Local dairy-free ice cream maker files for Chapter 11, searches for a buyer

O’My Dairy Free Gelato was founded by Allison Monette, left, and Julie Bishop. (Photos courtesy of O’My Dairy Free Gelato)

Buffeted by rising costs, a local dairy-free ice cream company is seeking shelter in bankruptcy court.

O’My Dairy Free Gelato earlier this month filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The filing is aimed at allowing the four-year-old company to reorganize its debts and create a plan to pay them while it continues to operate.

O’My CEO and co-founder Allison Monette attributed the company’s financial challenges to the increased cost of transporting its frozen desserts to stores where its products are sold. She said the company’s transportation expenses are three times higher in 2022 compared to the previous year.

“Our brand has had the best revenue year yet. However, 2022 has also just been a really challenging operating environment for every emerging brand that hasn’t achieved scale yet,” Monette said. “For O’My, frozen transportation costs soared beginning in the summer and just remained sky-high into the winter months, which are slower sales months for us. That led us to seek Chapter 11 restructuring protection.”

Monette said she hopes to find a larger company interested in acquiring O’My, calling such a move the best way to absorb those higher shipping costs and move the company forward.

O’My’s ice cream is dairy free and made with coconut cream.

“O’My really belongs with a larger business, so we really hope that can still happen as part of this Chapter 11 restructure process,” Monette said.

Among its debts listed in the bankruptcy filing, O’My owes $200,000 to local investment firm Trolley Ventures Partners. Its other larger unsecured creditors, most of them investors, include Illinois-based Omnipresence Holdings, LLC ($212,445) and Illinois-based investment firm Mandell Ventures ($100,000).

O’My disputes that it owes roughly $55,700 to Origin Food Group, according to the filing. The company’s North Carolina facility manufactures O’My’s products. O’My owes about $28,300 to United States Cold Storage, which owns the Illinois warehouse where O’My keeps its finished-goods inventory.

The company estimated it has between 50 and 99 creditors with an estimated $1 million to $10 million in liabilities and $500,000 to $1 million in assets, according to its bankruptcy filing.

Monette said Monday that O’My hadn’t yet filed its restructuring plan to the court.

Lynn Tavenner of Richmond-based law firm Tavenner & Beran is representing O’My in its bankruptcy proceedings.

O’My Dairy Free Gelato has launched lower-sugar styles of its gelato.

O’My was launched in Richmond in 2018 by Monette, who has a background in consumer packaged goods, and Julie Bishop, formerly of Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods. Monette said the company has generated $6 million in revenue since it was founded.

The company uses a contract manufacturer in North Carolina to make its line of non-dairy gelato, which it sells by the pint. Per its website, the company has a national retail presence, and can be found locally at places like Union Market, Ellwood Thompson’s, Walmart and Kroger among others.

“We maintain strong inventory levels and have continued ability to take orders and to ship orders to all our customers,” Monette said. “Our consumer still exists, which is the household impacted by dietary restrictions. Our category has certainly seen some impact from pullback in discretionary spending but that need still exists and those households are only continuing to grow.”

The company launched a low-sugar variety of its gelato in 2020.

O’My Dairy Free Gelato was founded by Allison Monette, left, and Julie Bishop. (Photos courtesy of O’My Dairy Free Gelato)

Buffeted by rising costs, a local dairy-free ice cream company is seeking shelter in bankruptcy court.

O’My Dairy Free Gelato earlier this month filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The filing is aimed at allowing the four-year-old company to reorganize its debts and create a plan to pay them while it continues to operate.

O’My CEO and co-founder Allison Monette attributed the company’s financial challenges to the increased cost of transporting its frozen desserts to stores where its products are sold. She said the company’s transportation expenses are three times higher in 2022 compared to the previous year.

“Our brand has had the best revenue year yet. However, 2022 has also just been a really challenging operating environment for every emerging brand that hasn’t achieved scale yet,” Monette said. “For O’My, frozen transportation costs soared beginning in the summer and just remained sky-high into the winter months, which are slower sales months for us. That led us to seek Chapter 11 restructuring protection.”

Monette said she hopes to find a larger company interested in acquiring O’My, calling such a move the best way to absorb those higher shipping costs and move the company forward.

O’My’s ice cream is dairy free and made with coconut cream.

“O’My really belongs with a larger business, so we really hope that can still happen as part of this Chapter 11 restructure process,” Monette said.

Among its debts listed in the bankruptcy filing, O’My owes $200,000 to local investment firm Trolley Ventures Partners. Its other larger unsecured creditors, most of them investors, include Illinois-based Omnipresence Holdings, LLC ($212,445) and Illinois-based investment firm Mandell Ventures ($100,000).

O’My disputes that it owes roughly $55,700 to Origin Food Group, according to the filing. The company’s North Carolina facility manufactures O’My’s products. O’My owes about $28,300 to United States Cold Storage, which owns the Illinois warehouse where O’My keeps its finished-goods inventory.

The company estimated it has between 50 and 99 creditors with an estimated $1 million to $10 million in liabilities and $500,000 to $1 million in assets, according to its bankruptcy filing.

Monette said Monday that O’My hadn’t yet filed its restructuring plan to the court.

Lynn Tavenner of Richmond-based law firm Tavenner & Beran is representing O’My in its bankruptcy proceedings.

O’My Dairy Free Gelato has launched lower-sugar styles of its gelato.

O’My was launched in Richmond in 2018 by Monette, who has a background in consumer packaged goods, and Julie Bishop, formerly of Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods. Monette said the company has generated $6 million in revenue since it was founded.

The company uses a contract manufacturer in North Carolina to make its line of non-dairy gelato, which it sells by the pint. Per its website, the company has a national retail presence, and can be found locally at places like Union Market, Ellwood Thompson’s, Walmart and Kroger among others.

“We maintain strong inventory levels and have continued ability to take orders and to ship orders to all our customers,” Monette said. “Our consumer still exists, which is the household impacted by dietary restrictions. Our category has certainly seen some impact from pullback in discretionary spending but that need still exists and those households are only continuing to grow.”

The company launched a low-sugar variety of its gelato in 2020.

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Sam Moore
Sam Moore
1 month ago

Looks like a clear cut case Bidenomics that brought them down. Diesel fuel and gas prices are his work along with cutting Keystone pipeline day one. Under Trump this business would still exist.