Mama Bev’s Bakery plans to fundraise for expansion

KENNY YOO – Gary Plassmeyer of Mama Bev’s Bakery

A Hales Corners business that started as a pizza shop’s dessert offering plans to fundraise to support its growth.

Gary Plassmeyer started Mama Bev’s Bakery to provide St. Louis butter cakes as a dessert for his 9th Slice Pizza Co. business, which had a location on South 108th Street in Hales Corners. After road construction outside the restaurant hampered sales, Plassmeyer pivoted and put his focus on the butter cakes.

The business has grown in the years since to acquire new grocery store accounts, and Mama Bev’s was also accepted into a business accelerator program.

Now, Plassmeyer said, he is starting a $1.5 million fundraising round to support continued growth.

“We’ve gotten enough sales traction out in the market that it’s going to push our sales in excess of $1 million within the next six months,” Plassmeyer said. “We’re raising that money to be able to grow – expand our footprint, expand the sales and marketing.”

Mama Bev's bakery sells St. Louis butter cakes.

CHRIS KESSLER – Mama Bev’s bakery sells St. Louis butter cakes.

Plassmeyer said the new funds would allow Mama Bev’s to acquire more equipment and grow its manufacturing operation. He also wants to expand the product line. Mama Bev’s now sells 15-ounce cakes in a variety of flavors. Plassmeyer wants to be able to sell the butter cakes as individual pieces.

In addition, he said, the funds would allow Mama Bev’s to hire an employee to help run the business on a day-to-day basis.

Plassmeyer said he plans to raise the $1.5 million mainly from angel investors. For future rounds, he said Mama Bev’s might seek out venture capital.

“We have a strong community presence,” he said. “Our desire would be to keep it as local as possible.”

Mama Bev’s continues to manufacture from the former 9th Slice space in Hales Corners, which has about 3,000 square feet. Plassmeyer said he plans to move the business into a new, larger facility after his lease runs out. He’d next like to move into a space with 6,000 to 8,000 square feet.

In addition to spinning Mama Bev’s into its own operation, Plassmeyer had a second business evolve from his pizzeria. He developed a device called the Thermo-V, which he says will improve the quality of food delivered from restaurants.

The Thermo-V is intended to ensure delivered food arrives hot and crispy. Plassmeyer said the technology circulates hot air and expels moisture so foods such as pizzas, fries and wings remain at their optimal temperature.

“It’s not cooking while it’s delivering, and it’s not getting cold while it’s delivering,” Plassmeyer said.

He said he recently reached a deal with Georgia-Pacific to commercialize the Thermo-V. The deal is not exclusive, Plassmeyer said, which means he’ll pull in royalties and can sell the Thermo-V to customers of his own, such as individual restaurants and local grocers.

“Eventually, our goal with the product is to force these bigger delivery companies to have to adapt to it,” he said.

Sari Lesk, Milwaukee Business Journal

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