Mistral Equity Partners is making one of those deals that an LP might hope for different returns on than the almighty dollar—the New York PE shop is putting more than $10 million in growth capital in Taste Inc., better known as Vino Volo, an airport wine bar. The company, founded in 2004, will continue to open new airport operations. Vino Volo was represented by Partnership Capital Growth.
NEW YORK – August 9, 2012 – Mistral Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on the consumer and retail sectors, announced today that it has invested more than $10 million dollars of growth capital in Taste, Inc. d.b.a. Vino Volo (“Vino Volo” or the “Company”). Vino Volo created the airport wine bar concept and has become the dominant wine bar option for a previously overlooked segment of the travelling public. The Company currently operates 18 locations in airports across the United States, and is positioned for rapid growth. New locations opening this year include locations outside of the airport. This will satisfy customer enthusiasm for the high quality wine flights, small plates, and retail wine selection currently available only in airports. Vino Volo was represented by Partnership Capital Growth.
Vino Volo offers travelers a sophisticated and comfortable retreat by providing fun and interactive wine tasting flights, wines by the glass, small plates, and a distinctive wine retail selection. The Company was founded in 2004 by Chief Executive Officer Doug Tomlinson with the strategic vision of becoming the world’s favorite wine destination, making wine approachable and accessible to novices and introducing new wines to experts.
“Vino Volo’s position as the market leader in the attractive airport segment, along with its proven ability to build and operate profitable locations across the country, provides many compelling near term growth opportunities,” commented Andrew Heyer, Managing Partner of Mistral Equity Partners. “We believe that the Company is well positioned to be the national wine authority across multiple channels in and out of the airport, offering a differentiated and best-in-class experience to consumers.”
“We are excited to partner with Mistral to accelerate the next phase of our growth,” said the Company’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Doug Tomlinson. “Mistral shares our desire to revolutionize how people experience wine through unique product offerings and exceptional service, and our vision for rapid growth with a number of exciting opportunities ahead of us.”
About Mistral Equity Partners
Mistral Equity Partners is a private equity firm comprised of highly experienced investment professionals and seasoned industry executives. The firm specializes in the consumer, retail, and consumer focused media sectors, and is especially attracted to businesses that are supported by strong demographic trends and fundamental changes in consumer preferences. Mistral’s principals have a long history of working together and identifying successful investment opportunities with these characteristics. Mistral’s portfolio includes Shearer’s Foods, Inc.; Jamba, Inc.; Worldlynx Wireless LP; LoveSac Alternative Furniture Co; Country Pure Foods, Inc.; Worldwise, Inc.; and XpresSpa Holdings, LLC.
About Vino Volo
Vino Volo establishments combine an upscale wine lounge, restaurant and boutique wine shop under one roof, and are primarily located in airports across the country. Vino Volo (derived from “wine flight” in Italian) is a trusted wine authority that makes wine approachable, offering hand-selected wines from around the world by the glass, in tasting flights and by the bottle for customers to take home or have shipped. Vino Volo also offers a Wine Club for enthusiasts. Recently, Vino Volo was named the Best Airport Wine Bar at the 2nd Airport Food & Beverage awards hosted Amsterdam.
Currently Vino Volo operates in the following airport locations: Baltimore, MD (BWI), Detroit, MI (DTW), Newark, NJ (EWR), New York, NY (JFK), Oakland, CA (OAK), Philadelphia, PA (PHL, four locations), Sacramento, CA (SMF, two locations), Salt Lake City, UT (SLC), San Antonio, TX (SAT), San Francisco, CA (SFO), Santa Ana, CA (SNA), Seattle, WA (SEA), Washington, DC (IAD, two locations). For more information, visit www.vinovolo.com.
Coming in 2012: Boston, MA (General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport), Vancouver, BC, Canada (Vancouver International Airport, 2 locations), Denver, CO (Denver International Airport, 2 locations), Dallas, TX (Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport) and Bethesda, Maryland (Bethesda Row area).