The Vegan Kind

The Vegan Kind launched as a subscription delivery box service in 2013 before expanding to a full retail offer in 2016

New owners have taken control of The Vegan Kind and instated a new boss in a bid to spur on its next stage of growth.

Investment firm Literacy Capital has taken a controlling stake in the business and brought in Sarah Boddy, who headed up the US division of fast-growing premium petfood group MPM Products for the past eight years, as CEO.

Scott and Karris McCulloch, who launched TVK from their two-bed flat in Glasgow in 2013, will remain as minority shareholders, relinquishing their respective roles of CEO and MD, with Scott staying on as a non-executive director.

The changes mark a continuation of efforts to professionalise the business since former Holland & Barrett boss Tony Buffin joined as chairman in February.

Boddy joined MPM in 2012 and was quickly promoted to commercial director, taking charge of the business’ expanding US division. 

The maker of the premium Applaws, Encore and Reveal brands experienced rapid growth following its formation in 2003, thanks, in part, to its aggressive international expansion. The business was snapped up by PE firm ECI in 2016 for £50m and changed hands again in 2020, with 3i Group striking a £125m deal.

Boddy has also held commercial roles at Premier Foods and Mars Petcare.

She told The Grocer she had been tasked with taking TVK to the next level.

“I am excited to be joining The Vegan Kind – building on the strong foundations established by Scott and Karris – and to grow our dynamic and passionate team to support our mission to make plant-based lifestyle accessible to all,” she added.

Scott McCulloch said TVK had a “phenomenal opportunity” to build on the foundations, but the task was “best carried out by someone else”.

“Our hunger for TVK to succeed is never, ever going to diminish, but while we are proud to have navigated TVK to where it is today, to get it to where it needs to be tomorrow and beyond is a task that will be better achieved under a new leadership,” he added.

Lit Cap, which also backs DTC petfood operator Butternut Box, has been involved in TVK as a major investor since leading a £3.5m growth funding round in 2021.

The founders started the business as a vegan subscription delivery box service in 2013 before expanding to a full retail offer in 2016.

TVK moved into a new 35,000 sq ft warehouse and headquarters in October 2020 to keep up with the explosion in demand for online delivery during the pandemic.

In early 2020, the business opened up to crowd investors, with 2,085 backers joining TVK as part of a £670k funding round.