Meet Duane “Myko” Cheers and Danita Claytor, the co-founders of Everything Legendary, a Black-owned plant-based food brand with legendary flavor, that have just closed $6 million dollars in Series A funding. The round was led by CircleUp Growth Partners with additional investments from the venture capital arm of General Mills, 301 INC, and Mark Cuban. Also, International Entrepreneur and Record Executive, Russell Simmons joined the all-star team as a Senior Advisor.
The rapid rise of Everything Legendary, the nation’s fastest-growing plant-based meat company, began in early 2021 when they were hand-making burgers in their own kitchen. In just 10 months they went from zero to 1500 grocery store shelves including Safeway, Acme, Giant, Target, Ralphs, Kings, and Balduccis, with additional placements coming in Sprouts, Meijer, Publix, and more in early 2022. In less than a year, the company has grown from a family kitchen operation to a brand with a national retail footprint, three co-packers, and a rockstar team to take the growth to the next level.
“There are a lot of people trying to get into the $5 billion+ plant-based food market,” explained co-founder Duane. “What has our investors excited about us is they can see that we aren’t just another plant-based product…we are looking to disrupt the multi-billion dollar industry with unprecedented flavor, premium ingredients, and high-energy marketing that sets our brand apart. Having partners like CircleUp and General Mills, that work with some of the biggest brands in the world is an amazing honor.”
Karen Howland, CircleUp’s General Partner explained, “The Everything Legendary team is taking a new, fresh approach to the plant-based meat category. Their bold packaging and unique brand messaging allows the product to stand out in a crowded space. The company has seen more rapid distribution growth than other better-funded businesses and we know this team won’t stop until they are on top. CircleUp is proud to support Duane and Danita in this next phase of growth.”
Doug Martin, Chief Brand and Disruptive Growth Officer of General Mills, said, “We’re thrilled to partner with Everything Legendary. Their plant-based, chef-created products are a natural fit for 301 INC, where our mission is to discover and elevate remarkable founders with innovative offerings. Given that Black Americans are one of the fastest-growing vegan demographics in the country, we believe Everything Legendary is poised for substantial growth – and we are just as energized by the passion of these founders as we are about the business opportunity. We’re ready to work together to make big things happen.”
Up to this point, all of the sales and growth of Everything Legendary have been organic. Now with this capital infusion, the company believes it will be better positioned to expand even faster nationally. The new funding will be used to support a planned launch in 5,600 grocery stores by summer 2022. The company will also introduce new delicious products like sausage, boneless wings, and breakfast patties. And they will deploy street teams that will help spread the word of their legendary burger in the same fun, energized way the founders have used to elevate the brand to date.
“We’re all about breaking through barriers,” said Vince Parker, the COO of Everything Legendary. “We’re a Black-owned, grassroots business competing with large, well-established companies vying for the same customer. Just two years ago we were working out of a garage. We’re pretty proud of what we’ve achieved so far, and like my good friend Duane has said, we’re just getting started!”
About Everything Legendary
Everything Legendary, founded by Duane “Myko” Cheers, Danita Claytor, and Chef Jumoke Jackson, is leading the flavor revolution with a line of healthy, plant-based ground and burger patties. Inspired by Mom, created by a chef, and taste-tested by the community, Everything Legendary is a Black-owned company that goes above and beyond the impossible to deliver food with legendary flavor and superior quality at retailers nationwide, in restaurants, and online at GoLegendary.com. Join them for recipes, tutorials, product information, and more: Everything Legendary. Also, follow the brand on social media at Instagram and Facebook
Founded in 2009, CircleUp is a privately owned company with a mission to empower entrepreneurs with the funding and support that they need to thrive. Having facilitated investments for 500+ brands and counting, CircleUp uses its business technology platform, Helio, to increase the speed, quality, and objectivity of decision-making in the private company landscape. Using a unique combination of data and machine learning technology, CircleUp makes it possible for underserved entrepreneurs to finally get the support they deserve. With a vast network of entrepreneurs, institutional investors, industry experts, and flexible financing solutions, CircleUp is shining a light on untapped human potential and transforming the world of private enterprise. For more information, please visit www.Circleup.com.
About General Mills
General Mills makes food the world loves. The company is guided by its Accelerate strategy to drive shareholder value by boldly building its brands, relentlessly innovating, unleashing its scale, and being a force for good. Its portfolio of beloved brands includes household names such as Cheerios, Nature Valley, Blue Buffalo, Häagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Annie’s, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2021 net sales of U.S. $18.1 billion. In addition, the company’s share of non-consolidated joint-venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.1 billion.