Milk Bar, an award-winning bakery and dessert brand founded by CEO Christina Tosi, announced that it has raised Series A funding from RSE Ventures to expand the reach of its innovative, beloved desserts and snacks both online and offline. The new funding will be used to further Milk Bar's mission of making life a little sweeter, and marks the brand's first outside investment following nine years of steady and profitable growth.
The strategic investment from RSE Ventures, the venture firm co-founded by vice chairman of the Miami Dolphins, Matt Higgins, and founder and chairman of Related Companies, Stephen Ross, will help Milk Bar meet the growing demand for its products. This includes opening thoughtful brick-and-mortar stores in new cities, revamping its rapidly growing e-commerce and digital platform, and expanding its offerings of in-store and at-home baking experiences to drive a greater DIY baking culture across the country. Milk Bar will also continue to expand the reach of its baking mixes, proprietary coffee, and merchandise.
Milk Bar currently has 12 locations in New York, Washington, D.C, Las Vegas, and Toronto, and plans to open two more D.C. locations in late 2017, as well as a flagship location in Los Angeles in early 2018.
"For almost a decade, we've built the Milk Bar spirit patiently and purposefully by infusing our personality and culture into everything we create from the ground up," said Christina Tosi, founder and CEO of Milk Bar. "We are excited to spread our curious and playful spirit all over the world through unexpected channels and innovative products, to empower people and remind them to take time to celebrate the everyday. It's all about that Milk Bar Life."
Since launching the first Milk Bar in New York City in 2008, Christina Tosi has spearheaded a modern-day baking revolution with the creation of her signature naked layer cakes, compost cookies, crack pie, and cereal milk ice cream. She has turned birthday cake into a ubiquitous flavor. From b'day truffles and cake truffle shakes to confetti cookies, Christina inspired the phenomenon of sprinkle mania that has since become a mainstay of social media.
Christina is an internationally lauded pastry chef, two-time James Beard Award-winner, author of two critically acclaimed cookbooks, and regular co-host on the hit cooking competition series MasterChef and MasterChef Junior on FOX. She continues to redefine the boundaries in the food space and beyond as an accomplished female founder with a unique leadership style favoring creativity, empowerment, and personality.
"Milk Bar is changing the way we think about baked goods," says Matt Higgins, co-founder and CEO of RSE Ventures. "As a culinary pioneer, Christina has inspired entirely new dessert categories. Milk Bar is driving towards something even bigger— a way of life that creates connectivity and inspires play—sparked by something as simple as a cookie. Their growth potential is limitless."
RSE's many investments span food, lifestyle, entertainment, sports, and technology. Under Higgins, RSE has incubated and invested in numerous companies, the likes of which include Momofuku, Resy, VaynerMedia, &pizza, and the International Champions Cup.