Serial entrepreneur, business consultant, author and health guru Brad Gruno announced today that he has departed his namesake company, Brad's Raw Foods, LLC, to pursue new ventures in the health and wellness industry. Represented by Silverwood Partners investment bankers, Gruno reached an agreement with investor group Pergament Advisors, LLC and Pergament LOHAS Fund, LLC in late January and will remain a minority stakeholder and board member.
"When I first started selling homemade raw chips at farmer's markets six years ago, I never imagined it would turn into the multi-million dollar business it is today," said Gruno. "I am so proud of the tremendous success of Brad's Raw Foods, and I'm confident that this nationally-known and respected brand will continue to expand."
"Brad created a strong, extendable brand with which both mainstream and natural consumers can identify," said Nick McCoy, Managing Director with Silverwood Partners. "His success is driven by his ability to identify unmet needs in the market and create products that fill this white space."
Since Gruno founded the company in 2009, Brad's Raw Foods has grown to nearly $20 million in annual revenue, with over 100 employees and international distribution in grocery stores. It also operates the largest food dehydration facility of its kind in the United States. Prior to creating Brad's Raw Foods, Gruno founded two telecommunications companies: U.S. FiberTel, which he sold to MasTec, Inc. in 1993; and the other, FiberTel, Inc., which was founded in 1998 and closed a few years later when the fiber optics boom came to a halt. It was during that time, he discovered the benefits of a raw diet, exercise, yoga and meditation and reinvented himself and his career to explore a new path in health and wellness.
In 2013, Gruno wrote and published Brad's Raw Made Easy, which teaches mainstream America how eating healthy can be easy if you just know how to do it. The book includes 150 easy-to-make recipes, a food journal and Brad's inspirational story. Known for "finding kale before kale was cool," Gruno is now exploring new opportunities in the health and wellness industry.
"What gets me excited every day is finding ideas and growing companies," said Gruno. "I'm ready to take everything I've learned about the industry, the investment business and building a sustainable brand over these past several years and start something new. What I'm really passionate about is finding the next health and wellness product, service or technology that can make a real difference in how we approach our overall health in this country. I'm also looking forward to working with Nick McCoy, Mike Burgmaier and the Silverwood team on this next venture."
Gruno's next step is to connect with other entrepreneurs and investors. Throughout the month of February, he will be taking ideas and suggestions on Twitter using the hashtag #NextKale. People who submit the most promising pitches will be contacted directly by Brad for an in-depth conversation. Others interested in working with Gruno can contact him directly via www.BradsRawLife.com.