East Fork manufactures pottery with regional materials and a whole lot of integrity in Asheville, North Carolina.

East Fork's Next Chapter

We're pleased to announce our first equity investment from an institutional partner, Pentland Ventures.

“Most VCs come with a timeline and expectations we knew would put the brand at risk.” says East Fork Founder & Board Chair, Alex Matisse, “They would push for an acquisition or IPO as the only positive outcome of their investment, effectively putting us on a path we weren’t interested in.”

Pentland Ventures was different. Our leadership team was confident that Pentland would support the East Fork mission without pressure to compromise company values or dilute the brand.

Elliot Conway, head of Pentland Ventures, remarked, “Making beautiful things is hard. Making them with authenticity, care and a sense of responsibility, all the while striving for commercial success, is harder still. Now that I’ve got to know the East Fork team, it’s clear why they are achieving this mission. We are honoured to have been invited to join with them on their journey.”

We are positioned to become the largest domestic manufacturer and seller of ceramic dinnerware. The capital raised will be used to fund our next stage of growth, which includes expanding manufacturing, product development, and fulfillment capacities, developing an in-house clay making and reclamation program, and eliminating fossil fuels from our firing process by 2025.

East Fork CEO and Co-Founder Connie Matisse says, “To challenge the de facto ways of doing business—which so often leads to exploitation—we find ourselves either taking the more arduous path or bushwhacking one that doesn’t yet exist. A lot of investors are turned off by that. Pentland understands that our role as a challenger is central to who we are as a company. “

Pentland Group, the parent company of Pentland Ventures started in Liverpool in 1932 making and selling shoes. Since that time they have grown exponentially, bought and sold companies, and currently own or hold licenses for many recognizable and loved brands. The potential for endurance in a brand and the passion, vision and commitment of the founding team are key factors in their approach to investing.

Pentland Group has been proudly supporting people to build businesses of the future since 1932. Pentland Ventures is the group’s direct investments division. The group aims to combine the foresight of a venture capital fund, the financial discipline of a private equity firm, the operational expertise of a strategic investor, and the long-term outlook and values of a fourth-generation family business.

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