NEW YORK – Artisanal Caves, LLC, a newly-formed entity that will be owned by Artisanal Brands, Inc. (OTCQB: AHFP) and private investors, has located retail space in Scarsdale, New York in Westchester County approximately 20 miles north of midtown Manhattan for the 1st Artisanal CheeseShop & Café that will include 4 state-of-the-art cheese aging caves viewable by the general public, a café and a full cheese shop. It has also issued a Letter of Intent to acquire an existing specialty food business in the Las Vegas market to enable the Company to expand its national online business with lower cost, long-distance overnight shipments at www.artisanalcheese.com. This new low-cost shipping plan will be offered to the Company’s existing drop-ship accounts with retailers Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table and new retailers.
The Company has also signed agreements to acquire a bakery operation that will enable the Company to offer a complementary range of premium bread and pastry products as part of the new 2019 operating plan for the Artisanal brand. The funding for the bakery acquisition is largely in place subject to final adjustments with lenders and the Company intends to close on the Scarsdale and Las Vegas business operations upon the completion of the minimum funding of $1.8 million of a $5 million equity offering. The Company filed a Form 8-K on Dec. 7, 2018, reporting these developments.
The two immediate retail locations will be the beginning of a multiple-unit expansion of small format European-style cheese shops and café s that will also serve as regional shipping hubs to further reduce online shipping costs by shrinking the shipping radius from each retail location.
These developments were part of the Company’s year-long plan to transition from a licensing enterprise to a direct-to-consumer operating plan with scalability coming from reduced overnight shipments and the direct engagement of customers.
The Company will also revert to being a voluntary fully-reporting company within 90 days from the closing which will eliminate any disclaimers on the purchase and/or sale of the Company’s common stock.
“Getting to this point has been a very deliberate process that is now aided by the migration of consumer food purchases online and our experience over the past several years that shaped our plans. Whenever we market Artisanal Premium Cheese quality direct to consumers in Costco roadshows, demo days at Whole Foods, farmer’s markets, in restaurants owned by Artisanal’s founder, chef Terrance Brennan, and our former wine & cheese classes at the Artisanal Cheese Center, we always had tremendous success. To the contrary, the expensive marketing costs and logistical challenges we experienced in earlier attempts to build our brand with traditional distributors and large format retailers was not a sustainable path to success for a premium brand like Artisanal. One in three purchases of specialty foods now takes place online and American consumers are becoming more European-like in their interest in foods,” said Daniel Dowe, Executive Chairman of Artisanal.
“We are building into favorable industry dynamics that we know well and it is gratifying to know that the continued work we have done will be beneficial to the shareholders of Artisanal that placed their trust in us. While we are moving into an operating mode in the 1st quarter in 2019, our licensing partnership with Solex-Catsmo will always be an important part of our history as they were solid partners.”
The Company filed a Form 8-K on Dec. 7, 2018 reporting these developments.
About Artisanal Brands, Inc.
Artisanal Brands Inc. currently markets Artisanal Premium Cheese’s line products to food wholesalers and retailers, and directly to consumers through its website, www.artisanalcheese.com – and soon at Artisanal Cheese Shop & Cafes.
Safe Harbor Statement
Forward-looking statements made in this press release are made pursuant to the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. They are based on management’s expectations that involve potential risks and uncertainties (more fully described in Company filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) that may result in such expectations not being realized.