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La Pavia Beverage LLC, maker of Top Note Tonic

Mary Pellettieri, Co-Founder and President

mpellettieri@topnotetonic.com

414-208-9677


COMPANY OVERVIEW

La Pavia Beverage masterfully crafts Top Note Tonics, beverage mixers with a mission to bring flavor, fun and approachability back to home cocktails. Formulated in-house by founders with more than 20 years of beverage industry experience, Top Note is the only American beverage mixer brand to win the sofi award for best new mixer from the Specialty Food Association. Top Note is highly regarded in the most luxury cocktail bars in Chicago for flavor, quality, and excellence in the tonic water/mixer category. Since May 2017, the company has acquired more than 1,000 points of distribution through 10 distributors in 7 states, has achieved over $960K in retail sales, with $500K+ in sales the last 18 months.


TEAM

Mary Pellettieri – Co-Founder President and CEO. MS in Public Health, University of Illinois Chicago; 20+ years in beverage formulation and beverage quality.  Mary is an accomplished professional who gained experience in the craft beer trade and then saw an opportunity to pivot to non-alcoholic beverages with Top Note. She applies her beverage quality expertise and her deep network in the craft beverage trade to this company. Prior to starting Top Note, Mary worked in business operations and quality at MillerCoors and Goose Island Beer Company in Chicago, formulating award win

Noah Swanson – Co-Founder Vice President and COO. Engineer by trade, 20+ years in real estate.  Noah has been self-employed all his career mostly in real estate acquisition and management of assets. He is an engineer by trade, and is the chief of operations, logistics and supply chain management at La Pavia. He manages our co-packing operations and works closely with our suppliers to lower costs and create supply chain synergies with other beverage makes. Noah spear-heads our formulations and manages the output from the R&D and innovation work. 

PRODUCT

Top Note is the beverage mixer for popular highball cocktails such as gin and tonic (tonic water), whiskey/soda (soda water) and Moscow mule (ginger beer). The mixer makes up about 75% of a highball style cocktail. 

 

 Bartenders Choose Top Note for:

●        Advancing their cocktail menu into “premium” pricing

●        Being unique and independent from larger brands (Craft American Made Top Note)

●        Making top-quality highball call drinks, and low proof/no proof cocktails.

 Consumers Choose Top Note for:

●        Making a highball cocktail in which the mixer matches the quality of the spirit.

●        Simplicity; 2-touch cocktail, yet making a high-quality drink.

●        Craft made, high quality, and select

●       USA Made, GMO Free Certified,

●       Sustainability, low carbon footprint, source domestic, made close to the point of distribution

 

MARKET

The total addressable market in sparkling beverage mixers (a subset of soft drinks) is estimated to be $4.2B in the US. Unlike in Europe, where the premium beverage mixer market is becoming saturated, the U.S. has a significant gap in total premium spirits consumed (43% of spirits market) to premium mixers, which are <5% of the U.S. Top Note’s initial market is to focus in on capturing the premium beverage Tonic Water category, which is expected to see a 7% CAGR growth in next 5 years, and over $590mm increase in sales. (Business Wire, April 15, 2020). 

REVENUE MODEL

Top Note sells business-to-business through the three tier system of wholesalers to retailers. Our primary distributors are alcoholic beverage distributors. Our blended gross profit across SKUs is 52%, with the average cost to customer for our products at $6.99/4pack or $0.20/ounce. Top Note added e-commerce channel, Amazon and Shopify, early in 2020 after Covid-19 stalled some bar and restaurant business, and sold over $32K in sales within the second quarter of 2020. Our distributors and key retailers include; Whole Foods Markets Midwest Regional, Binny's Liquor Chicagoland, Heritage Wine Chicago Wholesale, Bommarito Wines Wholesale St Louis, Crooked Stave Artisan Wholesale Denver Co, DWC Wholesale Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Capitol Husting Wisconsin Wholesale, Quench Artisan Spirits Wholesale Omaha Nebraska, Soft Stuff Specialty Retail Wholesale Maryland, Lime Ventures LTD Wholesale California.

 

COMPETITION

  1. Fever Tree - 15 years in business, public UK company. 2018 earnings: $300M

Strengths

Category leader w 50% share in US, and 75% in UK. Strong alliances w large brands. Lots of visibility with strategic spirits partners. 

Top Note can beat FT by marketing to a younger, hipper audience. Its American-made in a craft brewery value hits home to authenticity, while FT is looking like a large CPG company willing to cut costs.

Weaknesses

Multiple SKUs, not American-made or crafted for U.S. cocktail consumer. Discounting lower than Schweppes in Midwest markets. 

  1. Fentimans - Over 100 years in business, public UK company. 2018 Earnings: $260M

Strengths

Seen as alternative brand with deep historical authenticity. 

Top Note is a modern craft mixer compared to Fentimans’ “botanically brewed,” mostly soft drink past. Top Note listens to current trends, while Fentimans plays up authentic old-style soft drinks. 

Weaknesses

More soft drinks than mixers. Not competitive to American likes/dislikes. 


  1. Q Tonic – 13 years in business, private U.S. company. 2018 estimated earnings: $40M

Strengths

System strength in distribution, seen as secondary to Fever Tree in market. 

Top Note sees Q as its target to pick out of market. We have  more authentic story, and more loyalty in our customer base. Top Note can build loyalty as its strength and continue to push Q out of markets as it has in Chicago.   

Weaknesses

When more than 2 brands are presented, Q does not perform as well. Q does not have brand loyalty in on-premise or off-premise accounts. 


FINANCING AND MILESTONES

Round

Closing

Runway

Amount

MRR

Status

Milestones

 

Pre-seed

 

Q3 2019

 

Q2

2020

 

$815K

 

$30K

 

Closed

10 SKUs developed in 3 packaging configurations (8.5 oz bottles, bag-in-box concentrate, 12-oz. cans) across 5 flavors. Minimum Viable Product and scaling model achieved with new co-packer. Lowered COGS 20%. Landed 2 regional specialty food chains, Costco, and HomeGoods seasonal placements. Expanded to ~1K points of distribution.

 

Seed

 

Q4 2020

 

Q2

2022

 

$500K

 

 $100K

 

Open

10 new distributors/10 leading cocktail cities

10K points of distribution, Double velocity

Investment supports Marketing/Brand Investment into sustainable supply chain

Series A

Q3 2022

Q1 2024

$3M

$400K

Future

Continue line extensions and offerings in larger retailers.

Build to 25K points of distribution.


COMPARABLE

Acquired

Acquirer

Acquisition Price

Date

Revenue/Traction at Acquisition

Product Category

Seedlip

Diageo

20% stake/ Not disclosed

Aug 2019

$46M

Non-Alcoholic Spirit

MorindaINC 

New Age Beverages

$85M

December 2018

$40M

Non-Alcoholic Soft Drink

Fever Tree

IPO

$202M

November 2014

$45M 

Premium Mixers

Teavana

Starbucks/ABI

$620M

December 2012

$120M

Non-Alcoholic Tea

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