Spokane spices and rub company Spiceology has secured $2 million in a round of funding.
Spiceology, located east of downtown at 715 E. Sprague, will dedicate a significant portion of funding to its continued marketing efforts, says company CEO Chip Overstreet.
In February, Spiceology secured $500,000 from a group of unidentified angel investors.
Before the onset of the of COVID-19 pandemic, Spiceology was on track to double revenue in 2020, compared with the previous year, Overstreet asserts.
The company generated about $6 million in revenue in 2019, $3.2 million in 2018, and $1.6 million in 2017, he says.
Founded in 2012 by chief marketing officer Pete Taylor and director of marketplace Heather Scholten, Spiceology was listed by weekly business magazine Inc. among the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. at the end of 2019.
But slowed sales related to the global pandemic compelled Spiceology to eliminate 15 positions from the company effective March 16. Most of those positions were in the sales department. Four of those sales reps were laid off on their first day of work. Spiceology now has about three-dozen employees, he says.
“We’ve certainly been impacted by this,” Overstreet says of COVID-19. “I think everybody understood that our customers, most of which were restaurants, were hunkered down. Engaging in sales wasn’t something they were looking to do.”
Online sales, however, are stronger than anticipated as the consumer side of the business has more than tripled in sales in April, compared with February sales, which he says is a function of much of society staying home and following quarantine measures.
In an effort to help fuel the company, Cowles Co., with participation by Kickstart Funds III & IV and other angel investors, contributed the venture capital. The Journal of Business is owned by Northwest Business Press Inc., which is a subsidiary of Cowles.
“Spiceology is capitalizing on a huge market gap by focusing on quality spices at scale, and they’ve leveraged that to become the fastest-growing private spice company in America,” says Steve Rector, Cowles Co. chief financial officer in a press release announcing the funding.
Spiceology also announced in the press release it has hired Brenda Bening as its CFO. Bening was previously the vice president of Spokane Valley-based short-term rental company Stay Alfred Inc.
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