Founded in 2011 by cousins Kim and Tyler Malek, the Portland-based company has been growing by leaps and bounds, now numbering about 19 locations up and down the West Coast.
“Salt & Straw’s proven commitment to connecting with local communities through their storytelling and creativity make this strategic investment a natural fit,” said Garcia, CEO and chairwoman of the Garcia Companies and TGC Management, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to provide our expertise to build upon their forward-thinking and disruptive approach that has delighted consumers and inspired meaningful brand experiences.”
To mark the new partnership and the holiday season, Salt & Straw is launching a special-edition “Dwanta Claus”-inspired holiday pack of flavors.
It’s a fun departure for Johnson, whose brand extensions to this point—Under Armour, Voss water, and the Athleticon conference announced in September with Garcia—have tied closely to his commitment to, and identity as, an absolute tower of muscle.
But cheat day’s also full of business opportunity.
For Salt & Straw, the investment represents the latest in a growing portfolio of notable partners. Back in 2017, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group invested in the company, and in May, the burgeoning chain reported $4.2 million in new investors, including half of that from Oregon Venture Fund.