R.e.d.d., the Portland-based energy bar company, has raised $1 million to further its nationwide expansion.
The company, founded by fashion-model-turned-entrepreneur Alden Blease, announced on May 17 that it had raised the funds from a group of investors led by Dan Nordstrom, CEO of Seattle-based Outdoor Research, and Greg Hanson, founder of Skyline Capital, a VC firm in Seattle.
The funds will be used to accelerate product innovation, marketing and distribution, according to a news release.
Nordstrom and Hanson both take a seat on R.e.d.d.’s board of directors, joining Blease, R.e.d.d. CEO Peter Van Alstine, and Pine State Trading President Keith Canning.
In tandem with its nationwide expansion, R.e.d.d. — an acronym that stands for Research Enhanced Design + Development — has also added to its product lineup. Launched with a single chocolate-flavored bar, the company has added two new flavors, peanut butter and oatmeal.
“What began as a personal quest for healthier nutrition to fuel my busy, on-the-go lifestyle now has the potential to transform the functional foods market for millions of people,” said Blease, who comes from a family of entrepreneurs (his mother, Heather Blease, is CEO of SaviLinx in Brunswick).
Nordstrom — of the famed retail family — is an important addition to the company, Blease told Project Nosh.
“[Dan Nordstrom] does have vast retail experience but he’s also an outdoor enthusiast, tremendous athlete and overall great guy,” Blease said. “I’d say he’s a visionary, he sees things before they happen in the market. I think the combination of those attributes is what helped him see the potential in R.e.d.d.”
Being CEO of an active lifestyle company, Nordstrom said he’s long sought an energy bars that are healthy, taste good and provide energy. He said he looks forward to helping R.e.d.d. expand its offerings and gain better traction in a crowded marketplace for energy bars.
“Job one is to maximize the brand’s reach and develop incredible new products for people who refuse to let busy lifestyles rule out healthy ones,” Nordstrom said in a statement.