Sunflower Seed Co. Raises $7 Million

Sunflower Food & Spice Co., a Kansas City-based maker of sunflower seeds and other snacks, has raised $7 million in private financing from Advantage Capital Partners. The financing was done in partnership with both the Missouri New Markets Development program and the federal New Markets Tax Credit program.


Advantage Capital Partners, a leading venture capital and small business finance firm, has provided $7 million in financing to Sunflower Food & Spice Company, Ltd., the makers of sunflower seed and quality gourmet snacks. The funding enabled the company to move its headquarters from Kansas to Missouri and will also be used to support continued growth.

“This investment was made possible by the Missouri New Markets Development program, and it is a great example of how the program is working to enhance economic growth in our state,” said Jeremy Degenhart, senior vice president at Advantage Capital in St. Louis. “Our investment helped Sunflower move to a larger facility in Kansas City, Mo., bringing all 25 full-time employees. In addition, Missouri will benefit from the additional tax revenues and community growth due to Sunflower’s relocation.”

Founded in 1994, Sunflower Food & Spice produces gourmet snacks for the specialty food industry. Largely known for its colorful Sunny Seed Drops®, the company also offers a variety of other snacks made from sunflower seeds, as well as nuts and pretzel snacks, bagel spread mixes and much more. The Sunflower Food & Spice products are sold throughout the country to department stores, gourmet retailers and the food service industry.

“The funding from our investment partners came at the right time, as we had outgrown our facility in Kansas and were looking to expand,” said Jarrett Dunn, CEO of Sunflower Food & Spice. “We now have the resources we need to grow our business and increase our presence in the gourmet food industry.”

“We work hard to make sure Missouri is open for business. That is why I am excited to welcome thriving new businesses to our region thanks to the Missouri New Markets Development program that helped make it possible for Sunflower Food & Spice to relocate to Missouri, bringing 25 good jobs,” said Senate Leader Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph.

In a financing partnership with Enterprise Bank, Advantage Capital provided funding in connection with the Missouri New Markets Development program and the federal New Markets Tax Credit program. Both programs are designed to stimulate economic growth in communities that historically have been underserved by traditional sources of capital.

About Advantage Capital Partners

Advantage Capital Partners ( is a leading venture capital and small business finance firm focused on early stage companies and other investments supporting state and local economic development efforts. With offices and partners in St. Louis, New Orleans, Austin and other U.S. cities, Advantage has raised more than $1 billion since 1992 and invested in companies located in geographic areas underserved by traditional venture capital.

About the Missouri New Markets Development program

Enacted in 2007, the Missouri New Markets Development program encourages investment in promising small businesses located in distressed communities throughout the state. The program enables up to $186 million of capital investment in Missouri’s small businesses.

About the federal New Markets Tax Credit program

The federal New Markets Tax Credit program, administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, encourages private-sector investment in economically distressed communities through tax incentives. In a highly competitive allocation procedure, the Treasury Department awards the tax credits based on applications submitted for each tax year.