Sage V Foods is a family owned company that was founded by Pete Vegas. Pete has been involved in the food production business since he was 17 years old and started his own soybean operation where he farmed for 5 years while in high school and college . He worked on a banana farm in Panama for two years after college. He returned to school to get his MBA at Harvard and then moved to Puerto Rico in 1982 to start up a rice milling and farming operation on the Island for a large US based Rice company. In 1986, he moved to California and took a lead role in running what was the largest rice milling company in the world at that time. Pete had the opportunity to travel the world learning about the production and uses of rice. In 1992, Pete started a subsidiary in the rice milling company to produce rice based ingredients alongside the rice mills. In 1998, he bought the subsidiary outright and Sage V Foods was born.
Sage V Foods became the largest manufacturer of rice flour in the US. It also grew to become the largest rice extrusion operation in the US. Sage became the second largest producer of instant rice. In the last several years, Sage has sold it rice flour and crisp rice operation in Stuttgart, Ark, along with its instant rice operation.
Sage has dedicated its resources to its main business, production of IQF (individually quick frozen) rice. Sage is a pioneer in this business and its modern facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, is the largest producer of IQF frozen rice in the world.
In the last few years, Pete’s sons Brett and Scott have joined the company and we have made investments in two companies where Sage owns a substantial stake and plays an important role in management of the companies.
Along with Pete and several key employees, Sage now has almost 40 years of experience working with rice. Pete and his engineering team, have designed and built six processing facilities all of which were expanded multiple times. The company has a long history of working with and contracting directly with farmers of organic rice in Thailand, California, and Arkansas. The company owns and operates drying and storing facilities in California and a temperature and a humidity controlled warehouse in Arkansas where it stores organic rice. The company works with suppliers and users of rice all over the world and has long standing relationships with suppliers. In the US, Sage works with the best rice mills to buy domestic rice and then, as with all its rice, runs the rice thru its sorting and cleaning systems prior to use or resell.
Our modern IQF facility in Little Rock, Ark where we cook, freeze, and pack rice is designed to meet the most stringent food safety requirements. The facility is a one of a kind plant that was custom designed and built by Sage. We operate with about 200 employees 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
To a venture capital firm, Sage would be classified as a large angel investor, though we are not actively looking for investments and we are definitely not passive investors. Our preference is to invest in startup companies with large potential growth opportunities. Selling products that will go into the retail market or direct to consumer. We like businesses with novel products solving complex problems. We like to work with smart young people fully invested in their ideas. We choose businesses where our experience in manufacturing and marketing can play a significant role in developing the company.
We have made substantial investments in two companies, where we are taking an active role in helping the companies achieve success. Element Farms and BEERMKR. In both cases, we are investing in companies that we feel make innovative products and contribute to improvements in the environment. We hope to utilize our experience in business, manufacturing, and marketing to play a substantial role in growing the companies.