Heather Mills’ plant-based accelerator VBites Ventures has acquired a stake in ethical avocado chocolate pot supplier Onist.
The supplier is one of the first to link up with the accelerator programme, as the activist-entrepreneur continues the expansion of her VBites business.
Former Jamie Oliver senior nutritionist Mary Lynch founded vegan dessert brand Onist two years ago.
Lynch has teamed up with the accelerator for improved infrastructure and funding amid Onist’s push for increased listings and a raft of NPD.
Onist, which has its pots listed in Ocado, Selfridges and Whole Foods, is set to launch new dessert products in June, before expanding into the ready meal category later in 2019.
“As we really want to broaden the range we were looking for a partner who shared our vision and had the infrastructure to allow us to grow quickly,” commented Lynch.
“With a lot of the other investors that I spoke to, the charitable element to our company was a deterrent and they weren’t that interested in it. Whereas for Heather it was the main selling point behind it and she believes in this purpose-driven model.
“We’ve been learning over the past two years but I’m sure with a new product range there’ll be lots more mistakes to be made, so that expertise, the team she has around her and the sales streams she has, will help immensely.”
The supplier operates under a “buy one, give one” model, where each product purchased will pay for a healthy breakfast for a child in poverty in the Gambia.
Mills has recently heavily invested to develop a vegan-only manufacturing site dubbed as ‘Plant Based Valley’ after purchasing three new factories in the north east.
Mills said: “Though Onist’s are products are excellent, it is their aligned drive, dedication and charity aspect that make it an ideal investment, We look forward to working with Mary and her team to show that good business can also be good for everyone on the planet.”