Sunrise Strategic Partners opens Boulder office, makes 5th investment

BOULDER — Sunrise Strategic Partners, launched in February by Boulder Brands cofounder Steve Hughes, has opened a 3,000-square-foot office in downtown Boulder as it continues to invest in a wide range of growing natural-products companies.

Sunrise’s new office is at 1426 Pearl St. The firm, which had been run virtually until now, has grown to now include four full-time investment professionals, as well as a network of strategic advisers.

Hughes partnered with New York private-equity firm Trilantic North America to start Sunrise, with an aim of investing between $10 million and $25 million apiece in smaller companies that have annual revenue in the $10 million to $20 million range and that are primed for accelerated growth.

Hughes serves as CEO of Sunrise, while former Citigroup investment banker Vince Love has been onboard since the company started as partner and chief operating officer. Sunrise, meanwhile, added investment professionals Pat Hughes and Nick Molé over the summer.

Sunrise this week made its fifth investment, taking a minority stake in New York-based Maple Hill Creamery, which produces a line of certified organic dairy items with milk sourced from 100-percent grass-fed cattle. The company, founded in 2009, has a network of 100 farms, representing 25 percent of all organic dairy farms in the state of New York.

Sunrise didn’t disclose the specific amount of the investment in Maple Hill, but said it falls within the firm’s target range. The new cash will help fuel expansion of sales, marketing and supply for Maple Hill, which sells its products in some 6,000 retailers nationwide.

“As consumers and retailers begin to understand the value and benefits of 100 percent grass-fed, there is significant opportunity to scale this brand,” Hughes said in a news release. “I’m looking forward to working with Tim and the entire Maple Hill team to bring 100 percent grass-fed dairy to more consumers.”

Sunrise’s investment in Maple Hill follows investments in Boulder-based clothing company PACT Apparel, Greenwood Village meat snacks company Perky Jerky, Denver-based packaged meat company Teton Waters Ranch, and Utah-based breakfast food maker Kodiak Cakes.