Before the Butcher CEO: 'We are one of the next big players out there'

As plant-based meat heats up, it doesn't get hotter than this startup, which announced a large-scale retail launch and its acquisition by the owners of Jensen Meat all in one week.


Megan Poinski, FoodDive

June 10, 2019


NEW YORK Danny O'Malley's company Before the Butcher is just a year and a half old, but it's already making some significant waves in the plant-based meat space.


O'Malley, whose business cards identify him as the company's "presiplant" and founder, had an eventful last week highlighted by the acquisition of his company by private investors Gregg and Jeff Hamann, who also own ground beef producer Jensen Meat Company. This was on the heels of another big announcement: Before the Butcher's Uncut brand of meatless burgers and sausages will launch in retail stores this summer.


Following these announcements, O'Malley spent much of the week talking to journalists and investors, appearing on Fox Business and the TD Ameritrade Network. On Friday, he was dishing up samples of Uncut burgers and sausage at the Plant Based World conference in the Javits Convention Center, basking in the interest in his company and trying to convert new fans.


"We're really excited about being in this space that's growing so fast," O'Malley told Food Dive on the conference show floor. "...We believe we are one of the next big players out there."


O'Malley isn't the only one who thinks so. As enthusiasm builds around the alternative meat space, investors and consumers are hungry for new products coming to market. And, as demonstrated by Before the Butcher's acquisition and Beyond Meat's red-hot IPO last month, so are investors.


The Before the Butcher acquisition came about because some of its initial angel investors sold their shares in the company to the Hamann brothers, O'Malley said. The purchase amount has not been disclosed. Before the Butcher already worked closely with the Hamanns' other company, Jensen Meat. O'Malley stressed that his company is now a sister company to the ground beef giant, sharing corporate ownership with Jensen, but is staying 100% plant-based. Prior to the acquisition, Jensen was already a Before the Butcher co-packer.


"Now they're going to help us grow exponentially, because we have an opportunity with a company that's already established to help us produce our products," O'Malley said. "And then we have a ... financial source, so we don't have to keep going back to the well and looking for more money."


Thanks to the acquisition, Before the Butcher is able to...