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September 14, 2022

Umaro Foods Announces Investment from NBA Star Chris Paul to Grow Reach of Plant Based Bacon

From the press release.

12-Time NBA All-Star and entrepreneur Chris Paul
12-Time NBA All-Star and entrepreneur Chris Paul.

On the heels of a successful national debut in June, Umaro Foods, a Berkeley-based startup pioneering the use of red seaweed protein in plant-based meat, is marking two milestones: an investment from 12-Time NBA All-Star and entrepreneur Chris Paul, and an expansion to more restaurant menus across the United States.

Partnering with Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul marries the talents of the company and the pro athlete. “Chris’ reputation as a leader in the plant-based movement is unmatched,” said Umaro CEO Beth Zotter. “He was the first to try our product and we’re thrilled to announce this partnership.”

Chris Paul, known by his fans as CP3, became a vegan in 2018 and credits the change in diet with improving his on-court performance. The elite athlete and investor is committed to aligning his business ventures with a social impact mission, including better health outcomes for underserved and low-income communities. Umaro’s use of clean, natural ingredients, its delicious taste, and its expansion into restaurants of varying price points, make it easier for people to adopt healthful plant-based and plant-forward diets. Diners will soon find a CP3 BLT and Chopped Spinach Salad with Umaro Bacon at Geaux Plant-Based by LA’s Harold and Belle’s.

“Umaro Foods is a revolutionary brand offering a delicious and healthy plant-based meat alternative to crispy bacon,” said Chris Paul. “I’m excited to partner with them to help further accelerate their growth, success and social impact.”

Umaro bacon’s delicious, hickory flavor, crispy texture, and great performance in recipes has captured the attention of an ever-expanding list of eateries from white table cloth establishments to corner bodegas. The bacon is now included on menus at restaurants in Atlanta, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Raleigh, Nashville, New York City, Orlando and San Francisco, with more on the way. The bacon, which earlier this year prompted a record-setting bidding war for investment in the company on ABC’s Shark Tank, shows no signs of slowing its growth.

From quick serve to fine dining, the bacon’s versatility shines in classic menu items as well as more playful variations. On September 16th, the bacon will debut in the classic bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwich at New York City bodegas, thanks to a partnership with Plantega. It is also making a hit in an upleveled BLT at the vaunted Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles. Other restaurants are using Umaro bacon in unexpected ways. LoopHoles, in Atlanta, has added a bacon doughnut to their menu while NYC’s VeganHood serves a Brioche French Toast with Umaro Bacon.

“Our food has always been made with an emphasis on comforting yet creative taste and flavor combinations in mind,” says Crossroads’ Executive Chef Scot Jones. ”Umaro’s bacon offers just that, a perfect hit of salty, meaty, and fatty flavor to a classic BLT.”

In the coming months, Umaro Foods will continue to expand to new restaurants across the country. A full list of eateries currently featuring the bacon can be found at this link.

Image gallery can be found here.

About Umaro Foods, Inc.
Umaro is a food company focused on making ocean farmed seaweeds the future source of abundant and high-quality protein. The company is introducing its protein to consumers as a premium ingredient in their first product, Umaro Bacon. The company’s origins began in the design of sustainable seaweed farming systems, and is now focused on delivering branded consumer food products featuring its proprietary Umaro™ red seaweed protein. Umaro’s mission is to develop a food system that supports a wild and thriving planet with what is considered one of the most sustainable sources of protein on the planet—ocean farmed seaweed. Founded by CEO Beth Zotter and CTO Amanda Stiles, the company is based in Berkeley, California. Visit Umaro Foods and follow @UmaroFoods on Instagram.

About Chris Paul
Chris Paul is a twelve-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold medalist. He was recently named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team as one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history. Last year, Paul became the first player in league history to record 20,000 points and 10,000 assists in their career. He ranks third place on the NBA all-time career assists list. Paul currently plays with the Phoenix Suns and previously played with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and New Orleans Hornets.

Off the court, he’s a father, husband, entrepreneur, activist, and philanthropist. He served as the former President of the National Basketball Players Association from 2013 until 2021. His business partnerships include the Jordan Brand, State Farm Insurance, Turner Impact Capital, Just Egg , Beyond Meat, PlayersTV, Gopuff, La Fête Wine Company, Watchbox, Koia, Greenfly, Misha’s Kind Foods, Life360, Uncharted Power, Goalsetter, Calm, Dibbs, MaxOne, AARMY, Oura Health, Savage X Fenty, Eastside Golf, Move, Supplant, Roots Food Group, Fanatics, Panini Cards, Bowery Farming, SV Sports, Current Foods, Slutty Vegan, Umaro Foods, and more. He recently became a minority owner of the Indian Premier League’s Rajasthan Royals. In his home state of North Carolina, he is part owner of the Winston-Salem Dash and owner of the CP3 Basketball Academy. He is the co-founder of Go Hoop Day, a day for celebrating the game of basketball worldwide, and he co-hosts The Showdown, the celebrity golf showcase. His production company, Ohh Dip!!! Productions, creates content across multiple platforms and Paul has executive produced projects including Chapter 3, Crossroads, The Game Changers, Blackballed, Why Not Us: NC Central Men’s Basketball, The Day Sports Stood Still, American Sole, Why Not Us: FAMU Football, PlayersTV’s Front Office, Why Not Us: Southern Dance, and 61. Ohh Dip!!! co-produces Bloomberg Quicktake’s How I Got Here, an in-depth weekly one-on-one interview series hosted by Paul. His upcoming memoir, Sixty-One: Life Lessons from Papa, On and Off the Court, is a powerful and unexpected memoir of family, faith, tragedy, and life’s most important lessons.

The Chris Paul Family Foundation continues to provide resources that enrich and strengthen underserved communities across the country. Paul co-launched the Social Change Fund United dedicated to investing in and supporting organizations focused on empowering communities of color and advocating for the human rights of all black lives. He was recently appointed to President Joe Biden’s advisory board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. His philanthropic efforts have earned him the 2016 ESPYs “Humanitarian of the Year” award, 2016 Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award, the NBA Community Assist Award five times, and most recently the inaugural Kobe and Gigi Bryant Advocacy Award for his significant contributions to the advancement of girls’ and women’s basketball, and advocacy for the WNBA.