Livio Bisterzo, 36, is the founder of Green Park Brands Inc. He established his natural and healthy snack made from chickpeas. The product was launched at the time when many Americans prefer natural snacks that tend to inspire a healthy life. So far, Bisterzo confirms that revenues from Hippeas have crossed the $2.5 million mark. This year, he anticipates over 340% growth in revenues.
Recently, Bisterzo had unexpected investors knocking on his door. The investors, Leonard DiCaprio and a Chicago-based private equity firm (Strand Equity Partners), made undisclosed investments in Hippeas. Bisterzo confirms that all the investments that his company has received including the recent investments amount to $2.5 million. He hopes to use the funds from the new investors to revamp the company’s marketing and distribution networks.
Bisterzo is an experienced entrepreneur who has worked with startups before, and his knowledge on new companies helped him to launch Green Park Brands and Hippeas. Bisterzo previously launched Kyoku and Little Miracles; the former is a men’s grooming line while the latter markets beverage drinks. Immediately he launched Hippeas, Bisterzo’s experience and connections helped him avail Hippeas in major American retail stores such as Albertsons, Vons, and Starbucks. Soon, Hippeas will be available in Kroger Co. and Target stores. His connections outside the U.S has enabled Bisterzo to open an office in the U.K from where the company oversees the sale of Hippeas in Europe.
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Hippeas is poised for success; a Canadian Research firm, Rogue Thought Consulting, confirms. According to Norman Deschamps, the owner of the research firm, the sale of snacks that contain alternative ingredients such as chickpeas, sweet potatoes, kale, and spinach grew by 7% last year. However, the sale of snacks containing chickpeas rose by a whopping 153%. Deschamps predicts that since major players in the snacks industry have not started producing snacks containing chickpeas, Hippeas and other brands have an opportunity to grow with little competition. By the time big companies commence production, Hippeas and other chickpea snacks will have grown exponentially and dominated the market.
What makes Hippeas unique? Bisterzo is concerned about the environment and sustainable production. Since Hippeas are produced from legumes (chickpeas), they fix nitrogen in the soil enriching the soil and its potential to support other crops. To achieve sustainable production, Bisterzo redirects to two cents of each sachet of Hippeas sold to farm Africa to help chickpeas farmers.