herbs is a certified organic grower and nationally-branded manufacturer of botanical medicines based in Western North Carolina. The company cultivates 250 acres of medicinal herbs which, along with all operations at their 36,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility, are organically certified each year by Oregon Tilth under USDA’s National Organic Program. Gaia Herbs’ line of all-natural herbal products is carried by national and regional natural products retail chains, as well as independent health food retailers and health professionals.

About TBL Capital (www.tblcapital.com)
TBL Capital has developed an intentional, patient capital venture fund that focuses on the needs of the entrepreneur with a balanced emphasis on people, planet and profits. With $50 million under management, the firm invests in entrepreneurs who are committed to building companies with strong triple bottom line returns. TBL Capital provides growth capital to help companies succeed and supports entrepreneurs as they manage the many opportunities and demands of a growing business. Launched in the fall of 2007, TBL Capital focuses on a targeted range of socially beneficial sectors: consumer products, service providers, software, clean technology, green building, health and wellness, and retail.

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