Private investors Gregg and Jeff Hamann acquired Before the Butcher, Irvine, Calif., in a transaction that complements the Hamanns’ ownership of ground beef producer Jensen Meat Co. The acquisition gives Before the Butcher access to a $25 million line of credit, a 90,000-square-foot production space and cold storage warehousing facilities to quickly scale up and meet escalating market demand for meat alternatives.

Before the Butcher launched its UNCUT brand in the foodservice channel last year, and initiated retail distribution last month.

The portfolio currently spans 12 products, including plant-based beef, chicken and turkey burgers as well as breakfast sausage patties, chorizo, pulled pork, chicken chunks, beef tips and multiple varieties of ground beef and sausage.

“This acquisition validates our diversified product strategy, and also gives us both the financial resources and the production capacity to support our strong growth forecasts,” says Danny O’Malley, founder and president of Before the Butcher, who remains part-owner of the company. “It effectively turns us from a startup to a major player in the space.”

"It's clear that plant-based meats are on a growth trajectory. That makes Before the Butcher an ideal companion investment to Jensen Meats, which we have owned since 2011," says Jeff Hamann, who also owns Hamann Cos., El Cajon, Calif. “With the company’s solid foodservice base, new retail initiative and broad product assortment, we are anticipating strong performance that will put the UNCUT brand firmly on the map.”