Blaze Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint”, serving up artisanal pizzas that are both fast and affordable.
Founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels), Blaze Pizza opened its first restaurant on August 6, 2012, in Irvine, CA, and the Company quickly gained attention for its chef-driven recipes, thoughtful interior design and service culture celebrating individuality. Named ‘#1 Brand of the Year’ in the 2017 Fast Casual Top 100, the Company is building momentum and developing a cult-like following as it expands across North America. Each Blaze Pizza restaurant features an interactive open-kitchen format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create their own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, “clean” ingredients. The generously-sized personal pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven – the centerpiece of the restaurant – where dedicated pizzasmiths ensure the thin-crust pies are fast-fire’d and ready to eat in just 180 seconds. Restaurants make fresh dough from scratch using a proprietary recipe, which requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce the Company’s signature light-as-air, crisp crust. Blaze also serves freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies, and offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese for pizza fans with specific dietary needs.
Beyond Proper by Boston Proper is a specialty retailer of women’s high-end apparel and accessories that cultivate glamour and inspire individuality.
Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, Beyond Proper by Boston Proper is a specialty retailer of women’s high-end apparel and accessories inspired by women who are fearlessly feminine, enviably chic and possess the poise and confidence to Wear It Like No One Else®. Characterized by highly differentiated merchandise and a desirable and aspirational look, the brand emphasizes an iconic, classy and sexy aesthetic, delivering on-trend styles with age-appropriate fits that cultivate glamour and inspire individuality.
In January 2016, Brentwood completed its acquisition of Boston Proper in partnership with management.
ClassWallet streamlines the tracking of education funds by minimizing paperwork and administrative overhead while creating a more impactful way to allocate spending.
ClassWallet is the leading end-to-end digital solution to manage funding within school systems. The platform combines funds disbursement, e-commerce, a reloadable debit card and tracking in a fully integrated manner designed for maximum simplicity and accountability. ClassWallet brings accountability to a $23 billion system that relies heavily on cash, checks, and purchase orders that add up to 40 percent transaction costs and a fund-spend-track lifecycle that takes weeks. ClassWallet reduces these transaction costs to less than 5 percent, and the transaction lifecycle to same day. For more information about ClassWallet, please visit www.classwallet.com.
Credentials Solutions is the leading provider of tech-enabled transcript fulfillment, parking services and degree verification to the higher education market.
Founded in 1997, Credentials Solutions specializes in identifying time and labor-intensive administrative processes at post-secondary institutions and replacing them with simplified, automated software solutions at a lower cost to the institutions. Its transcript solutions offering consists of TranscriptsPlus, RoboRegistrar, TranscriptsNetwork and eRoboMail. These solutions automate the online and mail transcript ordering service and are tailored to fit each institution’s unique policies and procedures. The Company’s ParkingPlus solution automates the permit application, payment, production and distribution of parking permits for post-secondary institutions and municipalities. In 2017, Credentials introduced its eduCheck offering, which provides seamless online degree and enrollment verification. In partnership with management, Brentwood completed its growth investment in Credentials Solutions in 2018.
Excelligence is a leading developer, manufacturer, distributor, and multi-channel retailer of educational products, which are sold to child care programs, preschools, elementary schools, and consumers.
Founded in 1985, the company serves the growing pre-K and elementary markets, offering a one-stop shopping experience for teachers, institutions, and parents seeking an extensive assortment of over 20,000 products. Excelligence provides a full-line selection of branded, private label, and proprietary products across several categories, including arts and crafts, infant and toddler, active play, dramatic play, furniture and equipment, math, language, and science.
The “Discount School Supply” brand represents the company’s largest business segment and is a market leader in the arts and crafts category. In addition to its headquarters in Monterey, California, the company operates five distribution facilities throughout the U.S., providing for fast and cost-effective delivery. In partnership with management, Brentwood completed its acquisition of Excelligence in December 2014.
Jefferson Dental Care is a leading dental support organization with affiliated clinics throughout Texas that offer a broad range of general dentistry, orthodontic, and other specialty dental services.
Headquartered in Dallas, TX, Jefferson provides best-in-class marketing and non-clinical support services to its affiliated clinics and has established a strong reputation of trust and commitment to quality care within the communities it serves. Since its founding in 1967, the Company has expanded from a single clinic affiliation into a scalable, multi-practice platform that is well positioned to expand its existing footprint through de novo unit development and add-on acquisitions.
J.McLaughlin was founded in 1977 when Kevin and Jay McLaughlin opened their first store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Since then, J.McLaughlin has emerged as an established independent retailer in sophisticated urban neighborhoods, suburban outposts and resort villages across the United States. The brand’s design emphasizes impeccable craftsmanship and timeless style, rooted in the American traditions of sport, work and play. The company offers unique, high-quality products in standout colors and a signature portfolio of prints, supporting a lifestyle marked by sophistication and success.
In November 2015, Brentwood completed its acquisition of J.McLaughlin in partnership with management.
Lazy Dog is a polished casual dining concept that was founded in 2003 by CEO Chris Simms.
Inspired by the lifestyle of the Rocky Mountains, where Chris Simms spent many family vacations, Lazy Dog delivers innovative comfort cuisine and on-trend flavor profiles, paired with exceptional service in a comfortable, yet exciting environment. By delivering a memorable dining experience, small town hospitality and contemporary comfort all at a compelling value, Lazy Dog enjoys broad customer appeal.
Brentwood acquired Lazy Dog in July 2013 when it had 12 stores. Since acquisition, Brentwood has supported the company as it continues to pursue its key growth initiatives including driving same-store-sales growth, opening new units, making key management and infrastructure additions, and expanding into new markets. As a result the company has opened multiple new units, expanded to new geographies, refined its site selection process and assembled a management infrastructure capable of supporting continued unit growth. The company has a strong new unit pipeline, and management is excited to pursue growth in both new and existing markets.
Founded in 1955, Marshall Retail Group (MRG) is a leading specialty retailer offering a broad range of retail concepts for high-foot-traffic marketplaces.
MRG provides turnkey solutions to premier casino resort and airport operators by creating and managing a highly scalable platform of stores. The Company’s retail concepts generate best-in-class unit economics across all metrics and fall into three distinct and complementary categories: logo and sundry stores; fashion apparel, footwear and accessories stores; and licensed brands. The Company is led by an exceptional management team, which has fostered a results-oriented culture and developed a deep bench of experienced talent.
Pacific Catch is a Westcoast Fish House serving fresh seafood inspired by the culinary traditions of the Pacific.
Reminiscent of casual Hawaiian, Japanese, and Baja fish houses, Pacific Catch was created to address an underserved and fragmented seafood market. Pacific Catch offers chef-quality seafood prepared to order, with on-trend Pan-Asian, sushi, and Latin flavors, while serving the growing consumer demand for healthy, delicious food, all in a casual dining atmosphere. The Company's menu ranges from its popular Hawaiian Poke to Pan-Asian rice bowls to seasonal Daily Catch specials. Pacific Catch is committed to serving the most sustainable fish available and being a positive force in the communities it serves.
In April 2016 Brentwood completed its investment in Pacific Catch, partnering with the shareholders and existing management team.
Founded by an athlete and avid outdoorsman, and driven by a spirit of innovation, SAXX Underwear Co.’s mission is to revolutionize the core staple of every man’s wardrobe.
Based in Vancouver, Canada, SAXX designs and sells comfortable, premium, high-performance men’s apparel tailored to support an active lifestyle. SAXX’s products are made from the highest quality functional fabrics to address the specific needs of each customer, ranging from everyday lifestyle pieces to high performance gear. Since 2006, the brand has been at the forefront of innovation in the men’s premium underwear category – offering a truly differentiated product with a unique design and patented technology. Today, SAXX’s focus remains the same: to equip men with game-changing, next-level apparel that allows them to move freely and without restriction – apparel that feels like it’s barely there, that elevates everyday experiences and that just works.
In December 2016, Brentwood completed a significant investment in SAXX Underwear Co. in partnership with management and the existing shareholder group.
Sundance is a leading multi-channel direct marketer and specialty retailer of apparel and accessories, jewelry and home furnishings.
Founded by Robert Redford in 1989 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, the company’s eclectic product offerings are predominantly exclusive and offered through its catalogs, website, an outlet store and retail stores. The company is one of several Sundance brand entities including the Sundance Channel, the Sundance Institute, Sundance Cinemas and the Sundance Resort.
Brentwood acquired Sundance in July 2012 and has supported the company as it continues to execute on its growth initiatives, including developing a robust customer database, refining its customer targeting strategy, growing its apparel business through new product development and expanding its e-commerce marketing efforts. As a result, several of Sundance’s key product segments, as well as its customer file, have seen significant growth since acquisition. The company has also completed several key management hires and is excited to pursue its retail growth strategy in the near term.
Soft Surroundings is a high-growth, multi-category lifestyle brand offering unique solutions to today’s active woman who, despite the tremendous demands on her time, craves interludes of comfort, romance, and relaxation in her life.
The company’s product offering consists of soft, unique and easy-to-wear clothing, well-priced luxury bedding, home furnishings and state-of-the-art beauty and fragrance products. Soft Surroundings serves her customer through an omni-channel marketing and operational platform built around catalog, e-commerce and retail stores.
Brentwood acquired Soft Surroundings in August 2012. Since acquisition, Brentwood has supported the Soft Surroundings management team in refining its retail store strategy, including significantly revising the new store prototype and improving site selection processes. As a result, the company has more than doubled its retail store presence, and continues to execute on an aggressive retail expansion strategy. During Brentwood’s ownership, Soft Surroundings has also grown its direct-to-consumer business by increasing its catalog circulation and launching a new home furnishings catalog title. Enhancements to and optimization of the company’s e-commerce platform continue to be a source of tremendous growth and opportunity.
Upward Projects, an Inc. 5000 “fastest growing company” for three years running, is a Phoenix-based hospitality company that creates inspired restaurants that are connected to the communities they serve. The company was co-founded in 2001 by Lauren Bailey and Craig DeMarco with the opening of the first Postino WineCafé in Phoenix, AZ. In founding Postino, Lauren and Craig set out to redefine how people consume wine, creating a sophisticated, yet affordable wine bar concept that has broad appeal among various demographic groups. Over the past 16 years, the management team has opened seven Postino restaurants, each in unique, historic buildings with memorable designs and beautiful patios. Upward Projects also operates five other restaurants, including two Joyride restaurants, Federal Pizza, Windsor and Churn.
The Teaching Company, marketing through The Great Courses brand, is the nation’s leading developer and marketer of premium-quality media for lifelong learning and personal enrichment.
Delivered in engaging, expertly produced video and audio (digital streaming, downloads, DVDs and CDs), these carefully crafted courses provide access to a world of knowledge from the most accomplished professors and experts. The content-rich, proprietary library spans over 500 titles with over 7,000 hours and 13,000 lectures designed to expand horizons, deepen understanding and foster epiphanies in the arts, science, literature, self-improvement, history, music, philosophy, theology, economics, mathematics, business, professional advancement, personal growth and high school curriculum. The Teaching Company was founded in 1990 and is based in Chantilly, Virginia. More information can be found at www.thegreatcourses.com.
Brentwood acquired The Teaching Company in September 2006. Upon acquisition, Brentwood worked closely with the company to build out the marketing and product development functions. Leveraging these investments, the company built two new studios with high-definition capability and upgraded the course development process by incorporating greater use of visual elements and graphics. The company also completed a thorough rebranding (logo, marketing materials and product packaging) and upgraded its website with new functionality, including customer ratings and reviews, new product navigation and a redesigned check-out cart. Lastly, Brentwood has worked with the company to develop a comprehensive digital content delivery platform (downloading and streaming of video courses) to enhance the company’s traditional DVD and CD formats, and most recently launched mobile apps to facilitate customer consumption of the digital formats.
Wiland is a leading consumer intelligence company serving many of the nation’s top brands and organizations.
Using proprietary data science and predictive analytics, Wiland leverages its vast database of billions of transactions from 240+ million consumers to produce powerful business intelligence and high-performance marketing audiences. The company’s clients span multiple industries, including: Automotive, Retail, Financial Services, Home & Personal Services, Travel & Hospitality, Publishing & Media, Charitable, and Political. Wiland’s deep insight into consumer behavior makes it possible for clients to deliver more relevant, timely advertising that increases their return on ad spend and other marketing investments. Wiland’s database is further enriched through numerous third-party partnerships, including a partnership with Amex Advance, a personalization services division within American Express that analyzes over $1 trillion in annual transactions from American Express’s closed-loop network.
In June 2016, Brentwood completed a significant investment in Wiland, partnering with management and the existing shareholder group.
Veggie Grill, headquartered in Santa Monica, California, is a premium fast-casual restaurant chain.
That features a satisfying and energizing variety of hot sandwiches and burgers, entree salads, bowls, home-style plates, shareable sides, organic teas and house made desserts prepared with hearty, plant-based proteins and fresh, wholesome ingredients. Craft beer and wine, as well as kids meals, are available in most locations. Veggie Grill renders the impossible possible: nutritious food that is convenient, affordable, craveable and made 100% from plants. Veggie Grill currently has 25 locations along the West Coast with additional locations opening soon.
Brentwood initially invested in September 2011 when it had seven stores. In partnership with Greg Dollarhyde, a 40 year veteran of the restaurant industry and CEO of Veggie Grill, the management team has more than tripled the store base and total sales. In addition, the team has opened stores in the three additional markets of Northern California, Portland and Seattle. The company continues to execute on several growth initiatives and has a number of restaurants under development.
Z Gallerie is a leading lifestyle retailer offering a variety of unique home goods, including furniture, artwork, lighting, tabletop items, textiles and decorative accessories.
Founded by siblings Joe Zeiden, Carole Malfatti and Mike Zeiden in 1979, Z Gallerie is focused on designing and sourcing proprietary products that encompass the best design ideas from around the world. The company’s specific and distinct merchandise offering attracts both affluent and aspirational customers, and can create an entire room that is both fashionable and stunning. Z Gallerie has an enthusiastic culture and strong management team that has been delivering unique, on-trend products at affordable price points for over 35 years.
In October 2014, Brentwood partnered with the founders of Z Gallerie through the acquisition of a majority equity stake in the company.
Other Realized Investments include Worldpoint Logistics, Inc., Petropac Solutions, Inc., Monarch Designs, and Silver Cinemas.