Smile Beverage Werks® Secures Strategic Partnerships in $3.2 Million in Seed Round

Smile Beverage Werks® Secures Strategic Partnerships in $3.2 Million in Seed Round

Smile Beverage Werks® Secures Strategic Partnerships in $3.2 Million in Seed RoundFor Immediate Release
July 12, 2021

DARIEN, CT – Smile Beverage Werks®, P.B.C. announces a seed capital raise of $3.2 million – an impressive feat for a start-up company revolutionizing the single-use coffee pod industry with its commercially compostable, BPI Certified pod. Funding was led by Dennis H. Chookaszian, American businessperson and former chairperson and CEO of CNA Insurance, with participation by coffee pod experts Fran Rathke, Paul Comey, and Stephen J. Sabol.

Rathke, Comey, and Sabol come from Keurig Dr Pepper Inc., formerly Keurig Green Mountain. Rathke served as their CFO and Treasurer from 2003 to 2015, as well as Strategic Advisor to the CEO in 2015. Comey served as the Vice President of Environmental Affairs, while Sabol served as Vice President of Business Development and chairperson of the board. Chookaszian and Rathke will join Smile Beverage Werks® Board of Directors while Comey and Sabol will sit on the Board of Advisors. 

“To not only raise $3.2 million, but to also be backed by industry magnates in our first seed round is extremely exciting,” says Co-Founder and CEO Michael Sands. “Their decades of experience in the field will provide invaluable expertise and guidance to our company.”

Smile Beverage Werks® will use the funds for research and development, purchasing filling equipment, and maintaining working capital for growth. Our commercially compostable pods empower consumers and businesses to easily go green. Its patented design enables users to conveniently throw the entire pod into a compost bin, eliminating the need to separate and clean the capsule, coffee, and lid to make it recyclable. No rinsing is needed to prep our pods, aiding water conservation. All excess bagging is also eliminated without compromising freshness. Our pods have a 12+ month shelf life.

“We created Smile Beverage Werks® with one goal in mind: to enjoy great-tasting coffee and everyday convenience without burdening the environment,” Sands said. “Our pods offer a simple, convenient alternative that is not so intimidating to the average consumer that wants to minimize their carbon footprint.”

Smile Coffee Werks® is committed to sustainability in all aspects of its production: We source beans from only Rainforest Alliance Certified farms; our pods are manufactured in a facility using wind, solar, and hydropower; our cartons are made from recycled materials; our supply chain is certified climate neutral by ClimatePartner; and our products are certified USDA Biobased Products and certified commercially compostable by BPI. We’re very proud of our mission to make going green as easy as drinking a delicious cup of coffee. Our pods can be bought online at Walmart, Amazon, and




To learn more about Smile Coffee Werks®, visit

Smile Coffee Werks® is a registered trademark of Smile Beverage Werks, PBC.  Nespresso is a registered trademark of Nestlé. Keurig and K-Cups are registered trademarks of Keurig Dr Pepper. Smile Beverage Werks is not connected or associated in any way with Nespresso, Nestlé, Keurig or Keurig Dr Pepper. 


About Smile Beverage Werks® PBC 

Smile Beverage Werks, PBC is a Delaware Public Benefits Corporation with a sustainability mission. We are committed to developing and manufacturing compostable food and beverage packaging including single-use coffee pods, straws, and bags. Founded by serial entrepreneur Michael Sands and green construction expert Frank Schuster, Smile Beverage Werks® produces the only commercially compostable, carbon neutral coffee pods not requiring any additional film for shelf life or a separation of lid, filter, and grounds for disposal. Smile Beverage Werks® pods are compatible with Nespresso Original and Keurig brewing systems. Follow @smilecoffeewerks on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram or visit our website to learn more. 


Media Contact
Allyson Trice 


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