Consumers are more focused than ever on the impact of food on their own health, as well as on the health of the environment, and they are flocking to restaurants that provide ingredients considered fresh and “natural.” That is one one of the reasons ButterFly Equity bought farm to table fast casual restaurant chain Modern Market.

Modern Market, headquartered in Denver and founded in 2009, operates 28 fast casual restaurants across Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Washington, D.C. and Maryland. The company's menu focuses on "healthy, high quality, sustainably-sourced, scratch-made fare at an atrtactive price point." Some of Modern Market's food items feature: a curry salmon bowl, farmer salads and whole grain Belgian waffles that use cage free eggs and are made from scratch everyday, served in a "highly-convenient format well-suited to meet the rapidly-changing demands of the modern restaurant consumer."

"We believe that Modern Market’s offering is increasingly representative of the way that modern restaurant-goers prefer to eat," says Butterfly co-founder Dustin Beck. Butterfly is a Los Angeles-based private equity firm that focuses on the food and beverage, foodservice and agriculture sectors.

Restaurants are scrambling to meet new demands from diners who want cuisine they believe is healthy, responsibly-sourced and budget-friendly. Those types of restaurants are attracting buyers. TPG Growth acquired a majority stake in farm to table restaurant chain Mendocino Farms from L Catterton; New York fast casual restaurant operator Fresh&co, which features seasonal organic cuisine at its 10 Manhattan locations, bought a 35-acre farm on Long Island; and Advent International bought a majority stake in breakfast café operator First Watch Restaurants, which offers a mix of farm-to-table and “indulgent” menu choices, from Freeman Spogli & Co.

Piper Jaffray Cos. (NYSE: PJC) and Davis Wright Tremaine advised Modern Market. Kirkland & Ellis represented Butterfly. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Modern Market
Modern Market
Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis joined SourceMedia in 2015 and serves as Assistant Managing Editor of Mergers & Acquisitions and writes The Buyside column about corporate dealmaking, and also covers the consumer sector.