Member Highlight: kube

To learn more about kubé, we asked Kai B. Nortey, CEO & Co-Founder, some questions.

What is the name of your company? 

kubé (registered)

When and why did you start your company? 

We started R&D on kubé in 2014, and became an LLC in 2016. We continued with R&D of cold-pressed coconut cream that we made on our own from mature coconuts, without synthetic chemicals. In addition, we also invented a 3D-EDM, 304 stainless steel coconut scraper equipment device for manufacturing and just received our USPTO patent in 2020.


We began selling kubé in 2018 at farmers’ markets, weddings, cultural events, pop-ups, then corporate events, private parties, and now direct to consumer. We have put in the necessary leg-work to prove that we have a very high quality product customers (flexitarians and lactose intolerant), want and now our demand far exceeds our capacity to supply. Kubé solves our customers pain points, for a dense, creamy, clean, and bold flavors that are hard to find on the shelves now. Kubé truly satisfies their ice cream cravings.

We created kubé for three important reasons:

1) necessity is the mother of invention: We are lactose intolerant and vegan. I like to say, “Lay off the mama cow boob, and get on the coconut – it will protect your life and save hers.”

We are lactose intolerant just like the 220-million people who are also lactose intolerant in the US. We were and still are very unsatisfied with the non-dairy coconut ice cream in the market. We wanted to be able to eat the best tasting non-dairy coconut ice cream that had no detectable coconut flavor. All the coconut ice cream on the market is imported coconut cream with Sodium Metabisulfite (bleaching chemical preservative), and is either too strong in coconut flavor, icy, airy, or feels like a thick-and-soft-rubber-band creamy.

2) Self and collective determination: We must determine what healthier food systems look like and how they engage with historically oppressed groups. We have a triple bottom line that is all about restorative economics, racial & gender equity, and ecology.

This is why we are leading the next inclusive, full-circle regenerative economy with vegan coconut ice cream manufacturing. kubé exists to restore life, health, joy, dignity, equity back to people, animals, and the soil. Did you know that 80% of the world is lactose intolerant, but is economically and socially forced to consume dairy products, which is a system of factory farmed animals. Factory farmed animals are constantly abused and exploited for profit. This is why kubé is liberation nice cream and liberates people and mama cows from systems of abuse and chemicals.

Did you know that while 90% of Africans of the Diaspora are lactose intolerant, we own 0% of vegan coconut ice cream manufacturing around the world, even though millions of coconut trees grow in many coastal African and Caribbean countries. Kubé is changing this landscape, locally and internationally! Vegan coconut ice cream is not just for America and Europe, but for everyone! We will develop a kubé production license that will be available for people to purchase in Ghana, Abu Dhabi, DuBai, Sri Lanka, India, Caribbean, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, and other countries. We are producing the next generation of the best tasting coconut ice cream that is clean with bold plant-based flavors.

3) Healthy communities include restorative economics: We want to build healthier communities with economic liberation models that hire formerly incarcerated folks and returning mothers, which intrinsically restores life, health, joy, dignity, and equity back to people. Kubé is about repairing the harm that has been done to historically oppressed groups.

 Can you tell us about the work your company is doing and why it is important?

Our vision is to transform the vegan coconut ice cream industry, locally and internationally with the next generation of coconut ice cream. This process will utilize new regenerative food models (without synthetic chemicals) to restore life, health, JOY, dignity, and equity back to people, animals, and the soil. Alll our coconut byproducts become a soil resource/ compost for urban, organic community farms at in low-income areas in Oakland, California and can be upcycled and sold to local farms. The money we receive from bigger, local organic farms will go back into our workers’ wages. So now you see how kubé waste/ byproducts can be regenerative – “restoring life to the soil and to people.”

We have a sense of urgency to transform the coconut ice cream industry with new food models that restore life, health, JOY, dignity and equity back to coconut farmers, ice cream enthusiasts, lactose intolerant, flexitarian and allergen population, and to historically oppressed groups.
kubé’s purpose is to lead the next inclusive and full-circle regenerative economy with vegan ice cream manufacturing that inspires, awakens, and transforms lives. We will be hiring formerly incarcerated women and men to restore their value and dignity in the workforce.

We have secured a 5,000 SF manufacturing facility with retail, that is being built out now, in a new outdoor and indoor food plaza, in Oakland California (Brooklyn Basin area). This new facility and retail store will provide more visibility for kubé on the local, national, and international level, and will continue to show the amazing traction we have with kubé. Our new manufacturing facility with retail will be open in the fall, 2021.

We produce 3.5 oz containers of kubé and sell via e-commerce on online, and customers currently pickup from our commercial facility. Within the first two hours of our online sale we are selling out of 80% of our inventory and this is consistent with every sale we have. Our new manufacturing facility will support our demand to scale locally. We will supply customers, high end hotels, museums, and vegan restaurants.

What do you think others should be aware of with regards to the work your company is doing?

Again, we have secured a 5,000 SF manufacturing facility with retail, that is being built out now, in a new outdoor and indoor food plaza, in Oakland California (Brooklyn Basin area). It will be ready by Fall, 2021.

Our value proposition offers regenerative food manufacturing models with automated patented coconut equipment, that build locally resilient food systems. This can be created all over the world, especially where coconuts naturally grow – in tropical coastal regions! kubé will build economic liberation models all over the world that exist to restore value, health, equity, and dignity back to ice cream enthusiasts, lactose intolerant population, allergen population, and historically oppressed people.

By 2023, kubé will be selling a production license to many countries all over the world, so that Black and Brown business owners can also own culturally-relevant, local vegan coconut ice cream production and not be economically dependent on Unilever and Nestle.

How have the current circumstances of the world changed your business plan?

Prior to COVID-19, we were selling kubé to corporate and tech events at Google, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Impossible Foods. We pivoted, and went back to selling directly to consumers and sales traction is through the roof. We have a huge local following that spreads our brand through “word of mouth” and they share our posts with others on social media.

In addition, people want inspiration for unknown bleak times. Kubé provides people with a healthier and more restorative vision of the future with conscious leadership. Conscious leadership is all about restoring life and health back to people, animals, and the soil (mama earth).

Do you have any exciting news or launches occurring this year?

Yes! We have an investment offering to values aligned, accredited investors now. Our investment offering is a 506 C, and we are selling non-voting preferred stock to investors and offering dividends. The minimum investment amount is $100k. Our term sheet is on our website. This is an opportunity to build inclusive and full-circle, regenerative economies all over the world with vegan coconut vegan ice cream manufacturing that have many byproducts to address ecology and climate change.

In addition, our manufacturing facility with retail will be open in the fall of 2021. Customers will still order via e-commerce and then pickup at our facility. At kubé, we have always asked our customer base to pick up their orders as a way of supporting small growing businesses that need to protect our gross profit margins. They get it and support us! Delivery will happen in the future once we can afford it. In addition, distinguished hotels and vegan restaurants have contacted us to feature kubé soon.

What is one thing you wish you knew as you began your work that you think is important for othersworking in this industry to know?

Let me just say that you will never know everything when starting your business, but you can consciously prepare, research and investigate the field first as I did. It is important to take healthy risks in life.

I wanted to prepare with research, and test my product first which told me that I had an excellent product-market fit! I prepared for our business by interviewing as many players in the non-dairy and dairy ice cream industry to learn the common challenges, why so many go out of business, how to protect your gross profit margins, and how to create NEW opportunities that no one seems to care about doing, because they are not being creative. I interviewed 10 CEO’s in the dairy and non-dairy ice cream space and learned a lot before launching my business. They all played by the same play book, year after year after year, and they no longer exist now. I realized I needed to create my own business play book that focused on local and international business with social impact. As I always say; “we exist to rebuild and transform. It’s not about winning; it’s about transforming society with healthier and restorative models that the people want and need!

    Where can others find you online?


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    Member Highlight: Stray Dog Capital

    To learn more about Stray Dog Capital, we asked their team some questions.

    What is the name of your company? 

    Stray Dog Capital

    When and why did you start your company? 

    Stray Dog Capital started as a family office with an evergreen fund back in 2013 when Chuck and Jennifer Laue realized that feeding 10-Billion people—the global population we are expected to reach by 2050—is entirely unfeasible using our current food system. 

    This along with the existing inefficiencies and inhumane practices seen in food production globally inspired the Laues to focus their efforts on affecting change in these systems by investing in innovative new FoodTech and synthetic biology companies.In 2015 Lisa Feria joined the fund as the CEO and led the process of crafting an investment thesis, raising a second fund, and bolstering Stray Dog Capital’s rapidly growing portfolio. While we still invest out of the original evergreen fund, we also invest out of a second fund, have a portfolio of over 35 companies in the space, have completed several successful exists (including Beyond Meat, and Purple Carrot), and will be raising a third fund in the coming months.

    In 3 sentences or less, can you tell us about the work your company is doing and why it is important?

    Stray Dog Capital is focused on creating a more humane, sustainable, and equitable global food system. We do this through investing in highly innovative, and scalable companies primarily in the plant-based and synthetic biology spaces. Outside of our investing activities, we also lead and support various efforts to bolster diversity across the industry (in the entrepreneurial scene, as well as within VC) and work with leading research and educational institutions committed to advancing our food supply systems. 

    What do you think others should be aware of with regards to the work your company is doing?

    Stray Dog Capital is working towards a food system that is more equitable and humane across the board. When making investment decisions we prioritize the impact of the company and look at factors including how many animals could theoretically be removed from the food system from the startup’s innovation, the environmental impacts, what communities and populations will benefit from the products, and how the company is thinking about and prioritizing accessibility, particularly as they scale. 

    How have the current circumstances of the world changed your business plan?

    Candidly, the pandemic has affected every person and every business, us included. For Stray Dog Capital, we have had to rapidly adjust many of our activities, perhaps most significant have been the changes to our deal sourcing and diligence processes; previously we attended trade shows and conferences around the world and used these as a key source of deal flow, we also used to visit the facilities of companies we invested in. Now, our entire deal sourcing and diligence process is conducted virtually, and we have invested in several founders that we have not yet had the pleasure of meeting in person. Looking forward, we will be raising our third fund throughout this year and are anticipating that we will be doing the bulk of this remotely; a challenge and opportunity that we are looking forward to!

    Do you have any exciting news or launches occurring this year?

    Yes! We will begin fundraising for our third fund in the coming months and encourage those interested in news on this to reach out to us via our website. Additionally, we are working closely with several of our former interns at the University of Puerto Rico to launch an educational program for students interested in VC, and particularly investing in the plant-based and sustainability spaces.

    What is one thing you wish you knew as you began your work that you think is important for others working in this industry to know?

    The demand for funding in the plant-based and cultivated meat spaces is only growing, and the need to accelerate the timelines of these companies is more urgent than ever. We need to be rapidly adapting and improving our existing food systems if we hope to feed our continuously growing population, and innovation in this space cannot come fast enough! Where can others find you online?


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