Tusk Private Investment, a private investment firm with offices in Dallas and Northwest Arkansas, led a $1 million capital raise from investors to support Fayetteville startup Natural Way Food Group.
Arkansas-based Cadron Capital Partners also participated in the raise alongside Tusk.
“Natural Way is truly representative of the type of businesses we’re looking to invest in and partner with,” Tusk managing partner and founder Aaron Pierce said. “The unique combination of talented founders of a well-run family business, a superior product, in a growing category is rare to find, and we’re excited to grow Natural Way and support their continued expansion over the coming years.
Austin and Quinn Simkins started the company in 2017, armed with a family peanut butter recipe and a passion for health and sustainability.
Natural Way Food Group (formerly Simkins Brothers’ Sweets) manufactures, sells and distributes clean, sustainable nut butter products. Amazon sells them, and they are also in select Walmart, Whole Foods, Safeway/Albertsons, Sprouts, Central Market and Harps stores.
The Natural Way brand offers the first and only nut butters on the market made with olive oil, a healthier and more sustainable alternative to palm oil. Austin Simkins said palm oil products dominate the market and can be devastating to the environment.
“This capital raise will allow Natural Way Food Group to invest in all facets of our business,” co-founder Austin Simkins said. “We feel great about our current product portfolio and retailer partnerships. We are excited to expand distribution and deliver more healthy and sustainable products to market. We are also focused on investing in people, filling important positions and expanding our already great team.”